Made As Intended began with an awakening in founder Dawn Sprong, when she heard a voice that said, “You have to live, truly live, before you die.” She retired from corporate balance sheets, and decided to “be the change” and see what was actually possible.
Our original product idea was a t-shirt with the words I AM. The thought was that the t-shirt would be for the wearer’s own awareness, a reminder that each of us is a being of infinite potential. When you view the words I AM in the mirror, the image reads MAI. We used that acronym to name Made As Intended.
Before we made our first shirt, the blessing bracelet was born. Originally made as a gift for friends at Christmas, the bracelet evolved all on its own. The intent behind the bracelet was, and still is, very simply, to increase gratitude worldwide.
Each Blessing Bracelet comes with a tag that reads: “This is a Blessing Bracelet. Whenever you wear it acknowledge one blessing in your life for each pearl on the bracelet. Each time you are drawn to the bracelet, silently find four people or things you can be grateful for. Be grateful for: Your children, a flower, your dog, a perfect cup of coffee, a roof over your head – just find something. The more you wear the bracelet and the more blessings you find, the more you will be blessed. In one year, if followed, you will be aware of a profound change in your life.”
“I wrote the tag after experiencing a major shift in my own life that taught me how important it is to be aware of all that you already have. I wrote those words to friends, that I might help open their eyes to seeing and believing that change was not a someday thing. They could change their life immediately in such a simple way, by being aware of the world around them and all the gifts they already had. My life changed dramatically when I discovered that most of what I wanted in life I had received, yet I never took time to appreciate it. I was always focused on the next thing, and then the next thing. I also found through the practice of gratitude, that most of what I had asked for, was not really what I wanted anyway. The tag was my attempt to inspire others to slow down and look at life another time, through fresh eyes. It was my way of giving to others what I had been given, a changed heart and a knowing that life is pretty amazing”.
– Dawn Sprong
The Blessing Bracelet evolved from a gift to a few friends, who then wanted to order them for their friends. It has since spread to reach almost 1 million bracelets sold around the world. Most importantly, the Blessing Bracelet has changed lives. The bracelet is truly a blessing. It is a gift, not only for those who wear it, but for all of us involved with making it. Through our work, we have been able to help people, adopt animals, form friendships, and inspire and remind ourselves and others that dreams really do come true.
Along the way, MAI hired what is now a team of 10 core employees that help with everything. And we mean everything. We share a home, animals, meals, and life. We know each other’s children; they know ours. Every product we create is made within a family home in the Chicago suburbs.
We all hold a common mission here, and look forward to moving to a more spacious base of operations soon; one that can house people and animals and continue the atmosphere that we love, but have outgrown.
The words I AM are the foundation that have changed many lives here, and inspired MAI’s newest division, Mala Project, a global community led by Dawn and Mark Anthony Lord, that makes prayer, meditation, and spiritual practices modern and accessible. The I AM Mala Collection is comprised of beautiful gemstone and crystal malas (prayer beads), made to support the wearer in manifesting 12 different life intentions. Each month, Mala Project highlights a different intention, which becomes the focus of the malas, programs, & our morning meditation calls.