Judith's Journal: Empowering + Thanking Women on International Women's Day

“Empowering women through wellness”

This four-word phrase is at the heart of everything we do here at Mala and Mantra. It’s not only part of our brand tagline, but it’s also the reason I started this company to begin with and has been foundational to our mission at M+M. That’s why we partner with a fair trade cooperative of women in the Philippines to handcraft every Mala and Mantra piece, giving them a safe work environment and fair wages in exchange.

We truly believe that if we can empower resource-poor women with fair, sustainable income, then we can have a positive impact on how they spend that income, whether it’s used for feeding their families, paying for their children’s education or contributing to the well-being of their communities as a whole.


We also believe that women are born nurturers, educators, leaders, influencers, creators and problem solvers. So if we empower women artisans, we can help develop their innate skills and talents, which will ultimately help them grow, thrive and make a societal contribution. By providing women with fair wages, a safe work environment and a community of other talented women who are their peers, they all develop a greater sense of self-confidence and realize that they’re part of a team, learning to support and rely on one another and creating a true sense of sisterhood in the process.

As we get ready to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, I’ve been reflecting on some of the strong women in my own life and how they have helped shape me into the woman I am today.  First, I am grateful to my mother for giving me the lens through which I see the world—with a great appreciation for beauty, the desire to create and design, the confidence to be whoever I put my mind to be, and the strength and will to pursue my dreams and goals.  I also thank her for showing me unconditional love and being a great example of selfless compassion.

I’m also grateful to the many women who have inspired and challenged me along the way, and thank them all for what they’ve taught me about myself and how they’ve helped me develop and grow into who I am now.  Some of these women came into my life at a certain time for a special reason—some have come and gone, others have stayed for many years, but they’ve all played an important role in my personal development and I honor that.

I have been fortunate to have several female mentors throughout my journey who believed in me; supported my dreams and passions; and provided me with advice, resources, encouragement and tools to achieve my goals. To them, I am ever grateful and I hope to do what they did for me for other women in pursuit of their dreams.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt “thank you” to all of the women who have had an imprint in my life. Thank you for your love, support, guidance, wisdom, compassion, honesty, integrity, intelligence and beauty.

I would also like to thank all of the amazing women artisans in our fair trade cooperative in the Philippines, who with their hands create every single piece of jewelry with incredible care and positive intention. Your energy is infused into every piece of Mala and Mantra jewelry that travels throughout the world. With your individual and collective chi (energy), you are helping to provide wellness to the world one mala bead at a time. And for that, we are all grateful.

Happy International Women's Day!