Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Ever since being a kid I have always been creative and was the type that got bored easily doing one thing at a time. I am fueled by passion and guided by my heart and nothing less! I am a yoga teacher, lifestyle photographer and of course have done all the odd jobs over the years like working retail and babysitting to pay. Over the last 5 years I’ve been to 29 countries with a backpack and less than $30 bucks a day. I have volunteered in most countries I’ve visited because for example, taking care of street dogs in Thailand in exchange for 3 meals a day and a bed is awesome, it is the best way to get to know a culture and it filled my soul in a way nothing else could.
What exactly is Malas With A Mission?
Malas With a Mission sells malas handmade by a family in India and gives 100% of the profits to your choice of women’s empowerment, education, dog rescue or solar energy.
What inspired you to start Malas With A Mission?
I’ve left my heart with organizations that take care of people and animals across the world. Malas With a Mission was born with a long standing desire to give back to the organizations that touched my soul by bringing together my love for yoga, travel, philanthropy and entrepreneurship to make a sustainable & ongoing impact. In september 2017 I made my first journey to India. I walked into a small family run business on the east side of the Ganges River in Rishikesh. In the back of the shop, beautiful hand knotted malas were hung from a peg board. I talked with the business owner’s son, a quiet guy named Ashish who spoke english. I learned his mother makes all the malas and that his dad built the family business from nothing, giving his two sons an education and food on the table. They were the kindest people and their prices were the best in town. There was trust. I bought a mala for myself and a few days later I was back to buy 75 more. I think their eyes popped out of their sockets with disbelief. I didn’t have the whole business and logistics figured out yet, and I spent a ton of money I didn’t really have, but I took the risk because I was searching for a bigger way to give back. I told Ashish about my idea to donate the money from selling the malas and I had their blessing. Before I left the shop, the dad gifted me with a rose quartz bracelet to help me continue leading from my heart.
How did you come up with the name?
I am usually so terrible at naming things, but Malas With A Mission came to me quite easily and had a nice ring to it! So it was a no brainer.
Where are your products sold? Are they sold in stores?
What is your favorite part about running Malas With A Mission?
My favorite part about running Malas With A Mission is the first day of every month. On the 1st I send donations to each organization and it gives me goosebumps every time. Before I always felt like I didn’t have enough money to give and I had a hard time believing in abundance. Now I am giving more than I ever imagined- and this is just the beginning. In 2018 Malas With A Mission has given $1,185 to support the missions of women’s empowerment, education, dog rescue and solar energy!
What is your least favorite part about running Malas With A Mission?
My least favorite part of running Malas With A Mission is the days when I start feeling overwhelmed and useless. I usually cry it out and then I feel way better after clearing all the yucky stuff. I give myself a break and step away and try again the next day.
Is there a favorite product?
My favorites are all of the Mini Collection! The mini malas are the perfect size, weight and length without being too bulky. They still have 108 beads but are smaller! I wear my mini malas all day even through teaching or taking a yoga class!
You give back with every purchase, can you tell us about that?
When you buy a mala, there is a little popup that asks you to select your favorite mission: women’s empowerment, education, dog rescue or solar energy. I literally just take the purchase price of your mala, calculate 25% of that and give it to your selected mission. About 50% is how much the mala costs to buy/ ship it from India and the last 25% is what I need to run the business!
How do you spread the word about your company?
I use Instagram a lot! I’ve been connecting with other accounts as much as possible and building connections with people. If you have quality content and are consistent with posting and interacting on Instagram it can be an awesome tool for small businesses. I wear a mala every day and people often ask me what it is, and then that opens a fun can of worms! I have a few friends as ambassadors as well that wear my malas. And lastly, word of mouth from customers is key!
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up. Be patient. Don’t half-ass anything. Lead from your heart. Don’t do it for money. Work really hard. And trust that you are always guided!
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? ☺
“Start where you are.”
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Thank you for the opportunity to be featured and Namaste! 🙂