Congratulations to Kala Maxym for being our AMPLIFY January Ambassador!
At The Amplify Collective, we feature our Coterie members as ambassadors who are women what we think embody and represent the spirit and values of the organization.
Kala’s diverse professional background includes working as a Senior Program Analyst with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice’s overseas law enforcement initiatives, singing opera roles, recitals, and concerts (and the occasional impromptu performance for a President) around the world, and working for a busy NYC-based tech start-up. That’s all until she realized none of this was what she actually wanted to do with her life!
So… she quit her “real” job and moved to LA all in the same week in April 2016 and is now dedicated fulltime to her company, Five Senses Tastings (5ST). Five Senses is the first special events company offering “music tastings:” full-sensory storytelling experiences based in live music and paired with wine, cheese, and chocolate. So far, Los Angeles has gifted Kala with one magical moment after another. From her launch event at Diane von Furstenberg to several sold out events in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills to her first ever radio interview and a packed event schedule for early 2017, LA is clearly 5ST’s home, and Kala could not be happier. She lives in Los Feliz with her two orange Bronx street cats, Ollie and Caspar.
Five Senses Tastings puts a unique twist on the tasting concept asking guests to “taste” with their ears, and then with all five senses, as they are taken on a full-sensory storytelling journey told through live music, wine, cheese, and chocolate. Taste the music!
What does it look like for you to live an amplified life?
As I listened to your podcasts I always wondered how I would answer this question if asked! For me, living an amplified life is an ever-evolving pursuit. For now, it means continuing to remove from my life all those daily activities, old habits, and self-sabotaging thoughts that prevent me from working to realize my dreams and instead filling those spaces with bold actions and people that challenge and propel me forward. Leaving my previous job and moving to LA were the two biggest steps in this direction, but I find I do this every day in tiny, subtle ways. Acknowledging that I can achieve greatness and being conscious of my own growth process towards that greatness is a life-long journey of discovery but succumbing to the journey, I think, is the way to continue amplifying that greatness.
How has the idea of “un-networking” impacted your everyday life?
I am a fairly outgoing person, and I typically haven’t minded traditional networking events. Problem is, I don’t do something traditional and so leading with what I do inevitably yields one of two reactions: 1) The eyebrow raise that indicates the person has absolutely no clue what you’re talking about, 2) They’re actually really interested but they can’t immediately see what they could offer me or vice versa. Here’s where un-networking totally changes the picture. By not focusing on what I do but rather who I am and what I’m working on, the conversation – well, even more so the people starting that conversation – are prepared for me to respond with something slightly off the beaten path. They’re ready for it, and they’re excited by it. And I’m excited for them to ask, knowing they’ll listen and then share their own story. I remember meeting one Coterie member about three times before we realized we didn’t actually have the faintest idea what the other did for a living!
Are there any practices or mantras that you use daily to amplify your life and empower yourself?
In my family we use the “suitcase theory: it’s not if it’s going to fit, it’s how. I don’t know exactly how my business is going to grow, how I’m going to get the next singing gig, or what my future life is going to look like. I just know the question isn’t if it’s going to be great, but how.
What are you really excited to create for the rest of the year + leading into 2017?
I’m beyond thrilled to have found my home in Los Angeles, and I can’t wait to continue to make it my own in 2017! I’ve had the busiest year ever in my business in 2016 – December kicked my butt – and I’d like to blow that out of the water next year. One of my biggest opportunities to date is coming up next February when I’ll be presenting four events within a week in Temecula at Europa Village Winery and in Downtown LA with LA Wine Tasting. Two really huge opportunities, and I can't wait!
What inspires you?
What inspires me? Pretty much everything these days! I am inspired by the women – and men – around me I see creating and recreating themselves and reinventing their lives every day. I’m inspired by the genuine goodness in people and their willingness to help a newbie find her feet in this amazing city. I’m amazed and grateful for the spirit of possibility here in LA, by the opportunities that seem to have just landed in my lap, and by the women who’ve become my tribe here in such a short time.
What is one thing you can't leave the house without?
I cannot leave the house without lip balm. You never know when you’re going to have to kiss someone!