#SheWearsThePants: Founder of Kinn Fine Jewelry and CBO of Casetify, Jennie Yoon on Ambition and Dusting Yourself Off to Try Again

Jennie Yoon Kinn Studio #SheWearsThePants

Jennie Yoon- Founder-dog mom-yogi-flutist-wine drinker from Los Angeles, CA.

What do you do - and what what drives you in your career as well as personal endeavors?

I’m a Founder & CEO of Kinn–a fine jewelry brand with the intention to re-explore luxury and vintage inspired pieces for the modern wo(man).

My biggest driver that keep me going is the reason why I’d started it all: my parents house was robbed, and all the valuables were taken, including my grandparents antiques. While I searched high and low to replace what was taken, I’d quickly realized that I’d be empty pocketed. Turns out, traditional jewelry retailers mark up their prices which I thought was BS. So I started Kinn. Real metals, real gems, for a real price that you can get behind, and one day, pass them down as your family heirloom too.

Ambition: What does ambition personally mean to you - what place does it have in your life? Do you think our culture perceives “ambition” to be a dirty word for women? Why or why not?

Being ambitious means knowing what you want (or don’t want--sometimes it’s a process of elimination), and chasing after it–regardless of how difficult, confusing it gets. Mistakes happen, some big, some small. But an ambitious person would know how to dust yourself off and try again. I think the perception has changed--from being a dirty word, to more of an accepting (or maybe even a given) in the society. Simply remember why you started it all.

What does ‘having confidence’ mean to you - what place does it have in your life? How do you work on it?

This took some time for me, and am still working on it, maybe for the rest of my life. Having confidence means you have an understanding of yourself, including your flaws, and accepting them. By mid-20’s you started to recognize your flaws and by early 30’s, you accept them, then start to work on how to overcome them (if you want, that is). To me someone is the most confident when they can be their most vulnerable self–and accept it with a smile.

What do you do if you are having a hard time defining goals? How do you stay motivated to fulfill your goals and sense of ambition, and what do you do when you get stuck?

Trello is one of my favorite tools. Sometimes I get a moment where I get a laundry list of items in my head as my to-do’s, so I write them down so I don’t forget (or sometimes text myself if I’m out). Then I take it to my Trello board and look at the list to prioritize. I set very realistic goals, as simple as ‘get these 2 things done today. No matter what.’ and set goals for the next day and so on. When I’m stuck, I start weighing pros and cons and see which one is ‘worth’ tackling now vs later.

What is your outfit when you really have to get shi*t done?

Do pajamas count? Ha. Doesn’t really matter what I’m in, as long as I’m comfortable and can be on the go. Love my good old Levi’s and a Ganni polka dot tank–hair in a top bun.

What is one fashion tip / hack you swear by for a quick or on-the-go change? Invest in the following (as you can see, I like versatility):

  • Jeans. The ones that will go with anything you wear--can dress you up or down. 
  • White high waist pants--will make you chic in no time.
  • Classy handbag that can go with anything
  • Fine jewelry--good old hoop earrings will make your outfit from casual to jazzed up.

Don’t forget to have fun and add a splash of color in your wardrobe too--my personal fave, red!

What is your process - or what are you guidelines - when choosing to buy something new for your wardrobe?

2 things: 1) If it feels like a trend, I buy them as less expensive pieces. And after weeks, or even months, you just love it and know it wasn’t just a trend, commit to more of a sustainable, quality piece. 2) Buy pieces that are versatile--can dress them up or down.

What activities do you do outside of your full-time gig (whether that’s work, parenting or something else)? How does it bring balance to your life? How does it make you more successful in your full-time gig?

I’ve got a lot of things on my plate this year–I’m a full-time Chief Business Officer at Casetify, I started a side hustle, Kinn Studio. I’m also planning a wedding and we’d recently bought a house. I don’t believe that I can be the best at everything, but if you’re disciplined, I believe that you can absolutely have it all. I’m disciplined with my time–from when I wake up to how to utilize my lunch hours to making my commute (1 hour each way) efficient. It’s exhausting at times, but to be honest, I’ve never felt so calm! I feel good about being in this driver’s seat right now :)