Behind the Brand: How Mala & Me Promotes Mindfulness & Sustainability Through Jewelry
While Mala & Me may technically be considered a jewelry brand, the founders view their business more as a hub for health and connection. Sisters and co-founders, Sabrina and Amanda Magyar, want their brand to support people through their personal journeys and remind their community that everyone has a purpose in life.
They started the brand a few years ago while making malas—prayer beads—for their friends and family, but quickly grew as they identified a gap in the market for intentional jewelry. Their pieces are meant to be both beautiful and cultivate a lifestyle of purpose.
“We grew up in a family where chanting, prayer and basically anything alternative was mainstream,” Sabrina says. “We started to play around with malas and people started approaching us, asking if they could buy them.”
Malas are sets of beads traditionally used by Hindus, Buddhists, and yoga practitioners to keep count while reciting prayers, chanting, meditating, or repeating a mantra. However, the founders intentionally created their malas to be non-denominational, while also reminding the wearer that they exist because they are loved. They do this by including a tag on each piece that reads “SOUL.” Each piece is also adorned with hand-selected, gold and silver-plated pendants that they say is based in sacred geometry and nature.
The malas they design and sell each have their own unique colors, meaning, and way of bringing out emotion in people. “People will be drawn to different colors depending on how they are currently feeling in their life,” Sabrina says. “Half of the people who come into our space start to talk about an emotional experience, whether that be a hard time they are going through or a personal experience they had. Our goal is getting people to a place that they have enough awareness in their own space that they can see ‘Oh, this color feels good.’”
The malas are made from natural gemstones and are meant to be a piece of nature that is used to guide people towards awareness that love is the only way. Sabrina says that if you can go beyond the description of their malas and feel and think about their colors, you will connect with them on a deeper level.
This mindfulness in the design and creation of these necklaces and bracelets is also reflected in founders’ three main values for their brand: love, sincerity, and accountability.
“There is an abundance of love that goes into every piece, so when we are looking after ourselves (hiking, prayer, foods, fun), and providing genuine service to others (listening, support, etc), we find that we continually evolve and get inspired. So new pieces are always built on a foundation of love,” Sabrina says.
They also make it a practice to really listen to their community and to the people that come into their Fourpost Studio Shop. And when they mess up, they try to maintain openness and honesty by being accountable for their mistakes.
Sabrina says that the more honest they are with themselves, the more they can see possibilities for sustainability in their pieces and for growth in their business.
Striving for Sustainability & Ethical Business Practices
While the sisters began making their malas by hand, they quickly realized that they wanted to scale up. They took a trip to Thailand and found a local supplier to source beads and employ the women who string the malas by hand. Mala & Me focuses on ethical business practices with their employees in Bangkok, noting that they make fair wages and enjoy an excellent work/life balance.
“Everyone is paid a fair wage and are having a good time while they work,” Sabrina says. “They make the malas in their houses or local coffee shops, socializing together as women.” Their employees even begin their day with twenty minutes of meditation to infuse their work with the practice.
They also have their grandmother and team in Canada continue to make their bracelets. They say that this keeps the creativity in their space, and allows their guests to order custom pieces or adjust the size if needed.
The quality of their stones are important to them as well as they want to create authentic pieces that connect people to nature. Eventually, they plan on traveling to explore where their gemstones are mined and how they’re mined. “You can tell right away when you’re feeling something that’s not real,” Sabrina says. “It’s a piece of nature, just like how when you go to the woods or ocean, you can feel the balance of it all.”
However, they see that step a little farther down the road for them. Right now, they plan on continuing to grow with sustainable business practices and focusing on what makes them unique.
“As the business started to grow and we started to do workshops, we saw that innately people gravitated to who we are. We can sit and talk to anyone, about anything, for long periods of time. We want to help people connect with something bigger than themselves and find freedom in their lives,” says Sabrina.
Learn more about their brand and shop them at Fourpost in Mall of America.