Featured Story by Nick Kasmik

But despite the obvious benefits of CSR initiatives, they are not compulsory. Laws that would compel businesses to make a difference in people’s lives—without considering profits—have yet to be passed. In other words, companies can opt to not have any CSR practices, despite the fact that at least 70 percent of Americans believe it is somewhat or very important for companies to contribute to making the world a better place. Ninety percent of consumers admit that they are more likely to trust and be loyal to socially responsible businesses.

The story of Karma and Luck

Being a citizen of the world, Vladi Bergman has always been fascinated by the rich culture of various countries. In 2015, he decided to open up Karma and Luck as a way to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world through high-quality jewellery and unique home-decor pieces.

“Karma and Luck is a place where I can celebrate all these unique cultures and beliefs and bring them together,” says Bergman. “Using gemstones, crystals and natural stones, Karma and Luck embraces humanity with spiritual symbols and mystical decor hand-selected from remote areas of the Far East and the Middle East.”

Bergman’s travels across the country also made him painfully aware of the sheer number of people in need. At one point, his business also needed aid after the pandemic reached Nevada, the state in which he’s based.

“Without the government’s support, I’m not sure we would have stayed in business,” admits Bergman. “Shopping centres weren’t giving us rent discounts. But, thankfully, we got the PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] and EIDL [Economic Injury Disaster Loan] funding.”

Government assistance served as a much-needed lifeline for Bergman’s company. And he used the opportunity to double down on his efforts to launch his business online.

“We were never aggressive online before,” says Bergman. “And we basically got the opportunity to introduce Karma and Luck around the world, so that’s exactly what we did—a very aggressive customer acquisition while people were sitting at home.”

After the online launch, Bergman saw his business grow exponentially. “We made a huge switch from bricks and mortar to e-commerce,” he says. “This helped us grow by 1,000 percent. We had millions of dollars in inventory that was sitting there, so we put everything online and sold it.”

With his newfound success, Bergman decided it was time to expand his business. While continuing to manage Karma and Luck’s e-commerce site, he has also started opening up more physical stores. Aside from his Las Vegas location, he now has stores in New York (at the World Trade Center and Oculus), Florida and Texas.

Forwarding corporate social responsibility

Investopedia lists four ways that businesses can practise being corporate citizens: reducing environmental impact, being ethically responsible, undertaking philanthropic endeavours and being financially responsible. Bergman’s Karma and Luck found itself practising philanthropic responsibility as a way to give back to others.

“We were given a great opportunity to succeed in life,” says Bergman. “So I want to give others the same chance.”

Bergman’s company has helped forward four causes to date. He works with Make a Wish Foundation Southern Nevada, donating a portion of the sale of every Feng Shui Tree to the foundation. Through this deal, the business has donated almost $25,000.

Bergman has also partnered with the Three Square Food Bank in Nevada. Every Red String Protection bracelet sold by Karma and Luck can provide three meals to feed the hungry in Southern Nevada. This initiative has helped more than 35,000 families in need. He sells green string bracelets as well—with each sale, the company sponsors a tree planting in Madagascar.

Bergman also started a CSR initiative for a cause that’s close to his heart. Through Karma and Luck, he has partnered with Doctors Without Borders in Ukraine to aid those in his home country. Bergman was born in the former Soviet country and lived there as a child before moving to Israel and, later, the U.S.

“I wanted to do something to help my people, and I saw a project [being run by] Doctors Without Borders,” says Bergman. “They’re building tents there. They’re bringing in supplies. And that’s [in addition to] making sure that the injured get treated. So I thought it was a good way to send help.”

Indeed, everyone needs karma and luck in this world. Vladi Bergman’s business practices are a top-tier example of how to run a company in an ethical way.

KO Media newsroom and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.