Mindy Kittay was born and raised in Colorado, and so was her daughter, Shira. Once Shira started college, Mindy moved to California to pursue a career as a library director. In 2020 she set off on a year of what was supposed to be transformative travel around the world. She began in Bali - until she was sent home in March due to the pandemic.
“I felt really lost. I had no career plans, no ability to travel and no idea how to sit idle,” said Mindy. “That’s when a friend told me about an open space for a storefront in Joshua Tree, California. For the past 30 years, I have been making jewelry on the side. But now I was starting to believe I could turn my passion project into a business. My store opened in 2020, and I quickly realized that I needed to fill it with more than just my own jewelry.”
Mindy got in touch with a clothing designer she had met while traveling in Bali, and the two worked together to collaborate on designs to sell in the store. Her business began to grow, but Mindy realized that her heart was still in Colorado. “I really wanted to be closer to my daughter. When she was young, we went to a YMCA herbalism retreat (another interest of mine) in Estes Park and I made my first pieces of jewelry with her in a craft making room. From that moment on, I was hooked. I knew being in my home state and being with my daughter were important for my wellbeing and for my business.”
The doors to Kama Connection on the West End opened in May of 2022. “Boulder has always been my dream place to live. I can still remember the first moment that I drove into Boulder and it took my breath away. It’s an amazingly beautiful place filled with opportunity, diversity and culture. I love being in a college town, and downtown is a year-round shopping and tourism destination. I felt strongly that my store would succeed here.”
Her store has a strong focus on connection, community and philanthropy. “In addition to selling Bohemian-style items and my own jewelry, I have forged a partnership with a Nepalese school principal who goes into the markets of Kathmandu and we shop virtually together. I am able to offer unique items from Nepal and give back to their local community, specifically the Laligurash Bright Future English School, which is always in need of food and supplies. Additionally, I give back to the Delek Children’s Foundation, which helps educate Himalayan children and refugees all over the world. Some of the profits from the store directly support these causes and others.”
For Mindy, the most important aspect of owning her store is building relationships with her customers. “The best feeling in the world is watching women walk out of my dressing rooms with huge smiles knowing that they look and feel beautiful. I am so fortunate to be able to give people that moment.” To support Kama Connection, stop in the store and say hello to Mindy. If you can’t make it to the store physically, you can also shop online and have a video consultation with Mindy prior to making purchasing decisions. And be sure to follow on social media @kamaconnection!
Becoming a store owner was not something Mindy pictured herself doing. “I never imagined that I would have a store, designing clothes and be doing retail sales, but I was open to where the universe would guide me. It’s not always been an easy journey, but it has been a magical one. I believe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, which is an incredibly lucky feeling.” Next time you are downtown, come to Kama Connection and learn more about Mindy’s journey over a cup of tea while shopping.
I can still remember the first moment that I drove into Boulder and it took my breath away. It’s an amazingly beautiful place filled with opportunity, diversity and culture.