From the Chosun Ilbo:
Miss Korea Crown Designer's Fairytale Life
Jewelry designer Kim Jeong-ju creates beauty. She tries to keep an open mind at all times to get inspiration from everything that exists in the world. Her works are regularly seen in TV dramas, films and at award ceremonies and worn by the winner of the Miss Korea beauty pageant.
After majoring in bio-ecology at Kangwon National University, Kim went to Australia. "I'd told everyone in the department that I was going to be a famous designer," she says. "I studied gemology at the Sydney branch of the Gemological Institute of America, and then jewelry design later. I really worked hard doing various jobs at once to fund my tuition. But I didn't mind at all because I was going to be a successful designer one day. I thought about only one thing -- achieving my dream."
She thinks she has a charmed life because she has been getting closer to her dream step by step. "After I returned to Korea, I was very busy with marriage, having two babies and raising them," she recalls. "I still worked as a freelance jewelry designer, and my works received good reviews."
When her husband's business took a downturn, she started her own business, Mucha, in the jewelry shops quarter in Jongno to help the family finances. "I got off to a successful start with lots of customers from day one." she says. Words of mouth spread, and she began to get recognition. There were queues in front of her shop to see her jewelry. "I started dreaming of setting up company headquarters in Cheongdam-dong. And miraculously I realized the dream." In 2007 she settled in the upscale district, home to many world-famous luxury brands.
Her customers include wealthy foreigners as well. One Arab customer bought a very expensive tiara, and she says it is because he comes from a culture that believes that a tiara in the family will make everything well. Kim has designed the tiara for the winner of the Miss Korea beauty pageant for the last four years, and also participated as a judge in regional preliminaries in Seoul.
She also sponsors various TV dramas and films, so she has met many celebrities and advised them on jewelry. She plans to publish a book based on her experience.
Kim also hopes to grow her company into a world-class brand. "I would like to make jewelry that can introduce Korea's beauty to the world, perhaps using Hangeul motifs," she says. "I'm going to keep working hard to create beautiful work that has never been seen in the world."