Jobs They Love: Jewelry Artisan
Updated: Apr 4
Lucky are they who look forward to Mondays with joy in their hearts! Meet the folks whose talents and passions are happily matched to the jobs they have.
Mindy Kittay, who hails from Joshua Tree, CA, is a Renaissance woman, a world traveler, a bibliophile and an openhearted, caring soul. She loves bringing people together through beautiful music, art and great ideas, and her happiness is absolutely infectious.
Also known as Mother Mala, Mindy is creator and fabricator of some of the loveliest jewelry on the planet – mala beads, necklaces and earrings strung with lustrous stones and gems. Each combination carefully chosen to reflect a wearer’s inner light. Her jewelry is available online and at her Kama Connection location, a treasure chest of a shop that also sells handmade gifts and very sassy fashions from exotic places around the world.
What makes mala jewelry so special?
The love and intention that it is infused with. Not only are they a beautiful piece of jewelry but they are also a tool for meditating and reminding yourself throughout the day to breathe, to look at the beauty around you and to be grateful. The mala has 108 beads, quarter markers and a guru bead. As you meditate, using your breath or a mantra you move from bead to bead. If you only have a few minutes, go to the quarter marker; a lot of time, do the full 108.
You’ve done many wildly different things in your career that brought you joy and fulfillment. Does your current job feel like the ideal culmination of your talents or are there other things you would like to accomplish?
I don’t think there will ever be a time where I have completed all I dream and desire of doing in life! I have so much more to give. While I am passionate about my jewelry and am enjoying having a store in Joshua Tree ultimately, I would like to grow to the point that I am able to source products from cooperatives here in the US and around the world, to help support small communities, education and health care.
I would like to give jobs to women who need some help getting started or back into the work force for whatever reason. I continue to look for opportunities to grow an enterprise to enable me to reach this dream. Another part of this goal is to create a work environment that can be an example to other employers. A place where employees feel appreciated and love to come to work. Bring your dog to work, eat healthy delicious food from the kitchen, take a break and create something or even a take a nap. A place where each person knows what they need to accomplish and has the freedom to not only do that but to help inspire and direct the growth of the company. A company that has a healthy culture that includes life-long learning, profit sharing, FUN, respect and accountability.
You’re very much an outgoing people-person -- the perfect fun-loving BFF -- yet your design work feels like it comes from a very quiet, deep and introspective place. Are these two versions of you ever at odds or constantly trying to balance?
If I had to label myself, I would say I am an Introverted extrovert. I go out into the world and drink it up. I love people, getting to know them, respect them and learning from them. But then I have a deep need to have my down time to reflect and regenerate. It’s during these times that I often make my malas. Making malas is not only a creative enterprise for me, but it is a deeply meditative process and a time when I am in the “zone.” I emerge full of energy and ready for my next excursion out into the world!
What’s your favorite part of the day?
Early morning! I am full of energy and joy at the new day dawning. I often hike into the desert at this time or drink tea in the hot tub! Both rewarding in their own ways.
What is your one wish?
I wish that our country, and really the whole world, would come together to make sure that all people have health care, enough food, shelter and a living wage. Because I KNOW that if this were to happen, war and conflict would disappear, and peace and joy would reign. And so be it!