Kaari Meng began designing jewelry for Bergdorf Goodman after graduating from the jewelry program at FIT in New York City. In need of a hat pin, Kaari designed a collection of pins and presented them to the jewelry buyer at the monthly open-buy day. The buyer at Bergdorf's bought all of Kaari's designs and requested a full collection of jewelry for their cases. Using vintage glass beads, buttons and notions, Kaari created a unique look that appealed to many women looking for something different. Kaari began designing for Anthropology when they opened their first store in Philadelphia in 1992. For many years, Anthropologie and Kaari enjoyed working and designing together - all of the jewelry pieces Kaari designed used her vast collection of antique beads found all over the world.
French General began as a retail store on Crosby Street in New York City's Soho district. Filled with apothecary jars brimming with vintage notions, Kaari Meng and her sister Molly began selling a French-inspired lifestyle that included textiles, notions, ephemera, and household items found only in France. In 2003, Kaari and her family moved to Los Angeles and set up French General in an old Spanish style warehouse, on the edge of town and opened up one day a week for people to come in and browse their ever-changing collections that they collected on yearly trips to the South of France.