We had the good fortune of connecting with Kori Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kori, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
One of the most important things I’ve done as a parent, in terms of the impact on my children, is to just DO. As a parent of two daughters, I have always tried to teach my girls that it is easier to “do” than to want. For example, instead of saying “I wish I could speak Spanish” it’s better to work hard and actually learn how to speak Spanish. Having the vision and desire is easy but you have to be willing to work hard and take risks, to achieve it. If it does’t come easily, consider this part of the journey, not the end of it. Enjoy the journey no matter how bumpy, the struggle is where the most growth and accomplishments happen. My eldest daughter is beginning her college search and with that comes the idea that she has to choose some sort of career path. She is an incredibly creative and talented person, and she struggles because her creative career path might not lead to traditional success, i.e., a high paying job. Personally, I am most fulfilled when I can express myself creatively, and my success is measured in my happiness. My hope for my daughter is to have passion for whatever path she chooses, and that the success will follow. Without the passion the success is meaningless. By following my love to always create and inspire and most importantly to “do”, I hope my daughters will be encouraged to follow their wants with actions. Happiness will come with that fulfillment.
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.
As creative and detail-driven culinary artist with a knack for organizing casual but elegant gatherings, I have always been a natural entertainer. Whenever I hosted a party in my own home or brought family and friends together for a holiday meal, the focal point of my table was always a grazing platter filled with exquisite snacks—a plentiful mix of local produce sourced from Los Angeles farmers markets, imported cheeses, charcuterie, heathy dips, rustic crackers, bread, chocolate-dipped fruit. Inevitably, my guests began to ask, ‘Will you please come to my house and do this for me?’ And that’s how I decided to turn it into a small business, and Simple Life Things came to be. Since its inception it has continued to morph and grow and allow me to really use all of my creative energy to bring people together and illustrate to people that entertaining should be joyful and simple. Prior to the pandemic, when events and entertaining were a constant in our daily lives, I not only created grazing experiences, but I also helped clients achieve their vision for their events. With menu, invites, flower design, décor, set up and food, I helped to craft my client’s dream event into reality. As the pandemic set in, I was able to pivot my skills and begin teaching cheeseboard workshops via zoom which served as a way for friends, clients, or colleagues to connect in a new, interesting way. Additionally, I shifted the larger cheese board offerings into smaller individualized cheese platter boxes. Each guest receives their own platter delivered neatly in a biodegradable, collapsible, wood and rice paper box that is made using stumps left behind by the forestry industry. The individual boxes are now a signature of Simple Life Things. In addition to cheese platter boxes, we do crudités boxes, fruit boxes and even high tea boxes. It has been so great to be a part of bringing joy to people through modified events. The pandemic has changed how we interact and communicate. Now technology has become our main connection interface. I have worked hard to create unique and interesting ways to transform events in this new digital setting. It is my goal to make life beautiful and simple, and the individual grazing boxes and online workshops have a unique way of connecting people that were otherwise isolated in their own homes. The individualized platter box helps bring back the warmth and joy to life’s special moments. It creates fond memories and meaningful moments. Although we are not able to gather in a traditional sense, big life events are still happening. It is so wonderful to be able to elevate a life event, whether it be a wedding, a milestone birthday, a fundraiser or a baby shower, with seasonal, customized, curated, beautiful, delicious treats. Another offering we provide is heartfelt gift giving. Whether your platter is sent on a disposable, eco-friendly wood tray, something from our collection of vintage, real wood boards, or as an individualized platter box complete with custom calligraphy, it is guaranteed to be a unique gift giving experience that allows everyone to feel extra appreciated.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I love the outdoors, theatre, art, design and food, I enjoy taking friends downtown to see art at MOMA and the Broad, then stopping at Otium or Redbird for incredible dining and cocktails. I live in Hancock Park which is right in the center of town, so I am always up for a hike at Griffith Park in one direction or a beach excursion in the other. One of my favorite local food spots is Iki Ramen. They are always offering fresh sushi and unique ramen. Another favorite food spot is Mizlala a Mediterranean grill with a bright garden patio in the heart of West Adams. For shopping my go to’s are Nickey Kehoe, Shop Coop LA, Chevaliers Books on Larchmont, Clare V. and of course any and all flea markets.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would have to say my family first and foremost. They’ve been so supportive and encouraging as my business has emerged. My daughter’s are so creative and talented in everything they pursue, and they have mad skills artistically that I would kill to have an ounce of. My husband keeps me calm and centered, but most of all he is my biggest cheerleader. Living in Los Angeles, I feel surrounded by creatives, and risk takers and I am continuously guided by many creative friends. My dear friend and designer Claire Stansfield, has always been an incredible source for business and innovative ideas. Claire inspired the idea of Simple Life Things. Catherine McCord of Weelicious, is beyond generous with her wealth of knowledge, and incredible talents in the kitchen and in business. Molly Brink and Tracy Hoff of Clutch gifts have really guided me in how to shape a business and to thrive. All of these women are driven, creative and mothers; they inspire me daily. Another prominent influence is my incredible Mother in law, Fay Jones. After earning her BFA from RISD, and when the youngest of her 4 children started kindergarten, Fay converted the family living room into her art studio. Determined to follow her creative passion, she began her art career at the age of 31. Fay would say it took her 10 years of working to absorb her education, and to work away from what she had been taught. She considers herself “not an artist of [her] own time because [she] didn’t follow the rules.” She let her passion be her guide and now, after more than 50 years of working, she is still exhibiting regularly, and has become one of the West Coast’s most esteemed artists. I feel so grateful to have all these empowering women in my orbit.