Interview with… Kim Smith

Kim Smith is an incredible visual artist and co-founder of wellness and beauty business KLORIS along with her husband Pedram. She’s passionate about human rights issues and often supports wonderful organisations such as Choose Love.

What inspired you to start your business?
I had just given birth and I was feeling this mad hybrid of [feeling] utterly broken and totally unstoppable at the same time. I honestly never had any ambitions to create ‘consumer products’ but the impact of good quality CBD on me was so profound that I felt inspired to learn all I could and share it. KLORIS was born 18 months or so later and I am so proud of what we have created. I get so excited when people message me to say the products have genuinely made a difference in their lives and they insist their families and friends try it! We also put a lot of effort into creating a community around free, educational resources helping to demystify the confusion around the use of plant supplements which I felt was missing.

What would be your advice to someone looking to innovate and start their own business?
Just make a start, you’ve got to have something for people to be excited about even if it’s just getting the concept nailed. You have to establish right from the outset what your core values are and then always be true to them – whether you’re dealing with customers, suppliers, partners or employees.

Have you had any ‘pinch me’ moments during your career?
I feel lucky to say there have been a few, for KLORIS every day still feels a bit unbelievable. I love that we have a platform that is helping people and that we can extend that platform to charity partners who we are able to help in some small way. In 2020 for example KLORIS was responsible for planting 40,000 square metres of trees in now protected forests across the globe. I’m buzzing to have done that! In my art life I guess my best ‘pinch me’ moment was the time I emailed David Lynch’s team with an idea expecting never to hear back only to get a reply, it was a yes and it resulted in a joint show with David, myself and some other amazing people.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received, or you would like to pass on to another?
‘It’s all in the preparation” from Penelope Cruz :)

You’re a fantastic artist too, what inspires your work?
Thank you, the constant flux and change in perspective and perception. How everything is transient and fleeting including personal ownership of place and time is a concept I explore, among other things.

One of Kim’s artworks.

Who are your favourite women to follow or are there any women on your radar doing amazing things?
Anyone just trying their best each day, particularly those juggling families and work during this pandemic. I feel you!
The women in my family and friendship group, elders who paved the way for the younger generation, brave creatives like Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou.
In terms of current accounts, I love following anyone who is good vibes, who isn’t vain and who doesn’t hate themselves despite the media and capitalism trying their best to make us feel like we are no good.
Karen O
Daisy May Cooper
People I’ve loved
There are so many!

Any fun plans for 2021?
Hopefully! But honestly, I am just grateful to get up each day. Like everyone I’d love to finally take a family trip after the past year but we’ll probably have to go somewhere the dog can come as she gets such bad separation anxiety, bless her.

What’s your favourite TGF Piece?
So many! Anything in gold with rose motifs! The Rose Studs or the Sammi Signet Ring are heaven. The signature style of rock/punk/rebellion in the gold wins it for me.

Favourite Record?
I worked in the music industry for 15 years and left the business side of it so I could go back to being a full-time music obsessive / nerd without the dark side… I could never answer that question! I will say I love everything from Philip Glass to Aphex Twin to Kendrick Lamar to Bjork to Chaka Khan to Paul Woolford to a million others, the list is endless.

Favourite Book
Anything by Phillipa Perry or Laura Dockrill, from Phillipa The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read, and Laura’s memoir from her experience with PostPartum Psychosis What Have I Done? was so moving and educative. Not an easy combination to achieve!

Favourite Podcast
Shade – this podcast observes racism through the lens of creativity, I love it so much that we (KLORIS) sponsored the latest season, as I felt the conversation was so worthwhile. Hosted by an amazing lady called Lou Mensah. Lou and I regularly spend an ice age on the phone talking about kids education, life, art… everything!