we couldn’t be more thrilled to share this week’s kai conversations
with robin dienhard of angel montecito, kai’s longest standing retail partner
who first began carrying kai 23 years ago!
angel is a luxury women's clothing & accessory boutique that
is a part of the wendy foster & pierre lafond family of
companies. they have been an
amazing retail partner to kai all of these years, and we are wholeheartedly
grateful for their support.
our ceo & founder, gaye, recalls a beautiful memory from this
very special moment when angel first decided to partner with kai and carry the
signature perfume oil:
“when i still had my store in malibu, i was developing kai - the
perfume oil was our first product. in the summer of 2000, i went to a trade
show in new york and met the buyer for angel, who was so sweet. i loved
this boutique in montecito and thought it would be perfect for kai. i asked her
to give the perfume oil a shot. i was so excited to get my first order i drove
that case of perfume oil to santa barbara myself! years later we took the train
to santa barbara for a day trip. i stopped into angel to do some secret
shopping and the whole wall behind the counter was filled with kai. i was so
proud to have this perfectly curated store represent my line for so long. as
the girl behind the counter was ringing me up, she looked down at my credit
card, looked at the wall behind her, turned back to me and asked, “are you gaye
from kai?” it was such a special moment. angel holds a lot of good memories for
with her immediate family
how are you
taking care of yourself and your business during this time? are there certain
things that are
proving to be sources of motivation/inspiration? if so, please feel free to
i keep a healthy work/life balance. it’s taken me many, many years, but i don’t
allow the stresses or pressures of business to have control over my day. i am
content in my career at the moment and try not to get wrapped up in what the
future may hold.
how did you
start your career? and how did you end up with your current role?
i have wanted to be
a buyer for as long as i can remember... as a little girl, i admired my aunt
who bought for a wendy foster boutique. i desperately wanted to emulate her
style. when i was 20 years old, i started working at a wendy foster store full
time. one of the other buyers, who is now a dear friend, took me under her wing
and taught me all i needed to know. she gave wendy and pierre the confidence
that i could do the job! i’ve been the buyer for angel for 15 years now.
robin and her extended family including wendy foster and the late pierre
can you please
share a few sentences about your retail business and what makes your
and special to your community?
angel has been on
coast village road for 35 years; i’d say it's a cornerstone in montecito. angel
holds many dear memories for our community, especially through recent
challenging years. it’s an escape and a place for a bit of self-care - even if
it’s just 5 minutes browsing. whether it was purchasing your first juicy
sweatsuit (remember those days!?), finding the perfect outfit to dress your
baby bump, or visiting us on your annual summer trip to santa barbara... there
are many little moments like this through the years that we feel honored to be
a part of. finding something that makes you feel confident and beautiful when
you’re shopping, that’s a memory (and a piece) you’ll hold onto for life!
featured on the shelves in angel
how did you
first discover kai?
angel was carrying
kai even before i became the buyer! as a mainstay, kai’s scent is so
intertwined with all of my memories at angel.
what is your
favorite kai product?
the oil, i love keeping
it in my purse and popping it on for a mid day mood boost!
can you please
share a memory of a customer experience with kai?
we get asked almost
daily “what smells so good?” when a customer walks through the doors - and we
always say it’s kai! we have many customers who visit us when they are in town
just to stock up on kai - it’s become our signature scent!
what do you like
to do for fun when you are not working?
if i’m not at work,
i’m chasing after my girls... taking them to ballet or swim, working on homework.
it’s not glamorous, but i love it!
what is your
favorite thing to do on the weekends?
i love going on
bike rides with my littles. we ride all over town, stopping at parks or the
beach to play and ending at one of our favorite restaurants or breweries for a
on a bike ride with her oldest daughter
can you share a
little about where you live, and who you spend your leisure time with?
i live in santa
barbara - born and raised! i’m fortunate that i get to spend so much time with
my family and friends that feel like family, in this little slice of heaven.
where do you
look for inspiration for your business? are there certain instagram pages or
you follow? or are there podcasts you listen to?
buying really comes from my everyday life. i love to see how people put outfits
together. i am constantly inspired by my customers, moms i see at school
pickup, and other daily life activities… inspiration can be found everywhere!
i’m obsessed with podcasts! recently i listened to “the letter”; an incredibly
moving story about a family’s journey to grace and forgiveness in the wake of
tragedy. it brought me to tears. i can’t recommend highly enough!
thank you, robin!
I love this!ReplyDelete