Phil Castle, The Business Times
Lynnea Tai considers 2021 her best year in business by any measure — not only sales and revenue, but also the number of events in which she’s participated and the extent of her community outreach.
“It’s been a lot of work. But it’s amazing to me,” Tai said. “ I’ve never been so busy.”
Tai owns and operates DarcMoon, a Grand Valley business that makes and sells malas and mala kits as well as offers instruction.
While malas can be worn as necklaces and bracelets, they’ve long served a functional purpose in aiding meditation and prayers, she said.
Tai said she often crafts malas for specific customers, using different beads and gemstones because of the different properties she said they offer. Some stones calm, others heal and still others protect.
Tai said she enjoys connecting with her customers — hearing their stories and why the select certain stones. “I’m like a part of that person’s journey.”
She estimates she’s created 2,000 malas this year. A full mala includes 108 beads and 115 hand-tied knots.
She works with a part-time employee, CeCe Burgess, who makes malas and manages her website. Tai said she also gets help from a 9-year-old apprentice who makes and sells her own malas.
Tai said she’s sold malas to customers from 35 states and hopes to soon increase that number to 50.
She sells her products through her website, but also at retail locations in the Grand Valley and Denver. She also participated in a total of 40 farmers markets and other events in the Grand Valley and other locations around Colorado.
Tai also makes it her business to teach others to make malas. She said she’s staged 30 workshops this year, including events in yoga studios and wineries as well as virtual presentations.
Her workshops also have taken her to venues outside of Colorado, She said she’s been invited to participate in a five-day international yoga retreat scheduled for January in Costa Rica.
Given her busy schedule in 2021, Tai said she expects to take some time early in 2022 to recuperate as well as replenish her inventory. But she’s also looking for property in the Grand Valley where she can offer retreats to her clients.
“I definitely see having a huge year next year, but maybe in a different way,” she said.
While Tai attributed her best year in business to hard work and a busy schedule, she also credited the support she’s received in the Grand Valley.
After graduating from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where she studied apparel merchandising and business marketing, she launched DarcMoon in Denver.
She decided to relocate to the Grand Valley, and said she’s since enjoyed the support she’s received from individuals and other small businesses.
“I’m very proud of the things I’ve done, but it wouldn’t be possible without the community.”
For more information about DarcMoon and its products and services, visit https://darc-moon.com.