YOU ARE Collective is a gathering of women that aims to connect & create a space of belonging and awareness through an annual women’s conference.
Our purpose is to create an ongoing event that transforms and empowers the lives of those in our community locally and nationwide by bringing awareness of mental health through the art of lettering, community, and the power of words.
In 2016 our co-founder, Cherelle Posadas, had an interest in learning the art of lettering (as it was seen as becoming a very popular trend on social media). She was inspired by Instagram, taught by her best friend, and eventually attended a workshop.
Being a stay-at-home mom, Cherelle suffered through identity, lack of community, and struggled with postpartum blues. She began to feel that something was missing. At her first workshop was where she found true community, a place of belonging.
Everyday as she practiced her new creative outlet of hand lettering, she chose words of affirmations and encouraging messages to write. This is when she saw a shift in her mindset. She began to believe in the power of words and how they can build or break you. As she discovered more of this art, she started purposeful projects that reflected on words. One of the projects was called, 13 You Are.
In 2017, Netflix released a TV series titled 13 Reasons Why based on the novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The series revolves around seventeen-year-old high school student, Clay Jensen, and his deceased friend Hannah Baker, who has killed herself after having to face a culture of gossip and sexual assault at her high school and a lack of support from her friends and her school.
The bases of this storyline sparked a challenge in Cherelle to use her new found skills to create beautiful handwritten cards that inspired hope by giving friends, family, and strangers 13 reasons why they mattered.
She created the #13REASONSWHYCHALLENGE and shared it on her social media. For 13 days, sets of 13 words and 13 cards were created by individuals in her community who joined the challenge. Each person that participated in the challenge shared that they realized that these simple creative reminders were things they needed, and so do others.
In 2018, Cherelle wanted to be intentional with her projects. She wanted to grow what she started the previous year into something more. She relaunched 13 You Are with 13 different artists creating 13 cards and a clothing campaign to continue to support the vision behind “13 You Are”.
Cherelle also started teaching brush lettering workshops. Each student who attends her workshops is given a card made by one of the 13 You Are collaborative artists. A part of the workshop fees were given to an organization called Lost Got Found. (Lost Got Found is dedicated to eliminating the negative stigma surrounding mental health. The organization exists to educate students about mental illness and suicide prevention and encourages individuals who have been affected to share their stories and connect with others.)
Not only does she teach the basics of brush lettering, but she gives her students a foundation of what it means to empower others and themselves with words.
For 2019, Cherelle wanted to be more bold with her projects. She reached out to close friends and family casting the same vision of 13 Your Are, but with more impact. This grand vision would give You Are a broader reach in our community and bring a creative outlook to mental health awareness around the world.
As the vision manifested into plans, she revisited a partnership to create a passion project with Syzette, our other Co-Founder, an original 13 You Are supporter, a leader and good friend. What once was a one person project, became a team of four; where we rebranded 13 You Are to You Are Collective.
A life-changing experience!
And now, we want to share with you the many reasons why you should support this campaign…Because,
You are life-changing.
We want to share awareness for our mental health that when we create daily
affirmations in our life, we begin to transform and believe the power
of building our self-talk, confidence, love, and worth. Then we create
life-changing decisions, to grow for ourselves.
You are loved.
We want you to build that love for yourself and learn to build it with others
that are liked minded.
You are connected to reason.
We want you to feel connected through the words, the community and know
that there are reasons why you exist.
You are not alone.
We want you to tell your story and allow your words to create a new perspective and connection to others. We want you to find sisters through a solid foundation of support, love, and hope through all your challenges and struggles you face; knowing that you are not alone.
You are inspiring.
We want you to feel inspired to give reminders to others of their value + worth to this world.
You are powerful.
We want to create + empower a community of people who want
to stop the lies we tell ourselves, and the lies that others tell us,
to start living a life fueled by positivity + art of lettering + breaking the stigma.
Because of you… because of your story… YOU ARE the reason for You Are Collective.
(Syzette, Cherelle, Liz)
- Cherelle Posadas Co-Founder – Creative Executive Officer
- Syzette Gountang Co-Founder – Project Executive Officer
- Elizabeth Pagan Core Collaborator – Marketing Executive
- Chip Gountang Core Collaborator – Business Development Executive
We are a team of individuals who are incredibly passionate about this project. We are driven by our purpose to create a life-changing experience while igniting hope, love, and power through the art of lettering and bringing awareness to mental health.
This is why we need your help. We know we can’t do life alone and it takes a community to make something happen for the better. We can not create an experience without you being a part of the process. If you would like to show your support, take a look below and see some of the ways you can help.
DONATE: By far the most important way to support this project is to make a donation towards our initiative.
With donations, we can: 1) Bring our event into different cities across the country so everyone can experience the most unforgettable event 2) Provide financial support to our existing team of amazing volunteers and contributors.
SHARING IS CARING: If this project resonates with you, please share our website & social media page on all your social media platforms.