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Up close and personal: Rachel of Shanti Collective

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There is nothing I love more than collaborating with women who inspire me. This month, you may have noticed we are offering our {Self-Love} gift sets, with an Elate Lip product and a Shanti Collective Mala bracelet.  I have been a long time fan (and owner) of Rachel's beautiful and meaningful creations, so I asked her to share a little bit about herself and her business. 
Why did you start Shanti Collective?
"I always knew I needed to do something that was creative and I had to be passionate about it. Whatever I did, it had to come from the heart. When I was in Bali I was honoured to learn about the power of the Mala necklace. Learning about Rudraksha seeds (the rough reddish beads malas are made with), diving into the beautiful world of mediation and the fabulous healing power of crystals. All of these things ignited a passion for me that I wanted to share with others. So I came home and just started making Malas, bracelets and anything else people liked. I was so humbled and excited to see people truly interested in what I was making, so kept going. It slowly grew organically and morphed into something that I am so proud of."
Can you tell me about the significance of Malas? 
"Basically, a mala is a necklace or set  of beads that is traditionally used in prayer and meditation — often called prayer beads. You use these by counting each bead with a mantra or prayer.
 These Malas are made with traditional seed beads called Rudraksha beads. Rudraksha seeds are specific to mala necklaces as they represent both cultural and religious significance. Throughout history, Hindu and Buddhist cultures have believed that Rudraksha seeds hold many healing powers. They create tremendous positive energy for the body, mind and soul.
The idea is that anyone can wear mala beads — yogis, surfers, fashionistas, singers, dancers, moms, dads, teens… the list is endless. Shanti Collective mala necklaces can be worn by anyone seeking a calmer mind, body, and spirit. The mala beads I make are handmade locally in Victoria BC and incorporate sacred rudraksha seeds with beautiful gemstones. The gemstones are believed to offer different healing qualities." 
What is your favorite self care ritual?
"My most important self care ritual  is mediation and yoga. These two are linked- so I can’t separate the two! They allow me to create space, to move my body all while releasing any tension and stagnant energy- it’s a must!"
Head to Rachel's website to see more of her beautiful creations, or pick up your {Self-Love} gift set here

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