The Waves of Healing Collection is comprised of six pieces inspired by Rachel Mehl and the various phases of her cancer journey: Feeling Loved, Accepting Asymmetry, Finding Balance, and Moving Forward.
During the month of June, 100% of profits from this collection and 10% of all online sales will be donated to Rachel + Project Koru.
When Sara approached me about this line, I was so excited to have the opportunity to turn a horrific experience into something exquisite. Having had my right breast removed and subsequent rejection of my implant, I was left with a very asymmetrical body and grappling to find wholeness again. SASHA pieces have historically been constructed in stunning and elegant ways that delight our human attraction to symmetry. However, I asked Sara if she'd be willing to try something that mirrored my imbalance, worried that this might be asking too much. Without batting an eye, she made magic happen.
It's hard to put into words just what this line means to me. To start, I feel so unimaginably loved by my friend Sara, as well as everyone who made this project happen. That kind of feeling is vital to healing. It was also a powerful experience to reflect upon all I've been through over the past 3 years and to try to convey it three-dimensionally. The pieces feel like an extension of me, so when people see the beauty in them and what they represent, it helps me to see the beauty within myself and my circumstances.
When Rachel’s shared that she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, I started brainstorming ways to “help” - hoping to raise some awareness + funds. Initially, I made Rachel a colorful pair of earrings, if nothing else, to let her know I was thinking about her. About a year ago, I approached Rachel about a possible collection. Being a tried and true procrastinator, not much evolved on my end. Towards the end of last year, Rachel was on the road to remission, so I was hesitant about the idea of drudging up memories or feelings that maybe she wouldn’t want to explore. But in typical Rachel fashion, she was excited about the idea and has kept me + this project on track since.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the last five months of our collaborating is how crucial support is after the fact. It’s very easy to rally around a person or situation when it’s all happening, but what about when everything appears better? I feel insanely grateful Rachel has let me be a part of her story of healing and pushed me to think outside of my symmetrical design comfort.
Project Koru has been an integral part of Rachel’s healing process. From Rachel:
I stumbled upon Project Koru late one night when I fell down an internet rabbit hole, and am so happy I did! The org was started by Tonia Farman after her brother, Scott, passed away from Leukemia. She and Garret Zallen, a pediatric surgeon, wanted to provide a community and opportunity for young adult (ages 18-39) cancer survivors to reclaim some of what the disease took from them--empowerment, adventure, body confidence, to name a few. I was lucky enough to attend their surf camp in Maui in 2017, and it was a profound experience. I'd received the news of my rediagnosis only a few days before my planned flight there. After confirming with my doctors (ok, insisting!) that I could still go, I was welcomed by my new Ohana (Hawaiian for Family) with open arms. Getting to spend time with other survivors who "get it" is a vital part of healing; getting to be with them during such an especially terrifying time was exactly what I needed.