Nicole Moore Behrhorst ’87: Making masks for Colorado Academy

Nicole Moore Behrhorst ’87 grew up with parents, Ann and Mike Moore, who were humanitarians first and entrepreneurs second. For Nicole and her sisters, Mande Moore Mischler ’82 and Hopi Moore-Sargent ’84, their passion to make the world a better place for people came from their parents, who were two of the very first Peace Corps volunteers. The entrepreneurial spirit came when Ann and Mike returned to the United States and had their first daughter. Ann left the hospital with Mande secured to her upper body, wrapped in a long shawl, just as African mothers had done for centuries. While in Togo, West Africa, Ann had seen mothers and their calm and content babies wrapped in shawls around their bodies, hands-free. The idea for the Snugli was born, forever changing parenting, with a generation of U.S. mothers carrying their babies close to them, secure and hands-free. An original corduroy handsewn Snugli resides in MoMA’s “Is Fashion Modern?” exhibit.

Fast forward to 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Nicole, who already had started her own company, Colorado Daisy, saw a need to help her community. Pivoting quickly from trucker and fleece hats and blankets to reusable cloth masks, Nicole engaged her lead 70-year-old seamstress, who has been sewing for her family for over 20 years. Nicole’s desire to keep the manufacturing in Colorado ensured local workers would benefit and at the same time provided high-quality handmade masks of 100% cotton with plush comfort elastic straps, for ages 3-100 years. Following the CDC guidelines, the masks are reusable, many with pockets for disposable filters, and can be washed in hot water and tumble-dried to sanitize.

Nicole says, “With the ultimate goal of helping others, I began partnering with nonprofits. We targeted their supporters, offering attractive masks, with a dollar from every mask sale going to their organization. One remarkable school that has been the recipient of our donations is the Adam J. Lewis Academy in Bridgeport, Conn. Established in honor of a man killed in 9/11, the school serves underserved students, providing them with an inspiring education, including Suzuki music and a Montessori approach to learning. Today, Colorado Daisy has sold over 4,000 masks. We have made cash and mask donations to 10 organizations, including Colorado Academy. I am happy to work with more schools and nonprofit organizations.”

For Nicole, her mask project has provided her the opportunity to work closely with her parents (who are the best packagers) and her sisters, who give her guidance and support along the way. That is her true silver lining to the pandemic.

Editor’s note: CA faculty and staff received Colorado Daisy masks with the CA logo in their “Welcome Back to School” packets in August. Orders from the CA community receive 20% off at checkout by using the code CA20. In addition, Nicole donates $1 to CA for each mask sold. Read an archived story about Ann Moore’s development of the Snugli.