We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennie Yoon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennie, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born and raised in Seoul, Korea, and immigrated here when I was 11-years old. We didn’t come from a lot financially, so I’ve watched both my parents work hard and essentially learned my work ethic from them. I matured quickly, and always believed that when you set your mind to something, you really can make it happen. You simply have to trust yourself to take that leap of faith.
What should our readers know about your business?
I started Kinn to replace the antique jewelry my parents lost when their home was robbed. In honor of those priceless heirlooms, we design classic pieces at Kinn that stand the test of time. So it was really important for me to only work with solid 14k+ gold and with precious gemstones–not plated, filled nor vermeil–so that after a lifetime of wear, you’ll be able to pass your Kinn jewelry on as an heirloom. Along the way, my goal is to bring some transparency to the industry as it’s a very traditional world while continuing to practice sustainability (i.e. using recycled gold, instead of newly mined gold). Starting the business didn’t necessarily feel difficult as it really felt like a hobby, and I was making a few things here and there for friends & family. Also, there are ton of tools available on the web that will allow you to easily build a website. Building a trusting brand, and scaling that brand, on the other hand, I believe is the hardest part. I mean if you think about it, some of the most iconic brands took them many decades!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d start in Santa Barbara/Ojai for some good wine tasting for the weekend, maybe squeeze in a massage at the Belmont El Encanto. We’d then spend a day in Ventura at the Jolly Oyster for an oyster shucking/picnic experience. Once we’re back to our home base in South Bay, I’d do a beach bike ride by the Strand all the way down to Redondo Beach and stop by all the local stores, restaurants along the way. Of course, if we have the time, I’d carve out time to go to Abbot Kinney and eat at Gjelina.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It’s tough for me to point at one person because there are so many people who allowed me to become who I am today–from my parents who immigrated to the U.S. and gave me the opportunity to “do bigger things”, to my boss at Casetify (Founder & CEO) who allowed me to grow the business with, to my husband who is 110% supportive of my insane hours, to my mommy group who I can share one of my most intimate journey with, to my team who continue to make Kinn a success, and so on.