My story begins a lot like many other 20-something artists, eager to take on the world but too broke to really commit to anything. I was a recent graduate from the University of Victoria in Visual Arts and Art History. I wanted to tap into a way to combine my two great passions - my spark for creating and yoga.
I began practicing yoga when I was 7 years old. My step mom was running weekend Innerscape Retreats in Bragg Creek, Alberta. It wasn’t love at first down dog (I’ll tell you that much) but over the years, I learned to listen to my breath, to let go and to look inward.
In 2013, I took a trip with my best friend that opened my eyes to the beauty of our world. On my travels, I had only 3 intentions:
1. Take photos (and never stop taking photos).
2. Practice yoga every day.
3. Figure out what I wanted to ‘do’ with my life.
Along our travels, I brought a mantra with me. It was one that I had heard from my local guru. ‘Om shanti shanti shantihi’ which translates to ‘om peace, peace, perfect peace’. This was something I kept close to my heart and kept repeating while on my epic adventure. One day while meditating with a mala on the beaches of Cambodia, I had one of those mind-wandering moments. I kept repeating my mantra and thought about how I’d love to make these amazing malas for people. A possibility lightly emerged in my mind, and started to burst out like fireworks. Could I make jewelry for people? Should I start my own company? What in the world would I call it? ‘Peace Jewels’?
That’s when it hit me. The Shanti Collective was my answer.
My eyes popped open and my heart started beating. I loved the sound of that. A peaceful collective of spiritual jewelry, made for others to find their own sense of inner tranquility. The idea for Shanti Collective had been born. I let that little seed grow in my mind and when we got to Bali, I let it flourish.
While shopping in the town of Ubud, I realized I was in the perfect city to inspire the Shanti Collective. I met amazing women, who taught me the history behind malas, why they have 108 beads and how they are a gift in so many different ways. I ended up transporting so many beads home that my already maxed-out pack was threatening to explode.
The Shanti Collective is a manifestation of many things in my life. My intention is to create more than just a finished product. It is to create a talisman of a more peaceful and beautiful gift, one that keeps giving beyond me. I have always had a love for stones and the energies they hold. For that reason, I have picked each one with intention, in hopes that these malas can act as a vessel to lead you to peace, calm and harmony.
I hope you enjoy your mala + the wonderful journey you have together.