as we gear up for mother's day next week and the celebration of all the moms and mother figures in our lives, we are delighted to share this beautiful kai conversation with two remarkable co-founders who are also moms, kenna florie and birgit klett. not only are we huge personal fans of their brand, beek, which offers the most gorgeous and instantly comfortable leather sandals on the planet that only get better with age, but also we love their back story which is based on being friends for over fifteen years and working side-by-side as colleagues at roxy. they bonded over their love of tuna sandwiches, chips, and their slightly unnatural addiction to iced tea. years later, they founded the amazing shoe brand, beek, which is all about beauty meeting comfort, and they also have an incredible give back pledge with feeding america national: "for every pair of beek shoes sold, they donate the equivalent of five meals for a child in need in their community". we hope you enjoy learning more about these amazing women who we are proud to call kai devotees.
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.
kf: with a lot of cuddling, pajama time, uno, yahtzee, and fresh baked cookies. :-) i'm trying my hardest to take deep breaths and just enjoy this time with them, which i am. my motivation and inspiration is coming from my belief that this WILL be over soon and i am never going to get this time back again so i need to savor it.
bk: i've come to cherish this new-found time to focus on things that are good for my heart and soul... so meditating EVERY day, long phone calls with my grown kids without being distracted, walks... and lots and lots of books. home workouts feel like, well, work, but so necessary.
how do you embody kai's "breath*life*flow" lifestyle?
kf: BREATH. it's what we naturally do but when we are more conscious of it then we can take the time to step back and really look at the situation, try to understand it, and decide how to take it on. the older i get the more i've learned that breathing is what keeps me sane and balanced in life.
bk: and again, with the meditating! not only in a formal sense, but also throughout the day. this is a just a moment in time... and we are in control of how we process and react to it... and hopefully grow from the experience. this really helps with perspective.
what's the best advice you've ever received?
kf: in business we had a very successful friend tell us that above and beyond anything else, and no matter what anyone says, no matter who they are, TRUST YOUR GUT. we know our business better than anyone else so don't be afraid to go left even when everyone else is telling you to go right.
bk: if you love what you do, it will never feel like work.
what's your beauty secret? or must have beauty product?
kf: face lotion with spf because i'm too lazy to do both. and kai hand cream because i wash my hands constantly (especially now!) and they need it so badly. and the scent makes me happy! everyone comments on how 'clean' i smell. :-)
bk: my mom started me on retin-a when i was 25 (she must have seen it on oprah!!!). i have used it every day since, and gave my daughter her first tube this year.
how would you describe your personal style?
kf: classic, timeless, simple.
bk: casual, easy, california.
what do you love most about where you live? any secret spots you love to go to?
kf: newport beach is an amazing place to live. the ocean has always been a very grounding thing for my husband and i (and now our children) so having water around us (we live on an island) is magical. we jump off the docks, kayak around the bay, stand-up paddle, take our little duffy boat out and soak up the sun every chance we get. if you ever get a chance to go on a duffy (you can rent them through the duffy dealership) and cruise around the bay it is the best newport experience. pick up mai tais from woody's and sushi from the cannery. they deliver right to your boat!
bk: my garden is my happy place. i'm originally from the east cost and still think that it is magical how everything just grows here in california sunshine. i love being this close to the beach and that i can also do the beautiful coastal drive to sf so easily.
describe your perfect day.
kf: beach with the family, bbq in our backyard with a little corn hole game and a bottle of wine with my husband. night-time s'mores around our fire pit.
bk: rose bowl flea market in the morning and lunch with my daughter. some time in the garden with a book and cooking dinner with friends.
kf: mexico has always been a special spot for myself and my family. we love punta mita and cabo.
bk: mexico also. it's just so easy and feels like a second home since we make our shoes there. as much as i love the beach, i want to explore oaxaca.
kf: books. but not the educational or self-help kind. :-) psycho thrillers and mysteries are my jam. it's my escape at night.
bk: top chef. i watch each episode twice.
kf: besides the hand cream, which i'm obsessed with, i also love the *rose body butter. it's so creamy and i feel so luxurious!
bk: i love the original kai scent, in anything, but especially the body butter.
morning person or night owl?
kf: a dinner party with friends! :-)
thank you, kenna and birgit!