Meet Jennie Kwon
Ex lawyer, talented violinist and passionate social worker, Jennie Kwon is the non-traditional founder behind the luxury jewelry brand of Jennie Kwon Designs. I sat down with the down to earth and multitalented mother of three in her studios, located in Downtown LA on a sunny Monday morning and got to know the woman behind the brand.
Let’s talk about Jennie Kwon and how it was founded. I’m curious to know what you were doing before you started your jewelry brand and what made you want to pursue this career path?
To say that Jennie had a previous life before starting her jewelry brand is an understatement. Jennie initially went to school for music. She had played the violin from a very early age and thought that this was what she wanted to pursue as a young adult. After attending the Cleveland Institute of Music in Ohio, Jennie performed in some of the most prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall. Simultaneously, Jennie was involved in social work. “Public service has always been something I’ve been passionate about. It’s important to give back in some way,” Jennie says. Leading to an interest in law, Jennie would later attend law school and land a job as an attorney in an established corporate law firm. Little did Jennie know that it would take getting pregnant with twins to find her true calling. She began exploring other interests during her maternity leave. After completing a course in metalsmithing, Jennie decided to pursue the exciting path of entrepreneurial life and started designing her first line of jewelry.
Jewelry has always been an accessory that Jennie felt she could be creative with and wear daily. She designs pieces that she would wear herself. “It’s all about staying true to yourself,” Jennie says. Jennie works exclusively with 14k gold and precious stones, including emeralds, rubies and sapphires. Jennie’s line offers originality and edge without sacrificing delicacy and femininity. What makes Jennie Kwon Designs unique is the non-traditional take it has on its designs. Like Jennie herself, her designs are unconventional and cutting edge.
Who is your target customer? How would you describe the woman who wears JKD?
Jennie’s clients come from all types of backgrounds and origins. Many of her clients are women who are looking for something special and unique, yet suitable for daily wear. “The women wearing our pieces are looking for something special, generally to celebrate a milestone,” Jennie says. “They aren’t worried about brand names, but rather searching for an exclusive design that symbolizes a special event in their life.” Jennie Kwon Designs is also known for her custom-made line of jewelry, that allows for the unconventional couple, for example, to create their own vision in what they want their engagement rings to look like.
Where do you see JKD in 5 years?
“I don’t have a specific objective in mind, I see things growing organically for Jennie Kwon Designs,” Jennie says. It’s important for Jennie to let her brand grow gradually and progressively, which is essentially one of the many secrets behind the success of the brand today. Jennie never forced the brand to go anywhere it wasn’t ready to go, and as a result, the brand made a quick ascent to the fashion forefront, while still preserving its exclusivity. Jennie Kwon Designs is run by a team of four today, all with a passion for making and representing luxury delicate jewelry.
I want to talk personal life. I know that you’re a mom and a wife. How do you juggle it all? Is there a secret to making it all work? How do you achieve balance?
Jennie is an impressive mom of 3, including twins. She is also the proud owner of a successful jewelry brand, a business that challengers and stimulates her. “There is no secret to making it all work,” Jennie says. ‘There is always going to be a slight feeling of guilt, no matter what you do, but sometimes you must accept that you can’t be everywhere at once and do the best that you can,” she adds.
Since starting your company, what is one thing you’ve learned about yourself and one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out as an entrepreneur?
Jennie has learned many things since starting her own company four years ago. One of the skills she’s developed along the years is managerial courage. As the founder and the CEO of Jennie Kwon Designs, Jennie is the final decision maker on everything that takes place in her business. She’s also the one to set the tone and define the values of her company. This requires a great deal of management, whether it comes to managing people or directives, the learning is ongoing and just as much gratifying.
Her advice: “Do not be afraid to look back and learn from your mistakes. This is how a business grows and strengthens over time,” Jennie says. It’s the trials and errors that teach you how to problem-solve and eventually find success.