Arizona Misfits Project hopes to unite the outcasts - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Arizona Misfits Project hopes to unite the outcasts

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Posted: Monday, December 12, 2011 8:00 am

Growing up in Ahwatukee Foothills Colin Haines didn't always make the best decisions, but now he has an idea that he's hoping will change the way people think about misfits.

"The term misfit is so broad," Haines said. "Typically, you think of an outsider or some kind of delinquent. I want to kind of make sure that we stray away from that typical stereotype of a misfit. When I think of misfits I think of the characters from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." They're just kicked down and not accepted. A square peg in a round hole. That's what I want to turn into a more positive situation. These kids are misfits, but look what they're doing."

In late 2009 Haines was in search of a way to make the misfits fit in and give them something positive to be a part of. That's where the idea for his Arizona Misfits clothing line came from.

It's just a simple brand that Haines hopes to put on shirts, hats or swimwear, but he hopes it will catch fire and eventually unite people.

The idea is that the clothing will not only make people aware of what unites us all as Arizona residents, but will eventually raise enough money to give back to the community and create some positivity.

"Throughout my adolescence my group of friends, including myself, we did our teenager thing," Haines said. "We broke stuff and stole stuff, and we got kind of lost. I myself really struggled in addiction, alcoholism and stuff like that. I can't begin to say all the things I feel bad about. I really owe amends to a lot of people. I want to try to give back to the community as a whole in that positive light. I want to make up in a way for the things we did and there's so many groups that need it."

Haines is working on designs for the clothing line, and has a local designer who has offered to help come up with designs as well. He has also selected local shops to help have the clothing printed.

In July, after being sober for two years, Haines had $1,000 saved up to begin his project. Then, he was hit by a drunk driver with no insurance and no license. All of his savings went to fixing his own car.

He was back at square one.

Now, he's turning to the community for help. His project was accepted onto kickstarter.com, a website that allows people to donate to different projects to help them get off the ground. It's a long shot to get the funding, but it's something Haines is passionate about.

"I'm in it for the long haul," Haines said. "I'm not in it for the money. I just want to be a part of it. I just want to make enough money to keep doing it. I don't want to fade away. This is for the misfits to finally fit in, and serve a positive purpose. I want to reach people and touch people, and relate with people, and do it in some fashionable threads.

"It felt like all these years of wondering what I'm destined to be, or what my purpose is, it just clicked. This could be it."

To help fund the project, visit kickstarter.com and search "Arizona Misfits." The group can also be found on Facebook by searching "AZ Misfits."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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