A year ago I was introduced to a very special company, Mala Imports. From the moment I met Ashley Wray and Matt Bateman, I instantly fell in love with these two soul mates. Ashley is such an amazing person with an incredible heart. She is a strong business woman who is always finding ways to give back and is considerate to others needs. Matt is a grounded soul that lights up any room with his big smile. He is so funny and will have you busting a gut laughing. The energy that radiates from them when they are together and also as individuals is magnetic. I can’t tell you how the story of how they came to find Mala truly touched my heart and captivated me (see story below). It was such a blessing to have the opportunity to meet them and I knew that a feature on BB411 was something that had to happen. Not only do I love supporting companies who are run by people who have the kindest of hearts, but knowing all the good that comes from buying a Mala makes it an absolute MUST. We sat there for hours sharing laughs and they taught me more about life with Mala. So sit back, enjoy and let your heart and soul warm with love!
BB411~What is the story behind Mala Imports and how you found it?
MI~We first discovered the beauty and healing qualities of Aum Rudruksha Designs jewelry while in Bali, Indonesia. (We had hit a crossroad in life and weren’t feeling fulfilled in our jobs and were busy for the sake of being busy. So we quit, packed up, and went backpacking.) During our time in Bali we found the jewelry in a beautiful open air yoga studio called the Yoga Barn. We bought some jewelry, and then continued to return to buy some more – and do yoga of course! Mid-flight from Bali to Thailand, a tall woman with dark hair sat down next to us. Her name was Soma. She was drawn to our aura and simply wanted to chat, she said. After a few minutes, she noticed Matt’s bracelet — rudraksha beads and lava for strength and clarity. Soma happened to be the maker of the jewelry. (“We love it!” we said.) We listened as she shared her story — how she is on a journey to spread the love of rudraksha jewelry as the beads are believed to bring peace. Now, we’re feeling more fulfilled then ever, helping Soma on her journey, and creating our own in the process.
BB411~Is Mala Imports partnered or involved with any charities?
MI~We love supporting both our local community, and giving back to the island where the jewelry is made. The creation process in Bali provides numerous jobs for locals — from the planting of the rudraksha trees, to the harvesting stage. And the best part is that it’s all fair trade. Even better — all the employees benefit from profit-sharing of world-wide sales! In addition, support is given to the high priests in Bali, Indonesia who often perform their ceremonies for free. We’re also very proud to donate a portion of our profits to a non-profit birthing and wellness center in Bali called Bemi Sehat. The center is run by Robin Lim — the recent winner of the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year award. Mala Imports is also conscious in donating to and attending events where we can give back. We donate to organizations like Karma Teachers, who offer free yoga to those on Vancouver’s Downtown East Side to promote the act of selfless giving, and the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization, which offers mentoring to youth. We also love sharing the goals of inspiring, local organizations like Girlvana – which is working to promote female empowerment and consciousness in young women through yoga, meditation and a healthy lifestyle. Giving back makes us feel pretty great!
BB411~Where do you see your business going in the next 1, 5 & 10 years?
MI~Right now, we’re constantly receiving emails and phone calls from people telling us how the Malas have changed their lives, and the impact the jewelry has made on them. It’s one of or favourite aspects, and definitely one of the most rewarding. So in the upcoming years, we see those types of connections growing as we spread the jewelry to more people around the world.
BB411~Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty?
MI~Yes, of course. We have an appreciate for fashion of different cultures and countries. From the high street shops of the U.K., to the relaxed fashions of Bali.
MI~I have a favourite Mala – the Namaste Mala. It features Jasper, Leopardskin, and Agate. The necklace is for strength, comfort, harmony, and balance. And I love that Namaste means to ‘honour the spirit’ within you. Matt’s favourite is the Fire Allies Mala – which features lava for strength and clarity. It was believed Native Americans would take the stone into battle for those attributes.
BB411~ I love both of those! My favourite has to be the West Coast Mala I have from when we first met (shown in picture). Probably because of the turquoise, burgundy and brown, all of which I love and find balancing. Every time I wear it I still get so many compliments.
BB411~What does beauty mean to you?
MI~Discovering your inner beauty and inner peace. Some people find that through yoga, meditation, exercise, giving back, or simply putting on something that makes you feel great. We think it’s a combination of all those things.
BB411~What is one thing you would want people to know about Mala?
MI~That anyone can wear a Mala. Although the jewelry has been used for prayer and meditation for centuries, it’s meant to be worn by anyone seeking a calmer mind, body, and spirit. When Soma started making the jewelry, her mission was to spread the rudraksha beads to more people in the West, as the beads are believed to embody peace and calming energies. Combining the Malas with the gemstones opens the traditional jewelry to a new audience of people. Overall, it’s promoting a conscious lifestyle. A lifestyle that allows you to feel good about buying a piece of jewelry because you know it’s helping others, and makes you feel great in the process.
BB411~3 beauty products you carry with you always?
MI~Chaptick, hand lotion, and our Malas!
BB411~Do you have a best kept beauty secret that have been passed on to you?
MI~Not one that was passed on, but one that we feel amazing about. The feeling after experiencing a great yoga class or workout session. And a great sleep.
BB411~If you could tell your younger self one thing you know now what would it be?
MI~That you can do anything, it just depends on your outlook on life and the attitude you take.
I absolutely loved featuring Mala Imports and thank Ashley and Matt for opening their hearts and sharing their story. I look forward to all the success to come for them on their incredible journey. I also want to send a very special, beautiful birthday wish to Ashley who shares the same November 6th birthday as myself! To find out more about Mala Imports and hear about all the amazing things they have going on, check out their website or follow on facebook & TwitterRemember to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!
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Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411