We kept getting the questions "are you going to do a kids line?"
"Do you have any kids sizes?"
We wanted to SO BAD!
We wanted to give you, our supporters, everything you asked for. But we also had to be realistic and get clear with our goals and how we want to move forward. More than anything, we want to continue to be able to give you quality over quantity and not lose sight of why we do what we do. So when things happened to line up almost perfectly with our new community partner... we were over the moon to announce we'd FINALLY have a kids collection!!!
Meeting Childhood Connections (CCS)
If you think really hard, like way back to the beginning of 2020 before social distancing was a hashtag, we had our first ever Pitch Presentation at Purppl's #ChangeUP event! We got to pitch alongside five other fantastically impressive non-profits and social enterprises. Although we didn't get awarded the mentorship program, we began to form connections we never knew we needed. One of them, Melissa Hunt the Executive Director of Childhood Connections. She was filled with excitement, humbleness, and positivity during the event and we barely had to exchange a few sentences before we both realized the opportunities ahead. We vowed to keep one another on our radars and continued on in our journeys.
Planning In A Pandemic
I'm sure, like everyone else in the world, we thought we'd be connecting a lot sooner in the year than we did. But things happen for a reason, and we're so grateful they did. Once we all started to feel like we were getting a handle on things we reconnected and had an awesome meeting with the whole Childhood Connections team. Shoutout to an entirely female-run and operated organization that is an absolute necessity in our community. Melissa shared with us their incredible new program in collaboration with Springfield Kids... The Playful Healing Program providing free child and play therapy to kids and families in financial need. You couldn't keep us away from this one if you tried. I'm sure before they finished their sentences Michael and I were brainstorming how we could support this exciting new venture. This program to promote and support mental health for youth and their families. Epic.
The Brainstorming Process
We're big brainstormers, we like the whole group or team to be involved if we can. I know sometimes this can lead to chaos or miscommunication, but the immense amount of experiences and thoughtful ideas that come out of MORE people rather than LESS people makes it worth it!! So the CCS team and Michael and I went away from our initial meeting and put together all of the ideas that came flooding into our heads. Thinking back to when we were kids, talking to the kiddos in our communities, relating to parents and most of all trying to think of a new way to empower and keep the conversation going. We are so grateful to Childhood Connections Administrative Support, Sam Hawes, who shined through this whole process and is 100% why those animals look so dang cute.
Why The Zones Of Regulation?
So how did we decide? It didn't happen overnight, we hummed and hawed until it really clicked. This is something we wanted to make a statement with but also make genuine impact in the journey to ending the stigma. The idea that we need to be celebrating experiencing different emotions and learning to work through them instead of hiding them was at the forefront. It's not about changing or fixing the emotion, but recognizing it whether you're younger or older. The Zones Of Regulation are a huge tool in childhood learning and development and quite frankly we think it should be bigger. We talk often about how we wish they taught this stuff to us growing up. Can you imagine learning how to regulate your emotions? And learning that not only is it OK to feel, but others feel too!? Our final design is two-fold; sharing a positive mental health message as well as a resource to support your mental health. We wanted to use this as an opportunity to learn together; as advocates, a community, and family.
How Does This Support The Playful Healing Program
Similar to our other collaborative collections, The 'Playful Healing' Collection's proceeds are donated through the #1MillionCampaign to community partners. A minimum of 10% of each item purchased from this collection will be provided to CCS Playful Healing Program to support children who are struggling in their day to day life with feelings of worry, uncertainty, isolation, and unhappiness and whose families are unable to afford expensive therapy. By providing FREE, one-to-one therapy, we help children manage and cope with behavioural struggles and anxiety.