A Chance Meeting In Bali Sparked This Celebrity-Favorite Meditation Brand – Forbes

Posted: January 25, 2021 at 2:54 pm


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Ashley Wray never thought she'd be the CEO of a modern meditation brand.

Ashley Wray never thought she would be the founder and CEO of one of the most popular meditation companies. A few years ago, she was an award-winning journalist covering one of these least zen topics: murder trials. But after a chance encounter with a woman on a plane from Bali to Thailand, that all changed.

"Meditation was new to me and something I was incredibly curious about but felt I was doing wrong," Wray told me. "We bought mala beads, crystals and took classes and lessons while in Bali. And on the flight from Bali to Thailand, we had a serendipitous encounter on the plane, sitting beside a woman whose mission was to spread mindfulness and meditation to the West something her guru asked her to do through mala beads. They were the very same mala beads we had purchased that week. It was a chance encounter that has forever changed my life."

That meeting got Wray curious about new ways to bring meditation into her daily life and led her to India, Nepal, and Bhutan. There she worked on her practice and was drawn to designing the products that supported it, knowing that these tools made it easier for a meditation novice. Wray startedMala Collectivein 2011, by offering Mala beads, then designing meditation cushions, crystal kits, and more.

"Mala Collective's pieces and tools are meant to support you in starting, deepening, or returning when you fall away from your practice," said Wray. "In all honesty, you don't need any products to have a meditation practice. All you need is your breath. But if you find that a mala helps to hold your focus, or the crystals help you set an intention, and the cushions help inspire you to take a seat then that's what we are there for."

Now it's clear Wray wasn't the only one who needed these tools. In the last 10 years, she's developed a massive following with a list of celebrity fans like Justin Bieber, Molly Sims, Haylie Duff, Whitney Port, and more. The company also offers free online content from guided meditations to videos on starting a practice to paid classes. "I truly believe in the education of meditation. I want to help inspire people to meditate. To breathe. To slow down," said Wray.

She also recently startedcoachingwomen on how to start and scale their own purpose driven businesses, which is a huge passion for her.The Canadian's next mission? Bring mindfulness to children.

This spring, she is launching a kid's line that came to her in a vision during a meditation two years ago. "The vision was to create fun and playful pieces to help kids to slow down, connect to their breath, and have a "positive time-out," she said. "The goal of the line is that it will help kids' thoughts float away like clouds, which inspired our cloud cushion. It's a fun and playful introduction to meditation."

With so much success, it's hard for Wray to imagine what her life could have been if she hadn't traveled to South East Asia and sat next to that woman on the plane. "It was a chance encounter that has forever changed my life. Serendipity can truly change our lives if we are open to it," she said. "It's been a beautiful journey all sparked by one trip to Bali."

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A Chance Meeting In Bali Sparked This Celebrity-Favorite Meditation Brand - Forbes

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January 25th, 2021 at 2:54 pm

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