We had the good fortune of connecting with Tory Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tory, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Risk excites me. The greater the risk, the more appealing things are to me. Nobody starts their own business without a great amount of risk. Be it financial, emotional, social, or otherwise. I would never have been able to build a business, raise children, travel, or partake in many of life’s daring adventures if I didn’t believe the rewards have always been worth the risk.
What should our readers know about your business?
We are fully transparent in our business practices and actually practice what we preach. I’ve found that the market is saturated with brands who claim things like ethical, sustainable or direct trade. In actuality you have businesses who are somewhat as they claim but for the most part it’s all great marketing and just convincing the consumer to feel good about their purchase. There’s a whole laundry list of challenges that come with starting and sustaining a business, especially when building a brand in a foreign country and doing it all in the most humane, loving way to all involved. Which includes making all products by hand, using natural dyes that aren’t pollutants, paying above market wages, giving back 25% of profits to our artisans, and doing all of this in a way which respects and connects the hands who made them with the hands who use them. There’s always a challenge or obstacle to overcome but regardless of what that is the answer can always be found the same way. Ask yourself, Why did I begin this work? Does this honor myself and those I work with? Will this create the quality of product I am proud of? We’ve grown as a business to our current status today through years of dedication and hard work. There’s no magic pill or Answer for that. Edison said “ Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work“ I couldn’t agree with that more, especially at this current day and age. Although, Edison did screw over Tesla pretty bad so I’m sure you could add grit, shady marketing, and the ability disregard any sense of moral code to the list of hard work jaja jaja. Sorry,I had to add that. I strongly believe, anything in life worth having never comes easy. This is the case both personally and professionally. The only way we’ve been able to survive and grow as a business is to JUST KEEP GOING! Everyday I have the opportunity to say “fuck it, this is too hard, too stressful, too whatever” instead, I get up and keep moving forward. The only person or in this case business that cannot be defeated is the one that never gives up.
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?
I live in Redlands and we have a wonderful downtown community filled with great shops, eateries, and the arts. We would have to grab tea at Stells, shop state street boutiques, dinner and drinks at Caprice is my favorite especially when they have live jazz. We are very central, about an hour away from the beach, desert or mountains. So, Palm Springs, big bear, and Laguna are some of my favorite local destinations. We would also have to hop on a boat to Catalina and visit the island. My family lives there and it’s one of my absolute favorite places to be!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
On a personal level mom has always championed behind my every move and motivated me to keep going even through the hard and painful times. Professionally I was inspired by Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries and Author of Tattoos On the Heart. Who’s message of standing with the marginalized has always inspired me in the work we do.