For my project I started a painted rock company called Stones4Seas, centred around raising both money and awareness for ocean conservation. In addition to regular rock sales, through the company I also hosted an ocean garage sale and two flied trips for elementary aged students. All in all, I was able to raise hundreds of dollars for local charities and had the opportunity to inspire others, especial children, to take care of the ocean and wildlife around themselves
For my service project I have created my own painted rock company called Stones4Seas. Each rock sold is hand painted by myself and 50% of all proceeds collected are donated towards charities that support the well being of our oceans and local environment. In addition to raising money, each rock is uniquely designed with the purpose of spreading awareness of ocean conservation throughout my community. Through this company, I have also lead some exciting events. In early August, I hosted a garage sale where 50% of the proceeds collected were donated to help local organisations focused on marine and environmental sustainability. This garage sale was designed to support reusing used items and also acted a way to kick start both my Stones4Seas company and my best friend’s homemade honey company, @royal_hannahbees_honey. Additionally, in late September I led a 2 day ocean conservation workshop for 37 grade 2 students at St. Mary’s Elementary school. In the workshop I taught students about plankton and its importance in the food chain. I then got each student to paint their own ocean themed rock by following a step by step painting lesson. One week later, I took all the students to Kitsilano beach where they explored for local marine life and placed their rock by the ocean to raise awareness for ocean conservation. This proved to be very effective as within the next month a daycare called Little Nomads contacted me about the rocks they saw. I was told that the children in the daycare had found the rocks and wondered what they were. In October, I went back to Kitsilano beach and led a similar flied trip for the little Nomads daycare.
What was your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge when I first created Stones4Seas was becoming known in the community. In the first few months, very few people followed my Instagram account and I felt as though no one really knew my company existed. I knew that if I wanted to overcome this problem I would have to think of a way to raise awareness of my company throughout my community. After deep thought and some help from friends and family, I devised a plan to run a summer garage sale. Through this sale I was able to both help the environment by reselling used items, while also gaining recognition for my company to all those who passed by my garage and saw my rocks on sale. This experience taught me a valuable lesson that when faced with a problem, it is important to look outside the box and use creativity to find solutions.
What was your most valuable takeaway?
The biggest “take away” I have learned from my project is that the best way to inspire others is through inspiration itself. When I was first contemplating my service project, I knew that I wanted to do something that would inspire others to help the oceans. Stones4Seas allowed me the opportunity to help the oceans while using my passions for art and teaching that I already had. As a result, I was passionate about the work I was doing and therefore able to inspire others with more of an impact than I ever have before. This taught me that one of our greatest superpowers in life is inspiration. When we do work that makes us feel inspired, it is almost guaranteed that we will make an impact on those around us