Phil Castle, The Business Times
By her count, Lynnea Tai has created more than 8,000 malas, stringing together nearly a million beads and tying more than a million knots in the process.
But each mala is different, Tai said — as unique as a snowflake. She uses different gemstones because of the different properties she said they offer. Some stones calm, others heal and still others protect. Moreover, she often crafts her malas for specific customers.
Malas can be worn as necklaces and bracelets. But they’ve long served a functional purpose in aiding meditation and prayers, she said. “It’s a design that has 1,000 years of history behind it.”
Tai makes it her to business to create malas, teach others to create them and help her customers. She’s found what she considers a good location for her venture in the Grand Valley.
Tai launched DarcMoon to sell malas, mala kits and other products as well offer instructional workshops. She’s worked full-time in her venture for two years and relocated to the Grand Valley about a year ago. She hired a part-time employee to help with growing demand.
Tai studied apparel merchandising and business marketing at Colorado State University. She said she was inspired to create malas while backpacking through Europe and Asia.
She said she enjoys making both malas and connections with her customers — listening to their stories and why they select certain stones. “Working with the customers is super important to me.”
She sells products through her website. She also sells products at four locations: It’s a Plant Thing, 530 Main St., Suite A; the Bee Dynasty, 524 Colorado Ave.; and Mutual Friends, 429 Colorado Ave., in Grand Junction and Happy Trails at 217 E. Aspen Ave.
A full mala includes 108 beads and 115 hand-tied knots. The number of beads is significant, Tai said, because some cultures consider 108 a sacred number. She said it takes her about four hours to create a full mala.
Tai also makes smaller malas that can be worn as bracelets as well as keychains.
She accepts custom orders and also sells mala making kits. She leads virtual and in-person mala making workshops. Upcoming events are scheduled for Pressed and Ghost Rock Farm in Palisade.
Tai said she hopes to offer more workshops not only in the Grand Valley, but also in locations in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
She also foresees opportunities for mala making workshops as part of collaborative events that also yoga and other holistic practices.
In addition, she hopes to offer retreats and personal experiences for clients in the Grand Valley. There’s an opportunity to connect clients with the history and natural beauty of the area, she said.
At the same time, Tai said she’ll continue creating malas and creating connections with her customers. “I’m not one to sit still.”
For more information about DarcMoon and its products and services, visit the website located at https://darc-moon.com.