It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the negativity that is going on in the world today, especially when there’s access to it right at our fingertips.
What better way to use the power of social media than to create a social movement “to make kindness a conscious and constant part of our everyday lives?”
The Kind Way is a social movement, using “The Kind Mural” as a symbolic vehicle to promote good vibes around the globe.
The founders, Rebekah Rinehart and Sarah Nelson, are natives to South Dakota and alumni of the University of South Dakota.
Rebekah majored in communication studies with a minor in English. While Sarah majored in business marketing, she says she enjoyed the creative side a little bit more so she added a minor in art with a graphic design emphasis.
The two have been using their combined forces of passion, creativity, and caring souls since October 2017. Kind Murals can be found in Nashville, Chicago, and now Sioux Falls.
Recently the two returned to their home state to show it a little love. Located in the Empire Mall food court, the two barely slept to create the third mural.
As they plan to make this movement global, Dallas, Minneapolis, and Denver will be seeing some of their kindness within the next few months.
THE EARLY WORKINGS
“I was on a train from Cannes, France to Paris, and I witnessed a small act of kindness that sparked the idea,” said Rinehart. “I decided that I wanted to start a movement, something that would reach the masses and make an impact. I thought a mural would be perfect, except I can’t paint. Sarah was a co-worker, a sorority sister, a dear friend, and a sensational artist. She has brought it to life, I couldn’t imagine going on this adventure with anyone else!”
Nelson recalls the night Rinehart called her about the movement.
“She asked if I would be willing to paint a mural. I said yes, but on the inside I was completely hesitant. Who would let an amateur paint on their wall?” joked Nelson. “Being a part of The Kind Way has truly been the greatest thing I’ve ever been a part of – it has taught me even more about kindness, perseverance, and how far a small act of kindness goes in someone’s life.”
They decided from the beginning that wildflowers would be the symbol/branding that would be incorporated into each mural. However, since the message is represented in so many ways, they had a difficult time settling on one “design” or “object” that defined it. Not long after, they discovered the saying that kindness can grow as quickly and as beautifully as wildflowers – thus “spread kindness like wildflowers.”
When choosing a design for a city, the two collaborate on how they want the design to somehow relate to the individual city, but still tie in their wildflowers. Each mural has either a quote regarding kindness or simply, “Kindness is ___”.
This gives spectators the opportunity to be the focal point. The artists want these projects to be interactive, with people sharing their own pictures of the murals and captioning what it means to them.
“But really, the final design doesn’t come out until it’s up on the wall. I like to roughly sketch out an idea first, and what’s nice is that Bekah can read my mind of what and how it actually looks in my head,” said Nelson. “I freehand everything knowing and risking that I will make mistakes, but that’s what makes it fun and challenging.”
MORE THAN MURALS
Each mural created by the duo is painted “In Honor Of” or “In Memory Of” a person, group, organization, etc. that embodies kindness in their work and life as a whole. The Empire Mall’s mural recognizes the two founders’ families, both still residing in the Sioux Falls area: The Nelson and Rinehart families.
In addition to the pieces of art, they have “The Kind Jacket,” which incorporates different hand-painted designs with their branding of wildflowers and quotes regarding their mantra.
They are also in the process of designing t-shirts and creating a new lifestyle blog that will cover topics like recipes, life’s joys and struggles, workouts, movie and book recommendations, their favorite products, fashion, etc.
For more information, visit thekindwayoflife.com.