Creating The 'Imperfect Harmony' Collection With Soul Sounds Music Therapy

We are STOKED to be able to write another one of these behind the scenes blogs to share more in depth about the creation and implementation of the 'Imperfect Harmony' Collection! This collaboration with Soul Sounds Music Therapy has been in the works since the beginning of 2021, and we can't wait to share the exciting details, challenges and triumphs, and successes so far...

We were beginning to come out of hibernation 

After the winter holidays and full-blown exhaustion of what was 2020, an email from Soul Sounds hit our inbox in a big way. An idea to collaborate and look forward through the chaos - to celebrate Music Therapy Awareness Month in March and carry out a campaign that would continue to live-on even after the buzz had faded from the specific month for awareness. We've known Kayla and Lizzy from Soul Sounds Music Therapy for nearly the full life of You Are Collective and have all continuously made attempts at collaborative events, resources etc. to both bring awareness to this alternative modality for mental wellness and in attempts to raise funding for different projects. Unfortunately we've also seen many roadblocks together - having to cancel or reschedule many events due to the pandemic and different restrictions changing almost constantly. So when we were again presented with an opportunity to work together, it was a no brainer, we were going to make it work.

What Is Music Therapy?

I share that it's an 'alternative modality' because it has yet to be widely accepted as a support and service to help you on your mental health journey. We hear plenty about counselling, one on one talk therapy, even group sessions - but the introduction of music to it all still has some catching up to do. And this is exactly why we wanted to do more to bring it to the forefront. 

As defined by the Canadian Association of Music Therapists:
Music Therapy is a discipline in which credentialed professionals (MTAs*) use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. Music therapists use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains.

How Can Music Therapy Benefit My Mental Health?

Music therapy can help with many mental health goals including, but not limited to:
• Addressing anxiety, stress, and fears
• Creating normality and familiarity
• Exploring self expression safely
• Decreasing isolation and loneliness
• Creating meaningful connections
• Increasing relaxation and inner strength
• Learning new and healthy ways to express difficult emotions
• Developing self awareness and awareness of others

Music therapy can also offer a valuable supplement to traditional psychotherapy for clients who experience:
• Schizophrenia
• Bipolar Disorder
• Personality disorders
• Depression
• Anxiety disorders
• Substance use
• Eating disorders
• ADHD
• Other mental health conditions

To help raise awareness for our collection together and the services music therapy can offer, Kayla joined me on our #1MillionCampaign: Breaking Down Barriers in Mental Health series recorded live, unedited on a local platform called Unicorns.live. You can watch our full episode together here and help support numerous other small, local businesses in the process: Nurturing Your Soul: Accessing Music Therapy to Support Your Mental Health.

Involving As Many Local Businesses As Possible

One of our greatest missions at You Are Collective is trying to involve and collaborate with as many local businesses as possible in whatever we do. The small business community is PACKED with talent, compassion, determination, and over the last year it's also been plagued with many hardships. Kayla and Lizzy were on board to help incorporate and support as many bad ass local entrepreneurs as we could to push the collection beyond the music therapy community and scope to see how we could come at this collaboration from all angles. From contracting the designs out to Vancouver Music Therapy Student, Kelsey from Ink + Sprout to having our totes hand cut and sewn by local entrepreneur Julia from The Market Bags to collaborating with local platforms such as Unicorns.live to help spread the word to continuing work with our local print-shop to get the apparel printed! Not to mention, proceeds will be going directly to a local pilot project (details coming soon!!) to help support music therapy for mental health in our community. We hope to be popping up and showing even more local and support to our local community in any way possible (ps. if you want to hop on board, send us an email!)

It took us a couple of tries...

That's maybe an understatement! We would be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the immense hurdles and background trails and tribulations that come with any project. It's not always an easy three-step process, it's not always going to end up exactly how you envisioned it, and as much as you think you've crossed all t's and dotted all i's ... There will be things that come up to push you in ways you never thought possible. In the moment, it can be frustrating, overwhelming, even meltdown worthy - but looking back it is an incredible reminder that what you're doing has purpose and things are meant to happen the way they do for a reason. If you'd believe it, we went through about four or five rounds of mock-ups, selecting different products and styles, different colour palettes and choices. It was not one and done. The pandemic has left a lot of uncertainty in a lot of industries - clothing and textiles being one of them. Supplies are running dry in a lot of spaces and when another shipment or restock will arrive is a complete unknown. Thanks to the incredible patience of Soul Sounds and our gracious local printers, a lot of back and forth, zoom calls and scouring the internet led us to our final apparel styles and colour palette. We all knew where we wanted the proceeds to end up, but as you may have read, this is still in a long process to get approved. Although our hopes our high and the outcomes so far have been positive, we still can't release details on the pilot project soon to come. Rest assured - proceeds have been and will continue to be set aside for when this day comes! A launch in a pandemic also presents many challenges, we relied hard on Kayla to rise up as the tech guru and through many a zoom call and run-through she/we got everything sorted to bring you the Launch Event we're still reeling from!! 

Catch the summary here:

Needless to say, the journey was not linear - though is it ever? And looking back we are grateful to have worked through it with these incredible, strong, and vibrant women bringing so much compassion and support to this community. We look forward to packaging and fulfilling your orders with so much love, look for a personalized note in every shipment! We hope you enjoy the 'Imperfect Harmony' Collection, please go shop to your hearts content:

SHOP THE IMPERFECT HARMONY COLLECTION

Do you want to get involved in the collection or collaborate with You Are Collective? YAC At Us here.

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