How Jin Soon Choi Kicked Off Her Career

It can be tough to imagine many of the fixtures of the fashion world as having particularly humble beginnings. But nail guru Jin Soon Choi is one exception, having kicked off her career as an accounting assistant at a wholesale beverage company in her native South Korean village, as she wrote for WWD this week.

Since calculators weren’t available, she had to use — get this — an abacus, worked twelve hour days, and walked a full hour to get to her gig. But she credits her early days of roughing it in the professional world for her current success: “I was exposed to the importance of record keeping and monitoring cash flow in shaping and organizing one’s business,” she says. “I also learned how to work with other people in a business setting.”

Choi’s nail lacquer line, which boasts both classic colors and a rotating series of trendier shades, is a fashion week favorite, so it’s evident that her hard work has paid off. Good thing she’s traded the abacus for more modern technological advancements — must be hard to work that with wet nails.


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