The pandemic affected a seamstress’ career. Now she uses a pushcart for her innovative side hustle.

Right from the tailor shop she fashioned out of a pushcart that was once used to roast nuts, Makayla Wray sews new life into customers’ clothing and into New York City. The 29-year-old seamstress began her sidewalk side hustle after the pandemic ripped away her freelance jobs in the fashion industry.

“During this pandemic you are proof that New York City is still alive,” CBS News told Wray.

“I think it definitely is,” she responded. “I feel like this gives people the time to be creative. I definitely have allowed the city to push me and move me just to, like, survive.”

Wray refashions threads, zippers and buttons, and creates tailor-made memories, like an elephant she created from a COVID-19 victim’s shirt as a keepsake for his widow.

“The elephant choice came to mind because that was her – their last vacation together,” said Wray. “So I was like, ‘We’re doing a elephant.’ Like, I’ve never made a elephant before, but I’m gonna make one for you.”

“I feel like it tells a better story if you just keep wearing something that you were already living through,” said Aren Johnson, a client.

This seamstress is stitching together New York nostalgia, ingenuity and resilience.

“You could get creative,” said Wray. “And you can figure out how, you know, it works for yourself. I can’t afford a studio; I want one. But now I have a studio on the street, so that’s kinda cool.”

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