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11.17.2022

kai conversations with... stephanie nass, founder + ceo of chefanie

in anticipation of thanksgiving next week, we are delighted to bring you this week’s special holiday-themed kai conversations with stephanie nass, known as chefanie! she is an extraordinary female chef and entrepreneur who has spent the last eight years building a multifaceted business that offers food catering and culinary-driven lifestyle products, and has cultivated a strong following as a culinary influencer on social media, providing uniquely beautiful table settings and awe-inspiring dinner setups. with all that she’s doing on a daily basis, we are not sure when stephanie has time to sleep!  we admire the incredible brand, chefanie, that she’s developed with her tremendous talents and years of hard work. stephanie has also been devotee of kai for nearly 20 years, and we are so fortunate to call her a friend!  
 
in this post, stephanie shares her top recommendations for the holiday season along with some fun background insights about herself. we hope you enjoy her interview, and we encourage you to check out and follow her gorgeous inspirational feed, @chefanie!  you will be glad you did, and next time you are hosting and/or cooking at home — you’ll be completely inspired by chefanie’s amazing tips, how-tos, as well as her tableware, home décor, design and culinary recommendations with impeccable taste!
 
xo,
gaye.
 

could you please share 3 to 5 must-have offerings from the chefanie brand for the holidays? specifically, which items can you not live without for the holiday season?


do you have a “go to” item that you bring for host/hostess gifts during the holidays?

wicker cake stand and a homemade cake.


any tips for a good swap gift (where each participant brings an unmarked, wrapped gift)?


what’s your favorite tableware to use, out of any tableware design/setting you’re using throughout the entire holiday season?


what’s your absolute favorite dish (appetizer, entrée, dessert) for the holidays?

brie en croute.


how did you first discover kai? please share a memory of your first-time using kai, which product it was, and anything special you noticed during your experience?

my mom introduced me to the kai signature perfume oil after she discovered the brand in california- probably 20 years ago. i remember thinking it was the best smell in the world. 


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

beauty comes from within. be happy. 



go-to lipstick color?

a deep burgundy red (with lip liner).


what color nail polish are you wearing right now?

none! never. 


favorite food?

pasta.



thank you... stephanie!
 

10.20.2022

kai conversations with…..ione and ellen, sisters + founders of rucker roots

we are delighted to bring you this week’s conversations with the sensational sisters behind rucker roots, the amazing vegan natural hair care brand that is inspired by and celebrates roots! ione rucker jamison (cmo) and ellen rucker sellers (ceo) were raised by a mother who concocted hair recipes using vegetables from their family garden, so it was truly in their “roots” to become the fearless female entrepreneurs that they now are! similar to kai, the rucker roots brand has been selected as one of allure’s “best of beauty” award winners and their brand has really taken off nationwide! rucker roots currently can be found in 12 retailers across the u.s. including target, amazon, belk, urban outfitters, heb, and j.c. penny salons; and they continue to grow and expand their roots! 

we are so grateful to have ellen and ione as our kai devotees and friends! ellen and ione have been long-time wearers of kai. ellen has a daughter named kai, who is now 17, and ione and ellen first discovered kai around that time, when the kai signature products were gifted to ellen as a new mom.  

we highly encourage you to check out their incredible hair care offerings (website and instagram), and we hope you enjoy the below wonderful, insightful interviews with these two fabulous sisters! 

please stay tuned for a very exciting giveaway launching with rucker roots soon!

xo,
gaye.

  

how did you start your career? and how did you end up with your current role?

ione: ellen and i are sisters, and we started our company, rucker roots, literally in ellen's kitchen.  i was living with ellen, along with my 3 kids, and we envisioned rucker roots during this time. i was going through a divorce and needed to focus on something positive that would make my kids' proud of me. my current role as cmo of rucker roots has really transpired over the years because of my strengths in running our business. ellen is the ceo. we have learned to work well together over the years, but it has taken a lot of trial and error. being sisters and best friends, as well as having the same vision for rucker roots has guided our brand to become a nationally recognized award-winning brand. 

 

what do you like most about what you do professionally?

ione: i really enjoy inspiring young people to believe in themselves and to dream big. i also really love when our products truly make a difference in our customer's lives. 

ellen: i love creating products that i feel great about using on myself and my family.  i also love the flexibility i have in my career that allows me to give time to my children and husband. 


please share a few key points about the mission of your brand. 

ione: our mission is healthy hair starts at the root. we are a family and women owned business with strong family roots. rucker is our family name and roots represents the powerful root vegetable oils that are in our products.

ellen: our mission is to provide healthy hair options that give women the ability to have versatility in their styles.  


how did you first discover kai? please share a memory of your first-time using kai, which product it was, and anything special you noticed during your experience. 

ione: we have always loved and admired kai fragrance - ellen's daughter is named kai, so i think that is originally how we recognized the brand. we love the kai perfume oil, the scent is amazing!  the smell reminds me of being in a spa which always puts me in a relaxed mood.

ellen: i have loved kai products since my daughter kai was a baby. it was gifted to me when i first had her. that was 17 years ago.  


how do you embody kai’s “breath*life*flow” lifestyle?

ione: i try to live by kai's breathe*life*flow lifestyle by taking care of my body in all aspects (mentally, physically, and emotionally). exercising, meditating, eating clean, healthy foods, showing grace and being kind to others are how i live my life. 

ellen: i embody kai's breath, life, flow lifestyle through my daily routines.  i take time daily to sit quickly and breathe.  because my day is pretty hectic with 3 year old twins and a 17 year old.  

