Susan Feldman, co-founder of One Kings Lane & more recently In The Groove, has that classic entrepreneurial story: she worked out of her own home pulling 16-20 hour days, had no clue how to even file an LLC, & well, it was the height of the recession. “I think sometimes it’s better not to know. Ignorance is bliss, you just ask things, beg people to help you, & move as fast as you can,” reminisces Susan on the experience. At the time of launch, Susan & her business partner, Ali Pincus, had done everything they could to prepare…for failure. Instead they completely disrupted the e-commerce decor business & One Kings Lane took off within six months.
Growing up in a retail family, Susan spent her entire career working in retail & wholesale. It wasn’t until 13 years ago when she moved to Los Angeles, something she told herself she would never do again after a short stint in the city post-college, that she sparked the idea for her first business. “After about a year of talking about it my husband said to me ‘If you really think this is a good idea you must go do it, otherwise stop talking about it,” & that was all the motivation Susan needed to create the company. Knowing she wanted a partner in the endeavor, Susan enlisted Ali Pincus & within six weeks of chatting about the idea together, & a year of Susan thinking on it, One Kings Lane was born.
Selling what they had built for the past seven years was what Susan relates to selling a child, “It was pretty emotional but I think at the end of the day it was the right decision. It was fun while we did it for sure which is why I’m crazy enough to start another business,” she notes in regards to her latest website launch, In The Groove. The site focuses on woman 50+ providing them with up-to-date knowledge, trends, & more. Again, something Susan wasn’t able to find on her own — so she created it, right here in this same kitchen.
When she’s not dreaming up her next business idea in the kitchen, Susan spends as much time as she can cooking & entertaining. This kale caesar slaw recipe is one of her favorites for dinner parties as it’s easy, delicious, & you can customize it however you’d like by switching up the lettuce type, add protein such as chicken, or throw in some croutons for a heartier version. Some tips Susan shared in perfecting this recipe include breaking down the fiber of the kale to soften it. She does so by squeezing a little lemon on it or sprinkling some salt over it & massaging it with her hands. Another tip is to cut the kale off the rib (aka the stem) by folding the leaves in half around the rib & using scissors to cut it off. From there you can rip or chop it into bite-sized pieces. Susan first started making this salad when kale was just becoming popular proving that, once again, Susan is ahead of her game regardless of whether you’re talking ingredients or million dollar ideas.
Olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, & a good bottle of wine
Favorite Kitchen Tool?
“The NutriBullet is kind of new but we are using it a lot — it’s great for dressings & shakes,” notes Susan who used her NutriBullet to easily create the dressing for this recipe.
Piece of Advice?
“I think in both parts of your life, staying focused on what is it that you really want to be doing, there is so much distraction as time goes on that if you stay focused it’ll be way better. The second is keeping things simple. I think we tend to overcomplicated things so much whether in business or personal”
Favorite Places to Grocery Shop?
“It’s weird in LA I find I usually go to four different places. I shop at Pavillions, Trader Joes, Bristol Farms, & the farmers market on Sunday. It’s a mish-mosh. I like the quality of meat & fish from Bristol Farms, Pavillion’s is good for your basics, farmers market is great for fresh produce, Trader Joe’s is great for a million different things.”
Soho House for the stunning dining room & views, Chateau Marmont for breakfast or lunch, & Sunset Tower for the rich LA history
5 Tips for Entertaining?
1. Plan a menu beforehand filled with options that don’t require you to be in the kitchen while your guests are over. For example, this salad & dressing can be made beforehand but only tossed together minutes before it’s served to save time.
2. “Don’t overthink it [the menu], simple is better. Then you can spend more time setting your table!”
3. “Look around your house, there are probably things you can use on your table that you might normally use otherwise such as Indian bedspreads that make a great tablecloth.”
4. Tie herbs around a napkin with a piece of string for an affordable yet elevated look.
5. Invest in lighting! “It’s worth going to Ikea & buying a million little glass votives so you have tons of lighting on the table.”
Kale Caesar Slaw Recipe
Author: Public Lives, Secret Recipes
Serves: 6 servings
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 8 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- ¾ cup EVOO
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan, divided
- pinch of kosher salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 hard-boiled egg, peeled
- 14 ounces Tuscan kale or other kale, center stalks removed, thinly sliced crosswise (about 8 cups)
- In blender, combine lemon juice, anchovy fillets, garlic clove, & dijon mustard. Blend until smooth. Add in EVOO & blend until smooth. Pour dressing into medium mixing bowl & add in ¼ cup parmesan, salt, & pepper. Stir to combine.
- Remove yolk from egg & place egg white through a coarse-mesh strainer over a small mixing bowl. Repeat with yolk.
- Toss kale, dressing, & egg in a large mixing bowl. Top with remaining parmesan, serve, & enjoy!
medium mixing bowl
small mixing bowl
large mixing bowl
medium mixing bowl
small mixing bowl
large mixing bowl
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*Images via Shannan Leigh for Public Lives, Secret Recipes.