Today we’d like to introduce you to Jina Kim.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in a small apartment with my mom and grandmother in Chicago. I spent most of my childhood indoors because the neighborhood I lived in wasn’t the best, so I would always just go to school or go to my mom’s work and hang around in the salon she worked at. Since I was home a lot, I would hang out with my grandma and her friends often and I would always want to bake for them (with my easy bake oven haha). I quickly learned that I loved to bake for people even if I wasn’t the best at it at the time. Fast forward to college, I focused on my studies and drifted away from the idea of cooking. Since I grew up in a traditional Korean household, pursuing a career in the food industry was unlikely to be accepted.
Fast forward, I graduated with an information systems degree and started my path towards finding my career. I worked in retail, law, real estate, software, finance, and aviation throughout my life and never found something that I was passionate about. I began to accept that I wasn’t destined to find my true passion and consequently, I became complacent with life.
When I moved to LA, something just clicked and I quickly started to make decisions based on what made me happy regardless of what others thought. I joined a YouTube channel called ‘Sidewalk Talk EDM’ where my friend and I interview well-known DJ/music producers and that gradually inspired me to start my own project, blend cheesecakes!
Losing my job due to COVID was also a giant factor in starting this business. I figured I could take advantage of the opportunity to try something that I truly wanted to do before I regret never doing it. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been such a great experience. Blend cheesecakes is currently only in it’s pre-launch phase and the feedback has already been incredible.
Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely hasn’t been the smoothest road, mainly because I struggle fighting against my own self-doubt. I’ve been told that I’m often too hard on myself, a trait that has followed me since childhood. To this day, my family doesn’t know I lost my job or that I started my own business and this mainly stems from my own fear of disappointing them (hopefully they’re not reading this haha). I work hard every day in the hopes to make my family proud, and maybe even impress myself along the way.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
The reason why I chose cheesecake is not only because it’s my all-time favorite dessert, but it’s also my moms favorite. We haven’t had much contact since I moved to LA, so in my own weird way, this is what makes me feel closer to her.
I wanted to combine two things that are important to me which is food and culture. This gave me the idea to come up with the name blend. Whether it’s inspired by Korea, Syria, Japan, etc., I’ll find a way to incorporate those unique flavors the best way I can into my cheesecakes. I’m also excited for the near future because this idea made me think I could take this experience into a more personal perspective with these countries by partnering up with a filmmaker to bring the idea to life (more details coming soon).
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Something about Los Angeles just changes someone into a dreamer. I don’t think I would’ve followed through with this idea if I wasn’t in LA. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by creatives/business owners and as cheesy as this sounds, it really inspired me to follow my own dreams. I’m sure this is a common recommendation, but I would tell someone to surround yourself with like-minded, positive people and your business will blossom from there.
- Depending on the flavors and ingredients, the price varies anywhere between 25-35$ per box.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blendcheesecakes/
- Other: https://www.instagram.com/jiinabobina/