Sara Menniti and Krisstoffer Denis have been keeping busy while in quarantine due to coronavirus.
The couple, who are also students — Menniti in nursing and Denis in business — have developed a small business that was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were trying to keep busy by baking, being in the kitchen, and passing time that way,” said Menniti. “When we were baking, we were just so grateful that we were always able to open up our pantry and there was always food and stuff to bake with.
“It gave us a realization that not a lot of people are able to do that.”
So the West Islanders came up with an idea.
They’re selling rainbow bracelets, and stickers, that you can put almost anywhere, with half the proceeds going to Moisson Montreal.
They dubbed it Arc-en-semble.
“I see kids going around without their friends, just walking around, and you see them, they look so sad,” said Denis. “I feel like the rainbow itself is a sign of hope. Let’s say they’re wearing their rainbow bracelet and they look over and see a rainbow on a car, they’ll feel like they’re part of a collective mass — part of something bigger.”
The bracelets sell for $3 and the stickers for $2.
The couple has sold them through their Instagram, page by going door-to-door and even by reaching out to local businesses.
So far, Arc-en-semble has donated about $1,600 to Moisson Montreal.
A few weeks ago, Sophie McCann, West Island Community Shares executive director, said local food banks have been seeing a 20 to 50 per cent increase in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The non-profit was coming up with new ways to raise money for food banks, including asking West Islanders to grow a garden and donate the crops.
The students say as the province slowly begins to deconfine, they hope their products remain as a symbol of hope.
“Even though we’re coming out, it’s to remember that something has happened. We can’t act like nothing happened.
“Some people have lost loved ones, some people have struggled through hardships. It’s [the rainbow] to realize that we’ve all made it out.”