We had the good fortune of connecting with Kira Kawakami and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kira, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I worked for a dermatologist for over a decade. When she was ready to retire, I panicked. I have had this stable job for almost 13yrs…what do I do now?! I thought about what was important for me to have in my life. Freedom. I had worked for other people for so long. I had to work on their schedule, do their facials and sell their products. I had to ask someone else for permission to go out of town. I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wanted it on my terms. I wanted to follow my rules. So that pushed me to hustle. That hustle got me some of the most loyal clients that I am grateful for.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I worked in spas and salons since the age of 18. I began as a reception and then became a makeup artist in AZ at Rolf’s. My artistry appeared on the pages and runway events for 944 Magazine, as well as several Playboy college issues. I wanted a better understanding of products and their ingredients, so I decided to shift gears and become more involved in the skincare industry.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2005, I began working at the historic Sunset Tower Hotel’s Argyle Spa as both an esthetician and makeup artist. I am well versed in retail and professional products and I have an honest and straightforward approach. I quickly became a trusted skincare expert for locals, hotel guests, and celebrities alike.
In addition to expanding my skincare services through my extensive travels, I worked alongside a Los Angeles dermatologist for over a decade. I have garnered comprehensive knowledge on the most efficient and most effective treatment of acne, aging skin, and a myriad of other skin conditions, through the use of topical medications, as well as more natural approaches.
I specialize in acne, pigmentation, anti-aging treatments and have a considerable amount of experience with skin types of all colors. I approach every client with the philosophy that straightforward, simple, and affordable is best.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Tubing on the Salt River for sure. It’s an AZ staple! Sedona for the hikes and the insane scenery. Jerome is a fun pit stop. My friends and I love outdoorsy stuff, so all of the nature hot spots are always on a list to tick off. As far as food goes, anytime I talked about growing up in Phoenix…Filibertos. Friends come to visit..Filibertos. Also Toca Madera. My friend Kelsie is a performer there, so its fun to see her and eat yummy food.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My friends. I don’t think I could have held it together without them. I am someone who hates huge change. Stepping out on my own, without a “safety net”, was terrifying. Lots of tears, lots of panic wondering if I was doing the right thing. They held me up. They were let me vent and talk in circles. They’re the best.