Wake Up Call

The Pursuit of Less? How a Mindset of Gratitude Helps This CEO Get It Done

Jennie Yoon on why saying “no” can be the greatest gift.

By Isabelle Eyman
Jennie Yoon sitting on couch with her dog.

We all have those pieces of jewelry we gravitate to most. For me, it’s a simple set of stacking rings I wear daily on my left-hand ring finger. Through hours of typing, sets of tennis, and nightly kitchen experiments, these rings sit with me like a loving friend, encouraging and inspiring me in all I take on. That’s exactly the intention Jennie Yoon weaves all throughout Kinn. Her fine jewelry brand invokes a refreshing stance on jewelry: the goal is never to hide behind our accessories. Rather, we should feel celebrated by the pieces we connect with—allowing our jewelry to support our unique paths and become an integral part of our stories.

Jennie has crafted Kinn’s ethos well, envisioning her designs as a second skin. But it isn’t simply a passion for the product that drives Jennie. Eight years ago, her family home was robbed, and much of her mother’s jewelry—heirloom pieces passed down between generations—was taken. The pieces were one-of-a-kind, with their value derived as much from their beauty as the sentiment each ring, necklace, and bracelet invoked.

The experience inspired Jennie to build a business founded on the belief that the jewelry women wear—grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and friends—should reflect our own unique narratives and inspire meaningful connections throughout our own lives and beyond.

Jennie Yoon headshot.

Waking Up With Jennie Yoon

Jennie extends this purpose-driven mindset beyond business, too. She wakes up each morning with a well-practiced orientation toward gratitude. As a mother, creative, and a woman constantly pursuing her curiosity, Jennie knows that she doesn’t have time for it all—and she doesn’t pretend otherwise. Instead, through the past year in particular, Jennie has learned to pursue less. And no, this doesn’t mean she ignores her innate motivation. Instead, she says no without guilt, seeing the practice as a gift to herself, her family, and her career.

Life as an entrepreneur has made me change fundamentally, from the way I think to the way I act and the way I want to live my life.

From our conversation, it’s obvious that everything in Jennie’s life has benefited from this perspective. She’s unapologetic about her priorities, setting healthy boundaries between work and her family, making time for self-care, and never saying no to her morning cup of coffee. And while her creativity and passion drives her professional pursuits, she also describes herself as practical. (“I’m a Virgo to a tee,” she tells me.)

It’s obvious that Jennie’s created a routine and practices rituals that allow for moments of spontaneity, inspiration, and creativity at every turn. The observation is much like how she styles and envisions her jewelry. Jennie takes classic shapes and minimalist silhouettes and infuses an originality that’s impossible for others to recreate. Why? Because every piece—from her hoops to her rings to the bracelets lovingly layered around her wrists—comprises and communicates exactly who Jennie is. Her brilliance, her imperfections, and her unapologetic push to live life on her own terms.

Below, Jennie takes us behind the scenes of her morning routine. From the podcasts that energize her morning commute to her game-changing tip for leveling up your avocado toast—plus why pursuing the entrepreneurial path is a leap she would never take back—Jennie has plenty of inspiration in store. This is how the self-proclaimed morning person gets it done.

Tell us about your career and starting a business. What has life been like as an entrepreneur?

I was employed at a global tech accessories brand when jewelry began to play a larger role in my life, following an unfortunate event with my family. In 2015, my parents’ home was robbed and much of their jewelry was stolen. Those pieces were mostly antiques and personal treasures that had been passed down to my mother from her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents—so they were not easily replaceable.

I collected whatever photos I could of the lost jewelry and visited the Los Angeles jewelry district in hopes of finding someone who could re-create at least some of my mother’s beloved jewelry. A bench jeweler took on the project, and I soaked up as much knowledge about jewelry as I could from it.

When I gave my mother the first piece of jewelry I re-created, she was in tears. We got to start again from scratch.

Life as an entrepreneur has made me change fundamentally, from the way I think to the way I act and how I want to live my life. Most of the time, it’s for the better, and occasionally for the worse. It truly feels like a rollercoaster ride, but it’s truly been one that I wouldn’t ever take back. 

What has been your biggest learning over the past year?

The pursuit of less and the gift of saying no without guilt. I’ve learned to say no to things that I find drain my energy and don’t fill my cup. I’ve made the conscious choice to not do things in both my personal life and business simply because that is the trend or what everyone else is doing. Instead, I’m creating my own path based on my vision. 

How would you describe your personal style? 

I’m a Virgo to the tee. I’m very practical, especially more so now as a mom. My style is classic staples, simple with a splash of color from time to time. I love the ability to accessorize myself with jewelry for my classic looks. 

Jennie Yoon stacking books on a bookshelf.

Let’s get into your morning routine. 

I’m usually up before the rest of my family as I’m naturally a morning person. I love being up on weekends while the rest of the world is still sleeping. That bit of quiet to think for myself, a really good coffee, and either catching up with the news or a bit of strategic or creative work is what gets me pumped. Next, I’m getting a good breakfast ready while I get Kaia, my 3-year-old, ready for school. Breakfast usually consists of green juice/smoothie, cereal, eggs, avocado, granola and fruit. It’s important to me that we get all of our brain food. 

