Prem-La, which is Bhutanese for “love and eternity”, is the oldest store in New England dealing in the art and culture of the Himalayas. Started in 1974, Prem-La has now been in business for 35 years.
The doors of Prem-La first opened at 10 Mt. Auburn St., in Cambridge, introducing to the Boston area the wonderful crafts of Nepal and surrounding regions. Prem-La provided not just products from these areas, but also served as a fountain of information for those wishing visit Nepal and a cultural center for Nepalese people in Cambridge. Unfortunately, only five years later in 1975, the original owners of Prem-La were almost forced to close their shop when they received job transfers.
But the sun wasn’t ready to set on Prem-La. One of the young immigrants for whom the store had become so important, Pralhad KC, stepped up and took upon himself the management of the store. Pralhad was not willing to let a business he cared so much for go under, though at the time he was only 19 years old and in the process of earning his BA in Civil Engineering from the Wentworth Institute of Technology.
After a number of relocations between Cambridge and Boston, in 2000 Prem-La settled at its current location of 209 Newbury St. in Boston. Now in his 25th year operating the store, Pralhad KC continues to strive to always provide the highest quality Himalayan goods available, improve the quality of life of those who produce these beautiful works, and transfer his love of Nepal and the rest of this magnificent region to all who step through his door.
About Prem-La’s Owner, Pralhad K.C.
In 1976, at the age of 16, Pralhad KC immigrated from Katmandu, Nepal to Boston, MA and, two years later, enrolled at the Wentworth Institute of Technology. During his second year of college, Pralhad began his professional association with Prem-La when he took over its management from the original owners. Though working, Pralhad was still able to obtain his BA in Civil Engineering in 1982. After holding a number of different engineering positions in the Boston area and receiving his MBA from Anna Maria College in 1984, Pralhad devoted himself full-time to Prem-La.
In addition to Prem-La, Pralhad is very active in the Nepalese community in the greater-Boston area and in various international programs geared toward improving the quality of life for the people of Nepal.
Pralhad has served as an International Consultant for the United Nations Development Project (UNDP) in Nepal. As a part of the UNDP, Pralhad has helped to manage a Nepalese women’s cooperative that strives to help train women with marketable skills and provides the women with a fair price outlet for their goods.
Committed to the concept of Fair Trade, Pralhad endeavors to buy and sell the crafts produced by the people of Nepal according to the highest ethical standards. Every item sold through his store has been acquired in such a manner as to improve the quality of life for whomever produced it.
Pralhad also currently serves as the President of the Nepal America Foundation and as an Honorary Representative of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce to the United States. In these capacities, Pralhad has promoted the arts of culture of Nepal within the US and has worked towards the duty-free import of Nepalese garments and the creation of a Sister City for Cambridge, MA in Nepal.
Through Prem-La and his other pursuits, Pralhad is dedicated not only to providing the highest quality goods possible, but also promoting Fair Trade for the residents of Nepal. For his efforts, he has been honored with the MA Governor’s New American Appreciation Award and has been appointed to the MA Governor’s Advisory Council on Refugees and Immigrants.