Her hankies of another color

If you worry about sweating in front of a crowd, a Cambria Heights woman has designed dark-colored handkerchiefs that retired Fox Five anchorman Bill McCreary used to help him stay perspiration free when he was on air.
McCreary, who appeared on TV for over 30 years, used O’Kellon Smith’s 100 percent Egyptian cotton handkerchiefs during commercials to wipe his perspiration and look fresh for the camera. Both Smith and McCreary felt that dark handkerchiefs were discrete and enhanced his attire. When McCreary retired, he told Smith, “Why don’t you do something with this?” As of a year ago, the 70-year-old designer decided to start her own business to sell the product.
Smith, along with help from her friend Juliette Joseph, 73, creates her cotton handkerchiefs and terry cloth squares in her sewing shop in Freeport, Long Island. The handkerchiefs come in burgundy, navy, brown, and black and the terry cloth squares come in those four colors as well as pastels.
“If you use a white handkerchief, makeup will show,” said Smith. She believes the product is “effective, attractive, and not something you feel that you are exposing the fact that you perspiring.”
Smith said the product is great for people in the public eye since Egyptian cotton absorbs better than regular cotton. “In the 21st century when people are style conscious, I think the dark handkerchief makes a complete image,” she said.
She also said the product is good for daily life. The terry cloth squares fit in small bags, are pre-washed with no chemicals and are ready to use. Although the current hankie line is only for men, Smith has 400 to 500 brown and black handkerchiefs that are 60 percent tissue linen and 40 percent cotton to start the women’s line, her favorite line. For those who are looking to spend a little less, Smith is beginning her 100 percent cotton line.
As of now, the product is only available on Smith’s website, www.okellonscollection.com, at $10 each. She is looking into specialty stores, like Tuxedo or Bridal shops, to sell the product. Once she makes a profit, Smith is hoping to give some money back to charity.

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