Lakay is a word in the Haitian dialect of Kreyol that means home. Tirf Alexius, a Haitian-American actor and director from Chicago uses his talents to give back to his homeland. One of those efforts if the creation of the solid lifestyle brand LAKAY. We took some time to speak with Tirf. Catch his vibe and get schooled on how and why it’s important to give back.
Tell us who you are.
I’m an award winning Haitian-American actor, producer, director, and co-founder of two Chicago-based feature film production and distribution companies, 4 Features Film Co. and Driven Entertainment. I also recently co-founded the lifestyle brand LAKAY.
What makes you unique?
I make it a point to be socially conscious with every business venture. A portion of the profits from LAKAY will benefit the Haitian nonprofit, I2Believe. Who says you can’t look good while doing good?! It’s important we give back.
How did you get started in your profession?
I began my career as an actor in commercials and films and decided to dive into directing and producing multi-media projects, music videos and feature films. I knew I had a lot more to say. And, getting my voice heard required me to work both sides of the camera. LAKAY is something my brother and co-founder, Remoh Romeo, and me had been talking about for years. However, our return trip to Haiti in 2010 really ignited the idea and we ran with it.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect of what you do?
Cutting through. Everyone wants to be heard and seen. That’s where having the right relationships come into play. Factor in the instant gratification of social media, staying relevant while remaining true to your brand is an ongoing challenge.
Who are the biggest personal and professional influences in your life?
Professional influence is an easy one. Roger Ichou is the founder of QR Tax Service and its related software off shoots. I’ve never met anyone more passionate and hard working. Excellent marketer as well. I might have stolen a few ideas from him. As for personal influences, I have a core group of friends who remind me that family’s most important, and red carpets are an aspect of the job.
Tell us about the last book you read. Why did you choose it?
Colin Powell’s “It Worked For Me – In Life and Leadership.” I realized how important it is to keep your team motivated and always looking for ways to be more effective and ultimately a better leader in all aspects of one’s life.
What encouraging words do you have for our readers.
Let’s not just talk about it. Invest in your careers and make it happen. Be in it for the long haul.
Watch the trailer for Lakay the documentary by clicking here.
Check out the pics in the gallery below.