We find many days to celebrate throughout the year here at Mala and Mantra, but one day that holds a sacred place in our hearts is March 8th – International Women’s Day. From the very beginning, Mala and Mantra set out to M-power women through wellness, and at the core of our organization, there is a group of mindful makers who just happen to be the most amazing group of women you’ll ever meet.
I am deeply grateful to our customers, our Carlsbad staff, and our Fair Trade cooperative of female artisans in the Philippines, who have proven that a beautiful kind of magic happens when women support other women. To honor the divine feminine energy that powers everything we do here at Mala and Mantra, we’d like to introduce you to some of the talented women on our team.
In 2009 I was fortunate to come across a talented group of women artisans which was a fair trade cooperative in the Philippines making jewelry and accessories. At the time I met them I had not yet come up with the idea for Mala and Mantra, nor knew how I may some day work with them. I kept them in the back of my mind as I recognized they did high quality work and paid great attention to detail in their craftsmanship. I was drawn to their social enterprise and how it was formed in order to provide sustainable income for women of a community which had been resettled. Fast forward over 14 years later and I am honored to have been work with this talented group of women artisans for the past 10 years who hand-craft the majority of our mala bead jewelry.
Before we embarked on this journey to create a mindful and meaningful brand of jewelry and accessories I set the intention to find experts in areas which were not our strengths, including Accounting and Bookkeeping. We were fortunate to meet our bookkeeper Rachelle 10 years ago and she has been with us ever since. Rachelle is one of the smartest, talented, patient, and friendly women I know and I am grateful to have her as a advisor who always makes time to help.
I met Romana, our social media manager and lifestyle photographer over 14 years ago while working on a resort project in Los Cabos, Mexico. Romana has a great style which comes through her lens and words so I reached out to her in 2015 to help create lifestyle photography for M+M. Since then Romana has created most of the imagery for our brand and developed our photography and social media aesthetic. Romana also is a world traveler, editor, and wedding photographer whose work has been featured in Vogue, Elle, and CN Traveler.
There are some women who have an innate sense of style which comes through in everything they touch and do, which is what our Design and Merchandising Assistant, Tara, has. Tara has an incredible eye and impeccable taste which allows her to creatively contribute to M+M's design direction. Whether it's designing a new color palette, merchandising a new collection, or packaging. Tara always provides insightful perspective both as a creative and as a consumer. Tara also recently received her reiki certification and reikis some of the crystals used in M+M collections.
It is amazing when I think about our graphic designer, Caroline, and how we have never met in person and have been working together for 6 years. Caroline has made a large creative contribution to M+M with her design style helping to set brand standards and guidelines, establishing new aesthetics, and modernizing the brand as it has evolved through the years. Caroline's attention to detail has help distinguish the M+M brand and create brand awareness.
Tarryn graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York and designed her own line of handbags under the Tarryn Simone label where she worked with artisans in Spain to create her one of a kind designs and is an award winning accessories designer. I recognized her design talent as well as her budding interest in photography. Tarryn has been using her good eye and developing her photography skills with M+M for the past year and a half. With Tarryn's extensive design background she is also helping with new product development and design, an area where she can make a creative contribution.
There is a certain type of person who can make people feel taken care of and heard. This person needs to possess excellent interpersonal communication skills, patience, kindness, intelligence, and poise. We were fortunate to meet Laura who not only cares for our customers by providing world class Customer Service, she also takes ownership and pride in everything she does. Laura is a new addition to M+M and we are so grateful to have her on our team.
The most recent edition to our team is Amy, our copywriter. Copywriting is not something which comes naturally to me so I have always sought after writers who can learn and speak our brand voice authentically. I have had several copywriters through the years, some being able to identify with our brand well and others not so much. I was thrilled when the first assignment I gave Amy came in and she immediately started speaking in our brand voice. I am excited to have her share the stories behind Mala and Mantra.
I believe in the ideal that empowered women empower women and I look forward to being able to empower more women artisans, creatives, and professionals as we grow the M+M brand.
Happy International Women's Day to all of the amazing women on Team M+M and around the world.