What I Do.
// MY WORK //
It's taken me forever to narrow down what I do into one sentence, so this is cause for celebration people. No matter what gift I'm working in, my ability to put things together in a compelling, creative way - whether a character, a story, an outfit, a space, or a brand - gives people confidence in my capacity to create whatever I want. This has created both joy and anxiety on my end, but most importantly it's helped me connect the dots to my overarching purpose: to use these gifts to help myself & others connect more courageously with who we are, what we do, & how we contribute to the world.
// STORYTELLING //
Whether creating my own or collaborating with others, I'm obsessed with telling specific, personal stories that mix heart, humor, and honesty. My fave moments in storytelling so far include playing myself during She Takes the Stage; finding comedic freedom & confidence as a series regular on BET's Somebodies and a mostly improvised role in Why Did I Get Married; & creating America's Most Clueless Fashionista in my one woman comedy series What Would Doris Do. I'm currently writing my first feature and developing & directing a one woman show for the stage, plus always upping my audition game. Most recently, I appeared on Being Mary Jane & Star.
// STYLE //
Growing up in Germany, my mother always had my sister & I dressed in style. As I've grown older, I've inherited my mother's great eye but my personal approach to style has evolved a lot over the years. I used to have so many clothes and accessories. The closet rod in my first (and last) single lady apartment actually collapsed from the weight of it all. MESSAGE. I realized I was hiding behind my style and that it was actually weighing me down. As I've dug deeper into my own identity & value system, I truly feel that less is more. Because I don't need more clothes, I need more ME in the clothes. Professionally, I've worked as a stylist with celebrity photographers & TV shows, ran my own award-winning company A Clothes Encounter, and worked as a style personality for eHow Style and Walmart. My style skills also cross over into interiors, where I've worked as a set designer and am especially passionate about creating intentional, affordable spaces for my fellow artists & creatives. This has all led me to start creating my ultimate vision - XO KAIRA AKITA, a lifestyle shop & studio for confident, creative living. Stay tuned.
// CREATIVE //
A natural born (and opinionated) creative director, I have an eye for every step of the creative process. In my past life, I co-founded the boutique creative agency Studio 7980 alongside my sister Kia, and together we realized how much the traditional client process can suck the joy out of your soul. So, yeah, I'm not your traditional creative director. My other professional creative work includes being accepted into the copywriting program at Creative Circus (I declined & decided to run off to the Hollywood circus instead), being called on as a brand strategist by E! Online, and having my creative art direction and personal website featured in CurlBox and Squarespace.com, respectively. Currently, I'm focused on being my own client for all my websites and brands, but I'm always paying attention to people & projects that spark my creative interest & carving out time for a limited number of one-on-one creative consulting clients each season.
// COURAGEOUS IDENTITY //
Can I be honest? There are three words that, in the past, have often given me pause: inspiration, motivation, and empowerment. There is so much clutter in this space and often people who aim to inspire, motivate, and empower are hiding their full selves or have yet to move through their own work. For me, empowerment has never been a goal. It's more of a bi-product of my natural essence, my God-given gifts, and my desire to live FREE. That said, as I have committed to asking myself the tough questions, people I know (and some I don't) tend to follow along looking for answers. And I feel called to share as I learn (and unlearn) and offer my own brand of collaborative empowerment - that I call courageous identity - for those with the courage to push themselves, and culture, forward.