Meet Krista of Chalice Grove, Creatress of Malas
When it comes to supporting small businesses, I am very particular about who I choose to work with. I especially am drawn to companies that combine my love of beautiful products with moving into spirituality. I sincerely believe that Krista of Chalice Grove is one of the best examples out there. Something she said in our interview really stuck with me: "People want handmade goods. It's symbolic - it represents a time when people put in thought and effort." It is palpable how much thought and effort Krista puts into everything she does, from crafting product to teaching workshops to even just holding a conversation. She is honest, authentic, and a great example to all of us about how living in your truth opens up a path in life we have been taught is not possible. Read on to hear her story, dreams, and advice - I hope is inspires you as much as it did me.
Chalice Grove as we know it today did not actually start with malas - it grew into what it is one small step at a time. Krista actually started out making birch centrepieces. She started this journey through her own profound transitions in self healing. She says she needed to find a way to take her pain and turn it into something creative. To gather the materials needed for centrepieces like birch, cedar, sage, and wildflowers, she had to journey into nature which she says is sacred space of healing and resetting for her where she can dim the static and noise that are constant in day to day living - in nature, there is "space to hear the voice of the divine". She says that this space and presence of the healing properties of nature are missing in an urban setting. Krista believes that while people were buying her products because they wanted something "pretty", they were intuitively drawn to the healing energy that having something from nature in their home brought them. She says that she always knew she wanted to be a part of Market Collective - as someone who operates from her second chakra, her soul knew what it needed, but her body needed time to catch up. By saying yes to little things, she was saying yes to her soul and things began opening up.
The malas started out in what she originally thought was a logical step, but turned out to be something that started on a deeper spiritual level. Logically, the supplies for the birch centrepieces were only available for part of the year, and she needed something that she could sell year round. She had purchased a mala for herself, and says that holding it felt like coming home. Around the same time, she had a dream of herself "in a market place, picking up gem stones, speaking with women, and stringing beads". Finally, a friend had posted on Facebook about a woman who started her own mala company. Krista had been thinking about starting to sell her own malas, and she says she felt that seeing that post was a sign from the universe. Krista sent her an email to see where this woman was located - if she was in Calgary, Krista says she was not going to do it. Lucky for all of us, the woman was actually in Vancouver, and Krista says that they are friends to this day.
Krista says that one of her life dreams is to help people around the world. Creating malas allows her to provide a product that brings healing to people whether they consciously choose to practice spirituality or not. When used in meditation malas help to slow thoughts down so that the spaces between the constant chatter can be heard. She says this allows you to listen to the tape playing in the background repeating all the limiting beliefs that influence our thoughts and actions. By repeating a mantra such as "I am worthy" while counting the 108 beads on a mala, you begin to trance yourself into almost a state of hypnosis. While you may not believe the mantra initially, she says that there is a breaking point where you start thinking "Am I?". You can still receive some of the medicine of the malas without doing the meditation simply by wearing it. Purchasing the mala was an intentional choice, as is wearing it. It is an investment and a reminder that you are worthy. Krista believes that malas are the keepers of intention and a talisman for our inner journeys. Carrying a talisman is an ancient truth that we have forgotten, and is something that we need on our journey to ourselves. Malas bring protection, something that we all need as we travel through our dark and twisty inner forests - "picture the forest in The Princess Bride" - as we try to find our light.
Going through this forest is something that she believes we all must do, as our light is directly proportionate to our dark. Much of new age, and many people today, believe that spirituality and awakening mean that they will no longer have to deal with suffering - their focus is on "light and love". People are afraid of suffering and will avoid it at all costs, but in doing so "numb their joy." The shadow is just as sacred as the light, and while you don't need to stay in the shadow, you also cannot access the light without facing it. You must "show up, face your shadow. The more you do your work, you get reminded of your light, and more light can enter." She envisions this journey as a train - everyone is on the same level, not in a hierarchy. As you do your work, you move from car to car, getting closer with each step to the conductor - whoever you believe is the divine. With each new car, you change your frequency a little and new opportunities open up. In this way, "heaven is proportionate to the hell you go through." You can't move forward if you don't journey through the muddy, scary forest with the terrifying rats.
In the future, Krista sees herself developing Chalice Grove into something more than malas. She loves having a product to provide her customers, but wants to begin focusing more on providing services. For her, this looks like holding more workshops, yoga based technology, healing sessions, and building community. However, this is constantly changing, and she is careful not to project this plan on the universe too strongly. She would rather continue saying "yes to the things that feel good, no to what doesn't" and being open to new opportunities.
This is advice she wants to share with everyone - say yes to the small things. This entire endeavour started out because she said yes to a friend who offered to build her a website at a discounted price. The archetype series, something she covers more in depth in her workshops, came about because she said yes to a collaboration. She believes that the more you get into your flow, the more opportunities will arise. When it comes to running a business, she believes that because a piece of her energy goes into each mala, there can never be an over saturation in the market - it is the energy people are drawn to, not simply the product. She also advises practicing non-attachment. Owning a small business is something that fluctuates constantly, and you can go from feeling confident and secure to terrified, confused and disheartened within moments. She says not to attach to either - "when things are going really well, it doesn't make you a rockstar, and when things are going shitty it does not mean you are the scum of the earth... you are worthy no matter what".
She reminds us that there is an archetype for an entrepreneur, and it's shadow side is the gambler. As entrepreneurs, we are essentially gambling with our livelihood, but in a healthy way - we take something like beads and string and take the risk to turn it into money. It is remarkable, but it is risky and stressful. Krista believes that being an entrepreneur is part of her life's journey because it is challenging and asks you how you show up when things are going well or when things are going poorly - are you consistently open, kind and understanding or do you fluctuate based on how your business is doing? She says to be honest and authentic about what is showing up for you and develop a loving support system so you can reach out to others and ask for help when you need it. Kundalini has also helped her develop this non-attachment, something she has started taking her training for.
Krista's dream is to live a life full of adventure. Right now she is loving not knowing what the future holds because it is an adventure, and she feels that without adventure she is not really living. She is being forced to trust like never before that she will be okay. She likens it to jumping out of a plane (something that she has done): the moment you step off that plane, you have to trust that everything will be okay, and you have to be ok with the fact that it may not. It forces her to trust that what she needs will be provided for. Her dream is that Chalice Grove will sustain her, and that she can grow into no longer being location dependant. Ideally, she would love to live in different places around the world for three months at a time, and live a life full of adventure and travel so that she can offer healing services anywhere and everywhere. For her, success has changed over the last two years from what society tells us success is - money, cars, clothing, etc. - to understanding that success is different for everyone. For her this means a life of abundance; it means never having to worry about basic needs, living life with purpose, and feeling rich in all situations. She wants to help others find this abundance, and believes doing so starts with being grateful for everything in our lives already. By being grateful for what we do have and trusting that we will be provided for, rather than projecting our desires, we make space to receive abundance.
On her website Krista explains more in depth what malas signify, how to know which one to choose, and what each archetype is here. You can purchase one of Krista's malas here, or get a custom mala and coaching session here. She has many workshops coming up, and also co-hosts a monthly New Moon Circle. Last but not least, you can find her talented & moving writing here.