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2.18.2021

kai conversations with... ava lee

we could not be more excited to bring you this week's kai conversation with ava lee of glowwithava. ava is a nyc-based beauty influencer who is not only an amazing content creator, but she is also a beauty, wellness, and skincare wiz who has a fascinating, eye-catching feed on instagram, youtube, and tiktok where she shares a wealth of insights and knowledge about how to get her gorgeous "glowing" complexion and keep your skin illuminating from head to toe! what we love about ava the most (besides the fact that she loves sweets and is also a long-time kai devotee) is that her personality is so fun, candid, easy going, and approachable; and when she shares her insightful skincare, beauty, wellness, and makeup tips and tricks - she really breaks things down in an honest, simple and very-easy-to-follow manner. we strongly encourage you to check out her feed, and if you follow her instructions, you are sure to get the ava "glow"! ava also genuinely embodies the kai "breath*life*flow" way of life as shown throughout all of her content and the interview below. hope you enjoy reading! also, please stay tuned for a special giveaway collaboration with glowwithava to be announced soon. 


xo,

gaye.


how are you taking care of yourself and your loved ones during this time? are there certain things that are proving to be sources of motivation/ inspiration? if so, please feel free to share. 

at the moment, i am trying to put myself as priority. i have never really been that kind of person - i've always sacrificed my body, my mental heath, my sleep, just about everything but now i realize i need to take care of myself for others around me to be happy as well. skin care routines such as masking, a nice hot bath, lighting candles etc. have always been a form of selfcare and continues to be a part of my daily life. my husband and i have started to cook more during quarantine but at the same time, we eat out or order in some of my favorite meals to indulge and treat ourselves. 


how do you embody kai's "breath*life*flow" lifestyle?

my mental health and happiness is very heavily influenced by how overwhelmed i am. i am constantly busy but no matter what, when i take the time to do even a 10 minute pilates or stretching session, i feel instantly better and more relaxed. it's been hard to move my body like i used to but a little bit of daily movement helps me immensely and actually makes me a much more productive person. i moved very close to central park last year and when i feel stressed or angry, i just go outside and take a walk around the park and it's the best free healing tool ever. 


what's the best advice you've ever received?

my dad always told me "it is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to rush forward only to stumble backwards." i think in the age of social media everywhere, it's easy to fall trap to trendy things, form a fast yet toxic friendship, or get guided in ways that your heart denies, it's so important to take a step back once in awhile and trust your gut. i try to keep this in mind with every decision i make.  


do you have a manta you live by?

"everything happens for a reason" i am for the most part an extremely optimistic person and take failures pretty well. people ask me how i overcome difficulties so fast and my answer? there is a reason that happened. something better is going to happen soon. i take every failure as a way to learn and improve and strive towards something better. 


what color nail polish are you wearing right now? 

currently wearing Chanel in New Dawn. i haven't worn this color in like almost a year! i usually wear bright colors form the months of march to october. but now that i don't have much time to take care of my nails or do fun nail art, i opted for a very muted color that won't be apparent even if the polish comes off. 

who is your role model? 

my dad. he is the most hard working, humble, and understanding person i know. even though i didn't get to spend that much time with him growing up, the older i get, the more i understand and respect him for everything he has done for me and my family. 


how would you describe your personal style?

timeless and casual with a little bit of luxe. i like to invest in a few nice pieces instead of a ton of cheaper options... trust me, i've learned the hard way. i like investing in good denim (i have a lot of jeans) but paired with a cheap t-shirt. throw on a nicer coat. paired with simple flip flops or sneakers. i don't ever wear heels. so just like life, my fashion picks are also about finding the right balance within a budget. 


what do you love most about where you live? any secret spots you love to go to? 

i moved to the upper west side in nyc a year ago with my now-husband. we moved here soon after we got engaged. i've always been a downtown girl and only came up to the UWS twice in all my years in nyc to go get Levain Bakery haha. i can't believe i am now an uptown girl but honestly, it fits my current lifestyle so much more (i.e. not going out to bars every weekend). i have a trader joes nearby, i have a couple of local bakeries i love, and i love my neighbors who don't blast out music all night :).


ultimate getaway? 

anywhere warm. a beach would be a huge plus. i hate cold so much so somewhere where i can wear a bikini, tan, and read a book with an iced coffee is more than i can ever ask right now. 

favorite food? 

too many. just to name a few though: a slice of greasy new york pizza, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chinatown dumplings where i can get 10 for like $5 (used to be even cheaper sigh), marinated korean ribs, shrimp pad thai... yes i have pretty cheap taste ;).


kai obsession?

