We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Kai and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
The name of my business ‘The Clair Sense’ came to me one day when thinking about my spiritual journey and the spiritual abilities that I have honed in on over the years through this journey. When I was first introduced to the term ’empath’, I was probably around 17/18 years old but it wasn’t until these past recent years that I’ve finally found what that terminology mean to me. Clair-sentience is another way of describing the feeling of empathy but it’s more heightened. This is something that I really resonate with and the acceptance of this ability is what lead me to dedicate the start of my business to The Clair abilities that lie dormant within all of us.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art has evolved over time.. when I first started my creative journey it was all about fashion, then that morphed into interest for fashion photography/filmmaking. Now, my creative interests consist of more contemporary art forms, spirituality, and literature. However, my interests in regards to art are always changing and evolving as I evolve which in my opinion is the beauty of Art and being a creative. The art piece I am most proud of to this date, is my film ‘Renaissance’ that can be found on Vimeo. It is a fashion film that I directed (going on two years ago soon), it is a piece that I still resonate with to this day. The film is about the process of rebirth within life, how we die many times within in this life to be reborn again. It’s timeless to me because it’s something that I am always met with. This piece was the one and only artwork that I took from my mind’s eye and executed to (my idea) of perfection (with the help of all the amazing individuals involved). I hope to create more films that only grow from that piece. Where I am today, took a lot of trial & error. A lot of trying to figure out where I fit best as an artist, creative, and just a person in general (lol). It’s taken me a while to really find my groove, slowly but surely starting to feel more confident about who I am and what my purpose is here in the world. While learning to be unapologetic about my interests, honing in on those interests, and finding a support system that really jives with the new evolved me. When it comes to challenges that I’ve faced on this journey to now, I’d say what’s gotten me through is art & spirituality. During the times where I hit a point of being uninspired my spiritual practice is what got me through it. Asking to be guided and shown a way to where and what it is that was really meant for me. Soon enough I found that there was no need for me to separate the two. Both of these things (art & spirituality) make up a big part of who I am; my strength, power, and love offering to the world. The greatest lessons I’ve learned are: 1. Never allow anything or anyone to steer you in a direction you don’t feel in your heart. 2. Be you, unapologetically. What I want the world to know about my brand and my story is that I am a normal girl, a black woman at that. From a small town where most don’t usually move from, but when we allow ourselves to seek something greater, there is no limit to who we can become or what we can pursue.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I was still living in LA, first thing in the morning I would take them to a spot in Chinatown or Sage in Silver lake which is a great vegan bistro place. It’s worth the try even if you’re not vegan, this is definitely one of those restaurants that will make you reconsider. Then grab a coffee or book from Stories which is also in Silver lake, it’s a very cute and quaint bookstore/coffee shop. Either there or the Last Bookstore because the last bookstore is such a fun place to get lost in and find a book you never knew you needed. After that we’d go in sit in either Elysian or Echo park and people watch while enjoying a lunch we got from Lassens or any local food shop around the area. Head to Little Ethiopia, dig in the thrift shops for some treasure and to end the evening indulge in some Ethiopian food and honey wine – specifically a place called Rosalind’s. Great food and there’s a lady that works there that I absolutely adore. In regards to the people to check out..my favorite areas that I’ve ever lived are Lincoln Heights, Baldwin Heights, & West Adams all these areas are mostly still occupied by those who have lived in them since the beginning. It’s such a breath of fresh air to be in those areas and experience the culture & people (with respect).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I’d love to shoutout my parents because they are a big part of the reason why I’ve grown and am growing in to the woman I am today. Their love & support every step of the way through my whole life has been what’s allowed me to bloom into such a ‘free-spirit,’ if you will. And of course, along with them reproducing to bring me onto this Earth. There’s no organization or group that I can think of off the top of my head, but to make it short and sweet — I am appreciative of anyone and everyone who comes into my life throughout my journey. I am a firm believer that we are all teachers/students of one another. So all of those who I have crossed paths with is someone who has contributed to my growth.
Other: For my film visit: https://vimeo.com/338951918 For photography work: https://laurenkaiphotos.tumblr.com
Fourth photo was taken by: Miguel Diaz