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Mask up . . . Rose's General Store owner Wendy Simpson has made more than 840 masks since September. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

You can either fall down or roll with the punches.

When Covid-19 is throwing blows, Rose’s General Store & Information owner Wendy Simpson has decided to go with the latter option.

For Mrs Simpson, it was all about adapting.

The ‘‘ex-Aucklander’’ moved to Oamaru 15 years ago and worked for for Tourism Waitaki for 12 years — as a heritage coordinator and then operations manager — until her role was ‘‘deestablished’’ as part of a restructure.

At the time, her redundancy was ‘‘devastating’’ but looking back, Mrs Simpson realised it was the best thing that could have happened.

She opened Rose’s General Store & Information in Tyne St almost two years ago.

Her vision was to have a store that would flood people with memories as soon as they walked through the door — whether those memories were triggered by the giant jars of old fashioned lollies, Rawleighs or other vintage products.

It was about ‘‘finding a hole and filling it’’ — and that was exactly what she was doing now with her face masks.

Since the start of this year’s lockdown, Mrs Simpson has made more than 840 masks — a huge increase from the 200 to 300 she made last year with her friend Lisa Carter.

There had been a surge in demand for masks, especially as mandates were introduced this year.

When Mrs Simpson was not working behind the counter at Rose’s General Store, she was busy out the back using funky fabrics to make masks with ‘‘colour and character’’.

She was also working with Social Singing Oamaru to create a prototype for specialist singing masks.

This endeavour was just one way she had adapted her business to Covid-19’s unpredictably.

‘‘I’m surprised we have survived,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s the locals that keep us alive.’’

She was also in the business of helping people create new memories.

Using her experience with Tourism Waitaki, her store also operated as an information centre. The store was one of two places in Oamaru where people could find information on what to do in Waitaki, so visitors and locals alike could enjoy everything the district had to offer.