obsessed with the *rose hand cream from kai. also, their diffuser! we have one right when we walk in the door and all of our guests always comment on how good our place smells.


morning person or night owl? 

used to be an extreme morning person. i would wake up at 6/6:30am, get a quick morning workout in, get ready for work while filming some content, get to work by 9am -- i got so much done before work. but now i find it hard to fall asleep early AND wake up super early. the schedule that works the best for me right now is going to bed by midnight and waking up by 7:30/8am.


currently craving? 

rice cakes from korea. actually, just every street food in korea haha. 


ideal way to relax/ unwind?

by myself. i have to be by myself to unwind. i get so easily distracted when others are around me that it's hard for me to even properly read an email. i need a cup of matcha latte, a candle, a comfy couch, pair of sweatpants, a bag of chips or popcorn and that is all i need to fully unwind. 



thank you... ava! 

1.28.2021

kai conversations with... erica groussman, co-founder of TRUWOMEN

we are overjoyed to bring you this week's kai conversation with erica groussman, wife, mom, and co-founder of truwomen, a clean indulgent food brand which includes a line of super delicious 100% plant-based protein bars that not only taste amazing but use high quality, healthy, simple and wholesome ingredients that you can actually pronounce. as a female entrepreneur and kai devotee since her teenage years, erica has always wholeheartedly believed in living a clean, healthy lifestyle. her lifelong quest for clean snacks that satisfy her sweet tooth led to her creating truwomen. similar to kai, her products and the way she runs her company are all about empowering women and creating healthier products for a healthier world. we can attest from our own experience that the truwomen protein bars satisfy your sweet tooth, while also giving you sustained energy throughout the day. we applaud erica on this incredible brand she's founded and we encourage you to check out her products available at stores including target nationwide and on truwomen's e-commerce website. erica shares some wonderful insights on her lifestyle and company below. we hope you enjoy! 

xo,

gaye. 



how are you taking care of yourself and your loved ones during this time? are there certain things that are proving to be sources of motivation/inspiration? if so, please feel free to share.

entering change is most often always uncomfortable, unfamiliar and unknown. initially and maybe out of self-preservation, i carried on as if the pandemic would merely vanish as most suggested. about a month or so into quarantine, i hit an internal roadblock because i finally was forced to accept the severity of the virus. for a few days, i was plagued with fear and indulged in the daunting observations of my surroundings. i'm not sure the exact moment of change, but i do know that an internal shift took place. i acknowledged power over my thinking and my life, and decided that i was going to embrace the change. during the course of the last year, i have gotten to spend priceless time with my husband and our kids, and our new dog gigi. we cherished things that we often take for granted, like cooking together, watching movies, and playing games. we spent a lot more time sitting by each other, without needing to fill in space with updates on our day. we've all learned to slow down, to practice self-love on hard days, and to use gratitude as a force of momentum.


how do you embody kai's "breath*life*flow" lifestyle?

i really believe the most important relationship one has is the relationship with themself. over the years, i've really had to learn how to prioritize time with myself, carving out windows to get my body moving and slow my mind down. when i am my best self, i am a better leader, wife, and mother, so i actually don't have "time" to not take care of me. some days that looks like a nice walk around the neighborhood and others it is 60 seconds of breath work to get me realigned. 


what's the best advice you've ever received?

"don't argue with a ghost" - or in other words, don't waste good energy on someone's mind who cannot be changed! 


do you have a mantra you live by? 

i don't have a specific mantra, but i really try to stay positive. in the course of one day, we are processing so much information and it can be easy to become overwhelmed or discouraged. i really focus on choosing to view things glass half full. it saves my sanity and makes me a more enjoyable person to be around!




what's your beauty secret? or must have beauty product?

eye cream! i swear it is the answer to avoid under eye wrinkles while keeping you glowy and awake. i carry eye cream with me at all times and reapply throughout the day, like some would with lip balm.


go-to lipstick color? 

it's a GEE thing by Gee Beauty. it's the perfect shade of nude pink! 


what color nail polish are you wearing right now? 

fun fact: i always wear a pale pink color on my nails. 


who is your role model? 

it's so hard to narrow down the many world-shakers out there, but i really admire Gwyneth Paltrow and her female-focused health and wellness company, Goop. i think it's so important that women have access to tools to live healthier lives, and i respect her for her dedication to offering resources that help readers and shoppers make better choices. 


ultimate getaway?

one of my favorite places in the world is Aspen, Colorado. i love the contrast of nature and outdoor activities, juxtaposed with world-renowned restaurants and retailers.


guilty pleasure?

