Asking for a Friend with Jane Ko
If you’re an Austinite, it’s more than likely that you follow the fabulous Jane Ko on Instagram. She is coined as the hottest food blogger in Austin, but to me she is much more than that. In addition to running her incredibly beautiful Instagram feed or posting content on her gorgeous blog, she is one of the most genuinely kindhearted and bright individuals I’ve had the joy of meeting in Austin. I could talk about her accolades all day… I mean she’s spoken at SXSW, Texas Conference for Women, and Google… but what truly stands out to me is her sense for business. To me it always seems like Jane knows exactly the right opportunities to say an emphatic YES to, and she always knows what to turn down. Jane Ko is an exemplary business woman. I asked her to be our second feature for Presented Without Context because I knew she would have something to say.
So without further ado…
Do you remember the first time you remember being emotionally affected by failure?
Of course. I was a very scared and shy child so I had trouble making friends, easily bullied, and didn't speak up in school. In addition to not having the best grades or being good at any extracurriculars. My parents would constantly tell me it's okay. The more I heard it as I grew up, I hated that. I hated just being okay.
What’s the biggest accolade you earned while you were in school?
I would say it was becoming Vice President of Student Council. I really wanted to be President though.
What does your day to day look like in your occupation?
My day varies each week but generally, it's 15% restaurant tastings, 15% emails, 45% producing / editing content for the blog & social media, 10% meetings, 5% personal time, and 10% for sleep. If I'm traveling for work, then it's 75% producing / editing content for the blog % social media, 20% emails, 5% for sleep.
What does your morning routine look like?
I'm guilty of checking my phone for emails right when I wake up so I'm trying really hard to stop doing that! I take Basil out for a morning walk, take my time making coffee by grinding beans and using the Chemex (takes longer but it forces me to really enjoy the process), turn on Fresh & Chill playlist on Spotify, and then it's responding to emails on the laptop.
If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
It's all going to work out - don't take it personally that you didn't fit into band, athletics, choir, or the popular crowd.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
I just launched Shop Koko, my online shop of foodie tees, and wrapped up the launch event, Museum of Donuts. We had over 680 people come for the launch!
It’s a random Tuesday and you have the day off and no plans, what do you do to fill those hours?
I'm notorious for always finding work to do... but I'd love to go spend the day at Barton Springs Pool and try to jump in.
If you’re comfortable, would you mind sharing one failure from the six months?
Oh gosh - I had to really think about this one... I don't really consider any experience a failure and more of a lesson learned and to move on from it. The only "failure" I can only think of was when my ex-boyfriend of 4 years broke up with me over text. For a couple of days, I took it personally and kept thinking, "this is your second failed relationship and it's you." But then I realized, "Yes, it is you and you've done nothing wrong. Nothing has changed. Your goals haven't changed. You do you girl."
If you’re comfortable, would you mind sharing one success from the past year?
Launching Shop Koko - who knew launching a physical product was so much harder than launching an online product. I spent 3 months learning about the t-shirt business, screen printing, buying dozens of t-shirt samples, dreaming up designs, building an e-commerce website, and learning about shipping. It was a lot of long nights but it was so worth it.
Who is the most ‘successful’ person you know?
I've done a lot of different things in the past - food photographer, social media manager, baker, food blogger, travel blogger, and now, an online shop owner. So I've admired different people along the way. With the new shop, I now have a taste of how hard is it to create a physical product. I don't personally know Erin Condren but I was in awe the first time I stepped into her store at The Domain.
What do you think makes them ‘successful’?
I wasn't familiar with Erin Condren before I randomly walked into her store but all the stationary, pens, notebooks, and colors just makes me happy. People just love her and her products!
Describe your relationship with failure?
I have a very understanding relationship with failure. I've learned to take the fall, brush it off, and get back up.
Describe your relationship with success?
I'm addicted to it. With every milestone, press mention, and reader compliment - it makes me work harder.
This is the last question! And it’s all yours! What parting words do you have for us?
I came across this quote recently, "people overestimate what they can do in one day, and underestimate what they can do in one year." I've adapted a hardworking mentally over the years and work really hard every single day. People ask me what's my secret to success? Work hard. That's it.
Jane is the blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. A Taste of Koko has been featured in O Magazine, InStyle Magazine, OWN TV Network, and The New York Times. A Taste of Koko also launched Shop Koko, her very own line of foodie tees!