At Karma, we believe that our day-to-day actions have the power to effect positive change in the communities that we belong to and beyond. This philosophy is at the core of our approach to curating our fine crafts collections.
We focus on premium, fairly-traded, sustainable, handmade pieces crafted with the highest quality by artists from the U.S. and around the globe. Our selection of home décor, handmade jewelry, apparel, accessories, textiles, furniture, hand-painted ceramics, and art offers a unique blend of traditional techniques and modern sensibilities.
As a woman and family-owned business, we’re committed to celebrating the work and stories of artisans and craftswomen, and fostering interconnectedness among individuals and communities across the globe.
At Karma, we’re dedicated to fostering a community of mindful and socially-conscious global citizens, and engaging with stories and issues that bring out our shared humanity. Becoming agents of change has never been more important than now.
Along with sustainable, ethically-crafted pieces in our collections, we bring the artists’ stories to local communities in New England, inspiring dialogue and conversation on the most urgent issues of today. Whether it’s mental health, gender violence, climate change and racial justice, we elevate topics of collective importance and offer an inclusive space to listen and learn from each other’s stories.
Karma’s owner Phuni ‘Kim’ Meston was born into a nomadic herding family in the Himalayas region of Ladakh, India—the ‘land of high passes.’ Her family later resettled to the Tibetan refugee camp of Mundgod, where she grew up in the south Indian state of Karnataka. As a child, Phuni watched her mother and other women in her Himalayan community weave textiles, helping and depending on each other every step along the way. While working on textiles together, the women were engaged in a bigger project: building and maintaining the social fabric of their community. The ethos of this ancient tradition later inspired the vision behind Karma.
At the age of 15, Meston was trafficked into the U.S. by a Unitarian Universalist minister with a promise of receiving a high-quality education. She later testified against her trafficker in a trial that resulted in his conviction and prison sentence.
Her experience as a victim of sexual abuse and human trafficking has fueled her commitment as an activist. Over the years, Phuni’s focus has been on empowering women and supporting the victims of human trafficking and domestic abuse. In 1995, after completing her bachelor’s in Women’s Studies at Brandeis University, she travelled to Beijing for the Fourth World Conference on Women. She has supported and worked with nonprofit organizations such as Machik, Barakat and Transition House to end domestic violence and human trafficking, and collaborated with cultural and social groups on a range of Tibetan issues, as well as a number of local schools and organizations focused on youth and education.
In 2006, after 15 years of working in high-end fashion retail, Phuni and her late husband, author and human rights activist Daja Wangchuk Meston, opened Karma, an artisan boutique in Newton Center. Karma Wangtop, Phuni’s brother and business partner for over a decade, runs the boutique's daily operations and has become a welcome and familiar presence in the community. Born in Mundgod, he was trained as a thangka painter (Tibetan Buddhist art form of painting on cotton and silk) in Dharamsala, India.
Today, Karma boutique continues the legacy of Himalayan women, each playing a role weaving a strong, inclusive community. Karma’s brick and mortar boutique celebrates the cultural heritage of women through fine crafts and offers a space to foster community, share stories, and engage in meaningful dialogue around objects, art, and music.
Phuni travels extensively to build relationships with talented artists and source unique pieces rife with stories and meaning. She is committed to supporting up-and-coming artists from marginalized communities, with a strong connection to female artisans from the Himalayas. A resident in the Boston area for 36 years, Phuni currently lives in Sudbury with her husband, two daughters, and dog Prince.
From Top: Phuni Meston in Ladakh, India; Phuni and her late husband Daja Wangchuck Meston; Phuni's Brother Karma Wangtop; Phuni with her husband and two daughters.