Five community members walked around Downtown Guelph Monday hiding self-care booklets.
With a bright orange cover page and a sticky note that reads “Free! Here's a reminder that you are enough :)” the booklet contains gentle everyday reminders to inspire and uplift anyone that comes across it.
Books were randomly hidden around the area in places like trees, close to crosswalks, in between books at the library, on benches and more.
The initiative is part of The Community Company’s project to create self-care boxes where clients of HOPE House had the opportunity to become creators for the project by coming up with products to include in the self-care box and actually making them by hand.
“I suffer from mental health issues and I think a lot of us do as well. That's why we joined the team. We have first-hand experience on what it's like to deal with mental health. So all of us had fun putting it all together. That kind of uplifted our spirits,” said creator Sarah Anderson.
Creator Ame Papatsie said he feels that a lot of people in this world feel like they are not a part of the community because they suffer from loneliness and when they find a book hidden, they will think it was meant for them to find.
“It is very uplifting for me knowing that somebody is going to care for themselves,” said Papatsie.
“It takes a group of people to take care of the community and then it takes one community to take care of the people.”
The self-care box available for sale on the company website made by the five creators contains a self-care booklet with positive quotes and reminders, a handmade bracelet with a lava bead, a gratitude card to share with people, three unique tea blends made by the team in partnership with GROSCHE Coffee and Tea, and coupons for the first 100 customers for the local business in Guelph that offer self-care items and activities.
Half the profits are shared with the creators.
The mastermind behind The Community Company, Justin Chan, said he wanted this project to present an opportunity for community members to be add value to the world and learn together.
Chan said hiding the self-care booklets gives it the excitement of self-discovery.
“As I'm making stuff, I'm bringing the team to help me make stuff. I don't know what I'm doing either and I'm working on my own thing but everyone is doing this with me and were creating these ideas together and were creating marketing strategies together,” said Chan.
“My vision with The Community Company is just to have a community where everyone can inspire and create. So for me, I get a lot of joy and I'm at my best when I'm inspiring others when I'm creating something and putting value out there.”
He said the initiatives like this aren't executed overnight and this one required six months of dedication where the team met every week and took steps toward their goal by trying different teas to create a blend and coming up with ideas for inspiration.
“It was just a combination of things that were important to our creators in terms of self-care and things that they like to do for self-care,” said Chan.
“We found it really therapeutic to put stuff together.”
With orders coming in from across Canada for the boxes, the creators believe the intention of spreading positivity reflects in their products.
“It’s therapeutical. Whenever we get together we always get along. Were like a family,” said Papatsie.
Chan said the Community Company typically works with different kinds of people. He said when The Community Box project is officially over, they will be showcasing the creators’ individual art on The Community Company’s website such as crochet.
“I think using the community company as a platform to promote all of the stuff they do I think is awesome,” said Chan.
Mahony said the entire journey with Chan being a part of The Community Company and giving back to the community has been remarkable.
“He's so easy to work with. He makes you feel like a person. He makes you feel like a somebody,” said Mahony.