my favorite not guilty "guilty pleasure" is when my sweet tooth kicks in late at night and i unwrap a TRUBAR. at this point, everyone else is asleep and it's just my dessert-inspired clean treat and me! 




kai obsession? 

i have been using kai products for well over 15 years, and am just as obsessed with them as ever. back when i had more time, i used to go through the ritual of spraying my pillows with the room-linen spray but once life got busy, i devoted myself to the diffusers. i love having the diffusers in rooms throughout the house to make each room feel welcoming and warm. i also have perfume oil in just about every handbag so that i can freshen up throughout the day! 


morning person or night owl? 

both! i'm not sure just how i got to be this way, but i wake up with tons of energy and yet can't seem to want to shut down before bed. it's awesome (until my lack of sleep catches up with me).


ideal way to relax/ unwind?

relax? what's that? haha. i try to meditate every day, although sometimes i only have five minutes and that's totally ok.


thank you... erica!

1.21.2021

kai conversations with... madi serpico whalen

we are absolutely thrilled to bring you this week's kai conversation with madi serpico whalen, who is a professional triathlete, as well as a runner, yoga instructor, vegan, model, and wife to former miami dolphin and oakland raider, griff whalen. not to mention, she is also a long-time kai devotee and most exciting of all, she is a brand new mama to beautiful daughter baby isabella whalen who is just over one week old! we first learned about madi a few years ago through her incredibly inspiring, beautiful, and super fun to read instagram feed, @madifastpants. madi captures beautiful scenes from her life, travels, athletic and work experiences, as well as her loving family moments. she is a wonderful photographer and story-teller, and madi wholeheartedly captures the "breath*life*flow" way of life as shown in her instagram posts and in the interview below. we strongly encourage you to check out her feed, and hope you enjoy this interview with madi below! also, please stay tuned for an exciting giveaway collaboration with @madifastpants to be announced soon! 

xo,

gaye. 



how are you taking care of yourself and your loved ones during this time? are there certain things that are proving to be sources of motivation/ inspiration? if so, please feel free to share.

this past year has been so challenging for so many. the ground beneath us continues to shift with so many unknowns. through this though i have been able to appreciate all of the precious gifts life has to offer. being pregnant for most of 2020 has been even more of a self discovery journey then normal as i am seeing the changes not only in my body but in my heart and soul as my baby girls grows, thrives and as we get ready for this new precious life, a reminder that self love and self care are first and foremost. being connected to nature, practicing yoga and connecting with family virtually and energetically has been a true gift.


are there certain exercise routines or types of workouts that have been favorites for you during the pandemic? if so, please feel free to share.

having been a professional athlete for over 10 years, i had to do a real shift when i became pregnant as to the level of intensity that i was used to. i was able to shift with covid and lockdown to mostly virtual. i do online virtual bike classes and virtual yoga. a lot of power walking and open water swimming in the summer. i set up a training area in my garage. i was grateful to connect virtually for my training. 


can you also share how kai helps you stay feeling good during your pregnancy and beyond?

i am so fortunate that my pregnancy has been relatively uneventful and smooth. i enjoyed so much of it. i felt very calm and centered throughout. i attribute much of that to what i put into my body as well as what i put on my body. i ate a plant-based diet and i only used lotions and fragrances that were clean like kai. i loved to use it when practicing yoga and breathwork. it heightened all my senses and was very calming.


how do you embody kai's "breath*life*flow*" lifestyle? 

whole body breathing has brought new meaning over the last nine months as i share my breath and energy flow with this new life. i have always been a free spirit and been able to adapt and change in new environments which is the essence i believe of the "kai lifestyle." i love the freshness every time you apply it to your skin as it reminds me of new life, new adventures and open possibilities. 



what's the best advice you've ever received?

you can only be your best version through self love and selfcare. lead by example. be of service. surround yourself with people who inspire you to do better and support your growth.


what color nail polish are you wearing right now? 

clear polish with a hint of sparkles on the tips.


how would you describe your personal style? 

very boho california, hawaiian girl. i've always dressed that way and so will our little girl. 


favorite date spot? 

Cafe Gratitude in LA. that was my husband and i's first date and we fell in love instantly.


favorite food? 

italian pizza - my nona's homemade. 


kai obsession? 

i'm obsessed with the kai body lotion. the smell is amazing. reminds me of being on the beach by the ocean in malibu or hawaii. 




morning person or night owl? 

i'm a morning person for sure. i've been a pro athlete for 10 years and worked out early in the morning pretty much all my life and now about to become a new mom.


currently craving? 

green juice all the time. (kale, lemon, celery, green apple)


what book are you reading currently?

Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp M.D.


thank you... madi!