Recent University of Michigan graduate Arohi Jain has received an overwhelming amount of orders and funding for her innovative face mask design since she launched her company, BreezeBubble, in May.
The BreezeBubble UltraProtect mask has a BFE95 filter, which has a 95% bacterial filtration efficiency, and is made of light, flexible silicone that can adjust to the shape of the user's face. Jain says BreezeBubble is more comfortable compared to other N95 masks that have a metal nose clip.
The inspiration for BreezeBubble came from Jain's visit to India in October 2019. She and her family significantly felt the effects of air pollution during their trip and couldn't go anywhere without wearing an uncomfortable face mask. Jain decided to create a lightweight option that people could more comfortably wear.
While the BreezeBubble mask was originally intended to filter out air pollutants, Jain says the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted her to add features that would protect wearers from the virus. The company is currently working on getting an N95 certification from Nelson Labs in Salt Lake City.
"Pivoting to COVID-19 features has been really crazy," Jain says.
Due to the high demand for face masks, Jain quickly sold out of her inventory after her initial launch. In November, she hosted a crowdfunding campaign to expand production and was able to raise more than $51,000 with 657 backers.
The BreezeBubble mask is now available for purchase on BreezeBubble's Indiegogo page or website. The mask costs $45 and a 10-pack of additional filters costs $4.99. Additional colors, patterns, and features will be available soon.
Post-COVID, Jain says the BreezeBubble mask will still be useful to those who live in areas with high pollution or work in a toxic environment.
"I started with the goal to create a better mask for the pollution market," Jain says. "After the pandemic, I'm going to be focused on this for the next few years."
Emily Benda is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of Arohi Jain.