“If you’re too desperate, you may end up with a wrong co-founder” – Kristy Kim, CEO of a jewelry startup DearMissJ

Kristy Kim is a CEO & co-founder of DearMissJ – e-commerce store that sells in-house designed and manufactured jewelry. Kristy came to USA from Korea when she was 11 years old. In order to start her own business, she made the decision to quit her job at a Venture Capital fund. Before quitting, she was looking for a technical co-founder and that actually took her 2 years. 6 months into her startup, she and her team had to change the company’s business model. Today, DearMissJ’s jewelry pieces are sold in the brand’s online store as well as at 40 other brand’s retail stores across the country.

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Why and when Kristy decided to give up her convenient job at a Venture Fund? How is she producing the jewelry? How did she finally find her co-founders? Why did she have to change DearMissJ’s business model?

Watch the interview and learn about Kristy’s story!

A lovely shout out to our partners: Runway Incubator for providing amazing space and to StyleBee for fabulous styling (use a special promo code VALLEYTALKS for $25 OFF of your first styling by StyleBee!)
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Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • Kristy saw great potential in the market of high quality jewelry:

    “When I was in investment banking, I went to these business casual stores and I thought ‘How come plastic pearl necklace could cost $150-$200?’ My mom is a jewelry designer so I am very good at telling whether it’s a plastic or real pearl.”

  • Just like for most of other startups, some time and money was unnecessarily wasted at the very beginning:

    “I first started with outsourcing building the website and I realized that this was not what I wanted, it was terrible.”

  • At first, Kristy thought that in her situation it will take too much time to look for technical co-founders and decided to hire a contractor:

    “At that time I thought that male developers wouldn’t be interested in joining as a co-founder in building an e-commerce website, so I was willing to pay them.”

  • Kristy realized that she needs trustworthy people to team up with so she took the time to network in Silicon Valley:

    “Be patient. It took me almost 2 years to find co-founders. Even though I was in investment banking and had my full time job, I was always going to startup events, developer meetings and talking to developers. Then it was easy for me to reach out to them and ask for advice.”

    “Take some time to get to know them, before you decide to be co-founders.”


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