 

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

ione: best advice comes from my dad:  money doesn't make you happy - happiness is an inside job.  always give back to your community and to the youth.

do you have a mantra you live by?

ione: mantra: treat the janitor the same way i would treat the ceo.

 

ultimate getaway?  best things about living where you reside currently?

ione: favorite getaway; charleston, sc or garden city beach, sc. i love living in charlotte, nc. we have beaches and mountains only a couple of hours away.  it's a great place to raise a family and the weather is nice!! 

ellen: my husband, bakari and i, took a trip this summer to anguilla and st. barths.  the getaway was fabulous and so relaxing.  


guilty pleasure?

ione: guilty pleasure is netflix 

ellen: i have sns dipped nails - ballet slipper nude pink with gold sparkles on the tips

 

ideal way to relax/unwind? 

ione: definitely spa day!!!

 

morning person or night owl?

ellen: definitely a night owl. i stay up late regularly working, after the kids are down to bed and the house is quiet. 


what book are you reading currently?

ione: reading the book “who not how” by dan sullivan

ellen: i am currently reading "year of yes:  how to dance it out, stand in the sun, and be your own person" by shonda rhimes.  

 

favorite food? 

ellen: collard greens are my favorite food.  we are from the south and our father would have a garden full of greens every fall and when prepared properly they are delicious.  also collard greens are packed with so many great vitamins like folate, vitamin k, and iron.

 

what’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

ione: most adventurous thing i've done was take my kids when they were 8,6, and 4 ziplining really high up in the mountains in costa rica. i fear heights so this was beyond scary…i look back and think about how dangerous it was all the time!



thank you, lone & ellen!

10.13.2022

kai conversations with... belen salomon, designer + creator of @shopwithbelen

we are thrilled to bring you this week’s kai conversation with belen salomon, the designer/creator of the la-based belen “every day essentials” clothing collection that is made for women, by women locally (designed and manufactured in los angeles) and striving towards being 100% domestically sourced for all of their textiles used and knit in los angeles.

beyond her beautiful, sustainably-focused clothing line @shopwithbelen, you may have also heard of belen from one of her many noteworthy accomplishments and roles she’s played in the fashion industry over the years. belen started her career working as stylist and personal shopper for over a decade, before launching her own blog a few years ago, which has become a go-to fashion, lifestyle and platform called, style notes by belen. throughout her career as a stylist, she worked with celebrities on movie sets, red carpet events, photo shoots, music videos and more. she is also known on instagram as @stylebybelen where her lifestyle and fashion content have earned her more than 260,000 followers. not to mention, she also has a style by belen youtube channel and a podcast; and she also plays a strong supporting role to her husband, alejandro salomón, a youtube star and influencer.

belen is clearly an incredibly talented (and busy!) female entrepreneur, and she is such a bright star in the fashion industry. we are honored to call her a friend and collaborator! 

we highly encourage you to check out belen on the platforms linked above, and follow @shopwithbelen and @stylebybelen on instagram. 

please stay tuned for a very exciting giveaway between kai and belen to be launching soon!

xo,
gaye.

how did you start your career? and how did you end up with your current role?


i was a fashion stylist for 12 years and i had the opportunity to design a capsule collection and never looked back. now i am a full-time clothing designer. 
 

what do you like most about what you do professionally? 

design clothing for women to make them feel confident and comfortable.
 

please share a few key points about the mission of your brand.

belen is designed by women, for women and made in the heart of downtown los angeles. we focus on sustainable materials and making basics that are made to last. 


how did you first discover kai? please share a memory of your first-time using kai, which product it 
was, and anything special you noticed during your experience.

it was 2005 and i was working at a boutique in irvine, ca and when we got our first shipment of kai products the smell was absolutely incredible and immediately made me feel like i was on vacation.
 

what’s your beauty secret? or must-have beauty product? 

ice roller is an absolute must and tons of water!
 

go-to lipstick color? 

kosas jellyfish. 
 

what color nail polish are you wearing right now? 

lincoln park after dark.
 

how would you describe your personal style? 

effortless, timeless and girl on the go.

describe your perfect day. 

meditation right after waking up, a morning walk with my pitbull, followed by pilates and a day at the beach with my husband, then take-out at home with our dog and a romcom movie, ideally “it’s complicated.”


ultimate getaway?

anywhere in italy.
 

favorite food? 

sushi. 


favorite date spot? 

little beach house malibu.


guilty pleasure?  

the kardashians. 
 

morning person or night owl? 

morning person all the way. 


currently craving? 

a vacation to cabo.
 

ideal way to relax/unwind? 

a warm shower, peppermint tea and getting in bed at 9pm.



thank you, belen!