If you’ve visited STUFF in Brookside, you know the retail/gift store is quirky, eclectic, fun, and funky—not unlike its co-owner Sloane Simmons. Alongside her sister Casey, Simmons has curated STUFF’s gift-tastic hodgepodge of handmade arts into one of the top small businesses in Kansas City.
Because she’s involved and/or on the board of so many not-for-profits, it’s no wonder Simmons is revered for her tireless community involvement. (Fun fact: In 2014, the Simmons sisters were named “Volunteers of The Year” by KCUR, Kansas City’s public radio station.)
The former political and business consultant says she’s a Kansas City superfan—both of the city and the folks living in it.“Our tribe is strong, we are prone to smiling, and we lean toward finding solutions with an eye on the whole,” says Simmons. “I like us. A lot.”
We chatted up Simmons to find out her stomping grounds, go-to locales and other sundry items.
What‘s your favorite place to appease your sweet tooth?
“I am a baked-goods girl, and Blackhole Bakery has become a new favorite. Dang, those mochi donuts are terrific. I can also claim to be a bit of an ice-cream lover—as my son and I think it’s the perfect thing for lunch—and Fairway Creamery always hits the spot.”
What‘s your fave place to see and be seen—socially distanced, of course?
“I greatly enjoy the Kauffman Gardens, as do so many, in every season. It has been not only a place of solace for me this past year but a place to say hello to people.”
What‘s your favorite place to do some retail therapy or credit card damage—or both?
“This question feels like a bit of a setup for a retailer! Of course, I greatly enjoy the work my store sells, but I also do damage at the end of semester show/sale at the Kansas City Art Institute and at the silent auctions that local charities have at their virtual and live events. This is a seriously generous town, and the artists donate amazingly beautiful things to benefit others—and they do so regularly.”
What are you binge-watching this second?
“My husband and I just finished The Crown and we are on to The Underground Railroad.”
Where do you go to get (or stay) caffeinated?
“I do like my iced teas, and I purchase them at the Starbucks on Main Street. The baristas there are mostly from my neighborhood, and they support causes I love, and volunteer their time in my community at food pantries and shelters. We find time to talk about things beyond drinks and snacks. I like that. In the past, that Starbucks location supported AIDS Walk Kansas City, a cause near and dear to my heart. While I am a loud shop local mouthpiece, this is one of the few exceptions in my life where I regularly stop into a chain to shop with people who work hard and give back.”
What‘s your fave song/earworm right now?
“Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Daddy Lessons by Beyonce. I hum both constantly.”
Fave film/theater monologue you know by heart and can recreate on the spot?
“My family are fanatics for the film Home for the Holidays, and we all quote it constantly. Sometimes I am Robert Downey Jr. and sometimes I am Holly Hunter. I work with my sister daily, and seldom does a day goes by where we don’t use one of the fabulous quotes from that movie! (And that’s before I arrive home.)”
What‘s your favorite brunch spot?
“I was never a brunch person until Ragazza came into my life! It has a terrific brunch, and the sparkly drinks made with Laura Norris’s homemade limoncello wash it all down deliciously.”