New Business Flourishing for Co-Founders Dara Barker and Debra Diamond
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
To most people, mahjong is simply an enjoyable, tile-based Chinese strategy game, but to Palisadian Dara Barker and her friend Debra Diamond, it is much, much more than that.
In fact, it has become a passion—one that spawned the creation of Mo-Mahj, a website the two have founded offering tools to make play more fun.
The two women came up with the idea to start their Mo-Mahj business about one year ago while they were teaching a couple of girlfriends how to play mahjong, a three- or four-person game developed during the Qing Dynasty in China using a set of 144 tiles, each based on specific Chinese characters and symbols.
“The girls were complaining about how difficult it was to remember which hands they could play on the Mahj card, so Dara and I came up with the idea to create our hooded Mahj Marker,” Diamond said. “Once we began to work on the marker, we came up with several other products we wished we had access to—some of them being innovations, like the Mahj Mat, and some being new creations, like our Mahj Masts.
“Over time we created several prototypes of the Mahj Marker and eventually came up with our current product. Our friends are in love with our products and sales are rapidly growing.”
Barker and Diamond are both mothers of boys and thus their “girlfriend time” is extremely important to them, they shared.
Barker lives in the Alphabet Streets and is a child advocate, lawyer, home designer and an accomplished artist. Diamond resides in Sherman Oaks and is a retired children’s therapist, full-time mom and games enthusiast.
Mahjong is played throughout Southeast Asia and it has been spreading around the globe since the early 20th century, becoming increasingly popular in Western countries.
Products the two friends are selling through Mo-Mahj include a smooth, washable Mahj Mat that can be folded or rolled to use as a mahjong playing field.
“In our new climate, where sanitation and germ-free spaces are essential, mahjong players want to wash and wipe down their playing surfaces as an extra precaution,” Diamond and Barker shared in a statement.
The washable Mahj Mat can be folded or rolled, and it comes with its own carrying case.
Another option is the first-of-its-kind essential mahjong learning tool, called the Mahj Marker. Designed for rookie or seasoned players learning the new card, the Mahj Marker tool eliminates all of the confusion and mix up when players are trying to keep track of several different possible hands.
Cleverly constructed with a magnetic hood that snaps into place to properly conceal a mahjong card, it then folds and stores flat to fit in a mahjong bag or case when finished.
The Mahj Marker includes a dry erase pen to temporarily “mark” a mahjong card without revealing any clues to opponents. Once the game is finished, players simply wipe it clean and get ready for another successful round.
The Mahj Mast is a special clip designed to hold a mahjong card while playing electronically on a phone, tablet or computer.
Mo-Mahj also offers a Beginner Mahjong Bundle, which comes with four Mahj Marker sets, four 2020 Mahjong playing cards and Mo-Mahj’s signature smooth, washable mahjong mat playing field.
For more information or to place an order, visit momahj.com or email email@example.com.
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