If you don’t already know about Simone LeBlanc, you can thank us, because after spending about two seconds on her website, you’ll realize that you’ll NEVER have to stress about gifting again. Simone creates boxes (custom and pre-crafted) that are beautiful to look at and filled with lush, gorgeous treats. Beautiful wood boxes contain gifts for foodies, newlyweds, new mamas, and friends who need to pamper themselves. The aesthetic of the boxes, combined with the beauty of Simone’s studio, and an Instagram feed that we get lost in on the regs made us suspect that Simone LeBlanc might know a thing or two about how to let loose and enjoy time with loved ones. We were right.
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I have always loved beautiful things. I’m not fussy – I’m too Piscean for that. That translates to entertaining as: “Let’s make everything as beautiful as it can be and then hopefully, at the end of the night, we’ll have made it into one big mess.” That’s a sign of an evening well spent. Beautiful, delicious memory – making moments.
Favorite cocktail to serve or be served?
Aperol Spritz, or a spicy mescal margarita to start. I love to have Oban or another great scotch for the guys… a man’s man type of drink. I want everyone to feel taken care of.
What do you like to wear when you entertain?
I’m all about the balance of effortlessness and a touch of something elevated. My intention is to make people feel instantly comfortable when they walk through the door – so nothing formal, too dressed or overdone, but it’s important to respect the effort everyone made to come together, and it’s an opportunity to show a bit of creativity and charm. If I do a bold lipstick, maybe I’ll wear casual sandals…I love a beautiful dress and bare feet.
What’s the first thing you notice about someone else’s party?
I am very sensitive to lighting. If the light is too bright, I’ll have a hard time easing into the evening.
5 essentials to a perfect party?
The feeling of possibility, a glass that’s never empty (with sparkling water or a cocktail), great lighting, people who are willing to let their guard down, and an amazing cheese plate.
What kind of music complements your entertaining style?
I prefer a soundtrack that brings up a bit of escapism, music that has the potential to open up a simple memory or sensation. Something that feels like a vacation. Astrud Gilberto, Alice Coltraine, the soundtrack from In the Mood For Love, a bit of fado music, maybe some 90s hip hop here and there.
What’s your favorite binge-food?
Shishito peppers with bonito flakes. I can’t get enough of them.
A food you think is totally overrated?
The whole pork belly fanaticism. Is it still happening? I hope not.
My husband would laugh, but I’ll say a stirfry.
Any general tips for gifting you can share – especially for hostess gifts?
Gift something that you have a personal connection to, keep it authentic. A hostess gift is a fun opportunity to share something that you love – your favorite chocolate, an amazing honey, a gorgeous kitchen linen you’ve had your eye on. It should be simple. Definitely don’t gift anything you expect to be used that evening; assume the host has the night handled as they wish.
Even though we’re from NYC, we love to be in the know when we’re in LA. Any favorite stores for home goods, serveware, or… anything?
Is there any one thing that you find yourself collecting, no matter how many you accrue?
I’m a ribbon and paper fanatic. I have bits from my travels, pieces that people send to me, Paris flea market finds, paper pieces that have a pattern I love, a foil color that feels fresh, or a particular hand. Some of my ribbons were made on machines that no longer exist – each little piece holds inspiration.
If you could party with one person – living or dead – who would it be?
I can’t choose just one! I’d love to share a group table with Colette, Joan Didion, Oprah, Sheryl Sandberg, Georgia O’Keefe, Diana Vreeland. I’m so curious about ego, authenticity, motherhood, spirituality…a point of view. Oh, to see those minds engage.