Gain a little good karma with Karma Mantra, which is not just another fashion brand. Founded by Romell Bhaala in 2008, Karma Mantra supersedes an ordinary brand. “Karma Mantra is a lifestyle,” 25-year-old Bhaala said. “It is a brand that wants to shine the light on arts, cultures, and mythologies of different regions of the world.”
The brand blends eastern cultures with fashion to create a unique statement of individuality through every piece. Joining the Urban streetwear movement, Karma Mantra aims to banish mainstream fashion and provide a unique twist to accessories and clothing by drawing from Bhaala’s Indian heritage. “Karma Mantra combines an eclectic taste of different cultures, regions, and philosophies,” Bhaala said. “I studied the eastern cultures and I felt captivated by their fables, philosophies, and mythology. Karma Mantra is my chance to infuse them with fashion in a subtle, but impactful way.”
“Create who you are” is Karma Mantra’s motto and it aims to allow customers to do just that with its Defined Collection. The T-shirts and sweatshirts from the Defined Collection are 100% cotton and have a laid back approach to style. Ironically named, the Defined Collection seeks to banish the attachments to logos. With nothing printed across the sweatshirts and T-shirts, it gives a blank slate to let the individual define himself.
“I was taught to always learn, never to blindly follow,” he said. Bhaala’s hardworking nature laid the foundation for the success of Karma Mantra. “I started a lawn mowing business in the fifth grade and I taught myself QuickBooks on my father’s home computer to start handing out proper invoices to all our clients,” he said. “I did not stop there though. I worked my way up from working as a dishwasher at a Chinese buffet, a fry cook at a fried chicken joint, an assistant to the librarian of a TV station, and in the mail room at a magazine company. No job was ever too small for me; they were all stepping-stones to where I am today.”
Bhaala’s designs and his vision to give his customers unpretentious threads have resulted in a large following. “Constance Zimmer, Brooke Anderson, Brooke Burke, and Fran Drescher are all big fans of Karma Mantra!” he said. Karma Mantra originated as a jewelry line, but recently expanded to encompass a line of clothing. “Clothing was fairly new for us this year and we will continue to do some clothing pieces, but we will keep them to a limit,” Bhaala said. “Our main focus will and always has been jewelry.” The Tiger Eye Mala Necklace, Black Onyx Mala Necklace, and the Red Coral Wrap Bracelet are Karma Mantra’s hottest items among customers.
“Karma Mantra is on its way to creating beautiful and masterful pieces that are unique and unlike any other in the market,” Bhaala said. “We pride ourselves in doing that and will continue to push the envelope when it comes to colors, metals, and stones. We will reach the masses from Boston to Budapest, and Karma Mantra will be as global as our designs are.”
Karma Mantra Interview: Photo courtesy of Studio 5800.