A really good coffee, and either catching up with the news or a bit of strategic or creative work is what gets me pumped.

Since I have a long commute to work each day, I take on my most critical meetings in the car while my energy is high, or I listen to my daily podcasts (CNN 5 Things, NPR news, Glossy, Barron’s Streetwise, Gloss Angeles, Smartless, the list goes on). I’m usually in the office by 9 a.m. for my first meeting! 

What does a typical day look like for you? 

I time block. Each day is very different and focuses on different agendas.

  • Monday is more of a general work day and setting up sprint goals for the week.
  • Tuesday I focus on branding and marketing.
  • Wednesday is focused on performance.
  • Thursday, I work on our wedding and engagement collection, Vow by Kinn.
  • Friday, I’m usually pushing through tasks that need to be completed before the weekend 

What time is your wake-up call?

My alarm goes off at 5:40 a.m. daily. I probably need more sleep, but I try to do at least 7 hours a day. 

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Make my coffee.

What rituals set you up for success?

My morning routine typically looks like: morning coffee, get dressed, and get mentally ready for the day. During this time, I think about what I want to accomplish for the day and/or what I have ahead of me. My kids usually wake up right around when I’m ready, and then I start making breakfast and try to rush us out the door.

The rituals that set me up for success are being able to set small, achievable goals and being able to compartmentalize between each time block.

During this time, I’m off my phone and talk about the day with my kids (or what they dreamt about, etc). Once they’re dropped off at school, then I’m switching my mental gear back toward things I want to achieve for the day. 

Jennie Yoon skincare products.

Describe your morning beauty routine from start to finish.



What do you eat for breakfast?

It used to be eggs but I’ve cut back to help my cystic acne postpartum.

  • A smoothie. Almond milk, avocado, apple, banana, and spinach/kale. (You can switch out the avocado if it’s too thick with cucumber or celery.) Side note: apples and bananas are what makes it sweeter for the kids! If you want to hide the green color, add blueberries or strawberries. 
  • Avocado toast w/ truffle oil.
  • Coffee + a lot of water! 

Brightland Olive Oil. Malibu Farm Cookbook.

What will we always find in your refrigerator?

Condiments, of every kind.

What are your morning rituals? 

A few minutes of staring at the ocean with coffee. My brain is usually quiet for a minute or so.

Stack of books, candle, and a bouquet of flowers on nightstand.

What are your favorite books?

What’s always on your nightstand?

My Five-Minute Journal, a piece of Kaia’s artwork, and water.

Jennie Yoon dancing on bed.

What’s your favorite getting-ready soundtrack?

Bob Moses, Kaskade, Alesso, Above & Beyond, Teo, Sza, Stromae. Depends on the mood! 

Do you work out in the morning?

I do heated yoga and I just picked up tennis on weekends. To be truthful, I wish I could make more time for workouts. We have summer Fridays coming up, and I hope to get more of this squeezed in during this time. 

Jennie Yoon sitting on couch with dog.

What’s your daily uniform?

Jeans and a crisp washed-out shirt with a blazer or All Saints leather jacket.  

If you had one extra hour every morning, how would you use it? 

I’d probably try to get the day started early so I can end early. Dinner is a no-interrupt zone for me, and I have a hard boundary about being present with my family. If it means I can start the day early so I can be home early to do more things that I want, I’d love that. 

What are one or two things you do every day to live a more joyful life?

  1. Practice gratitude. I personally love to write in my iPhone notes whenever I feel grateful. I also like to talk about our day and our favorite parts of the day with Kaia before her bedtime. She now looks forward to asking me: “What was your favorite part of the day.” 
  2. Reflection. I’ve been consistent with journaling for at least five minutes a day. This allows me to reflect on the day and the wins, big or small. 

If you could pin your success down to one thing, what would that be?

My family. From my husband to my parents to my network of friends who I can bounce ideas off. When they say it takes a village, I truly believe that applies to every aspect of your life, not just child-rearing. 

Jennie Yoon wearing white linen shirt and pants on the beach.
Jennie Yoon wearing white linen shirt and pants on the beach.

Sentence Finishers:

I never leave the house without: Rhode lip treatment.

If there were more hours in the day, I’d: go to the Strand to walk with my dog + scoot with my daughter.

Healthiest morning habit: I don’t look at my phone until after I’ve dropped off my daughter at school. 

Worst morning habit: coffee, lots of it.

One thing I want to be known for is: being the one who lived her life to the fullest.

The one thing I fear is: losing the ones I love.

When I feel that fear, I: give my husband or best friend a call and talk it out loud.

The book I always recommend: Essentialism and Thinking Fast and Slow.

One trait you need to succeed in life: resilience.

Bath or shower? What’s your favorite product? Bath. Not a bath product, but I love a nice glass of wine in the bath with a good show.