This week, it’s Meet the Owners! Casey and Sloane Simmons are the super-team of sisters behind STUFF in Brookside, a Kansas City institution. STUFF is filled with wonderful jewelry, art, and gifts - much of it made by local artisans. Casey and Sloane are also really active in their community, often volunteering and donating items from STUFF for charitable causes. STUFF is not to be missed!
Enjoy the interview with Casey and Sloane.
When/why did you start STUFF?
We started our business in the late 1996 with no real plan. As a matter of fact, we became a store very much by accident. We opened a gallery with a bit of a twist - one that was only going to open for shows. It was such a hit that we had to make it a full time gig soon after. When we started, art wasn’t accessible to everyone. We wanted to break down those walls. It has been quite a journey and we are still evolving today.
What’s the best thing about owning a local business?
Giving back to our community. Knowing our customers by first name. Seeing our artists grow and evolve. Supporting other local business suppliers and giving, giving, giving everything we can to local charities.
Why did you choose to open STUFF in Brookside in particular?
We did not choose to open in Brookside when we first started. We originated in a small neighborhood called the West Plaza, we then moved to Westport for a handful or years. We moved to Brookside 11 years ago. It has been a fantastic fit. We love Brookside and we like to believe Brookside loves us.
What’s your most popular product?
ART! Handcrafted art is all it’s glory!
What’s your favorite local business (besides yours)?
Pryde’s of Old Westport.
What do people say about your business?
It is an EXPERIENCE!
What would you do if you didn’t own this store/what are your other passions?
Casey: …travel. Maybe write a travel blog?
Sloane: I have no idea what I would do if I didn’t co-own STUFF. I am exploring expanding my writing skills right now so maybe I’d do more in that arena. I love to read, swim, volunteer and spend time with my son and husband.
List Your Favorite:
TV Show: hmmmmm. I love cable series shows. Right now I am watching Saving Grace and Nurse Jackie.
Band: Cesaria Evora
Food: Fried Chicken Wings
Vacation city: Anywhere on a beach.
Hobby: my work
Kansas City event: Wings of Hope at our store.
List Your Favorite:
TV Show: I can admit to not watching shows when they are first airing. My husband and I enjoy watching shows on Netflix so we can watch large sections at one time. Mad Men and The Wire are current favorites.
Band: I don’t have a single favorite. Never really have.
Food: Salad. If I can design it myself at The Mixx, even better. And, roasted broccoli.
Vacation city: I really enjoyed a trip to Scotland 7 years ago. Any city there would do.
Drink: Iced Water.
Hobby: my work and my writing
Kansas City event: Wings of Hope at STUFF. I love raising money for charity and this one fuels a cancer research fund.