kai conversations... with naadine koi

naadine koi is the creative force behind wellboxed, a visual platform for displaying her candle styling talents... often featuring the kai skylight and nightlight! scrolling through her feed or website is like taking a mini-retreat and serves a daily source of inspiration for us. she's recently earned the attention of international press, and we feel lucky to have her as this month's kai conversation. enjoy!


what's the best advice you've received? 
the best advice i've ever gotten was to be yourself. it may seem obvious, but too many people spend too much time worrying about what others think. life's just too short to try to please everyone!

do you have a mantra you live by?
live, love, matter - these three words from brendon burchard guide me daily. every night, i ask myself: did you live, did you love, did you matter? if i'm not doing each of these things every day, then i know i have to make a change somewhere - having all three elements helps bring balance to my life. i want to live each day to the fullest, i want to love like crazy, and i want to make a difference.

how would you describe your personal style?
i'd call myself a girly girl with an edge. i'm always mixing and matching different pieces, throwing different patterns, prints, and textures together. i love combining softer feminine looks with edgier, sexy elements - think a long flowy dress with a leather jacket on top.

what do you love most about where you live? any secret spots you love to go to? 
southern california is one of the best places to live, in my opinion! the weather's always beautiful and there's a great view around nearly every corner. two of my favorite places in san diego are hillcrest and little italy, they're both such cute areas with great culture and restaurants.
what color nail polish are you wearing right now? 
gold. i'm currently having a love affair with gold! i want it everywhere, on everything. i think it's perfect accent piece for both home decor and fashion.

ultimate getaway? 
i'd love to go to spain... to see its beautiful beaches, eat paella, and learn about spanish culture and architecture. the perfect trip would be taking a ferry from the spanish coast to morocco. i'm obsessed with moroccan fabrics and rugs - they use so many beautiful colors and textures - so i'd definitely pick up a few pieces at one of morocco's famous markets. as a candle stylist and photographer, one of my sources of inspiration is travel. i've been so inspired by all of the different countries i've visited, which is why i love styling my photographs with unique items from around the world.

favorite food? 
japanese ramen - i could eat it all day! it combines all my favorite ingredients: broth, noodles, and pork. plus, there's something so warm and comforting about it, it always brings a smile to my face.

kai obsession?
kai body wash and the kai candle - i can't live without either one! the body wash smells amazing, it has such a relaxing fragrance and it leaves my skin feeling smooth and silky. i've been using it for years - i feel like i stay in the shower a little longer just because of its relaxing fragrance, i don't want it to end. i especially love how the throw of the fragrance lingers, always infusing my shower with kai's scent - it's a pleasure every time i walk into the bathroom! but i can't forget the candle, it's a staple in my home. i always keep one in my bathroom and another in my living room. it's like having a fresh bouquet of gardenias sitting on my coffee table each morning when i wake up.
morning or night owl?
i'm definitely a morning person! i live by the philosophy, "the early bird gets the worm!" it's important to me to get up early and get my work done first thing. i definitely do my best work in the mornings: i'm full of excitement, positivity, and a million and one ideas from all the dreams i had the night before. plus, as a photographer, i'm always chasing the light - natural light is essential to get the best shots, so the earlier i start, the more chances i have to get the perfect capture!

ideal way to relax/unwind?
light a candle, of course! after a long day of running around, there's no better feeling than coming home, lighting a candle, and unwinding as its exquisite scent fills the room. i've been known to curl up on the sofa and binge watch a really good show with the perfect fragrance burning in the background.

what's the most adventurous thing you've done?
i took six months off to travel throughout asia by myself. i visited nine countries, learning so much about their food and culture along the way. from big cities to small towns, sea sides to mountaintops, i met the most incredible people and ate the most delicious food. it was the best time of my life (so far!) and it taught me a lot about myself - it was that trip that helped shape me into who i am today.
thank you so much, naadine! xo.


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