Meet Jay Kim of Hiddenspace Jewelry in Downtown LA

Visit Voyage LA interview

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyungphil (Jay) Kim.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kyungphil. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.

For a while, I didn’t know how to answer this question. How I got to where I am today is in fact, still a fascination to me. While I was searching for my direction in life, I tried to gather as many pieces of advice and experience from the people around me. These things were necessary and vital for me to make decisions regarding my future in venturing into this field.

When I was younger, I never dreamt of becoming a jewelry designer. However, I loved music with a deep passion, which became a platform that inspired me to create things. Architecture became that outlet. So, I attended the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada to major in architecture design. However, because I was so passionate about music, I had some regrets to spend all of my 20’s doing architecture. There were many oppositions around me in deciding to change my major from architecture to music. I flew down over to Florida where I attended Fullsail University to study show production. The combination of music and production made me nervous and excited. Immediately after graduating, I got a job as a stage lighting designer and worked for three years. During this time, I met a lot of great people who taught me their skills and shared experiences with me so I could develop my own skillset. However, the reality of being a stage lighting designer was not what I expected. My life was dragged by tedious concert scheduling which took away my freedom. Above all else, the repetition of the daily routine of this career and design resulted in emptiness and boredom deepening in me. I desired to be free in my artistic direction and share joy and happiness in things that I create. When I met my wife, I finally felt like I was given the chance to be free.

When I first met my wife, she was a student at Rochester Institute of Technology who dreamt of becoming a jewelry designer. She and I were different. She wanted to become a jewelry designer since she was a child. For ten years, she was diligently pursuing her dream developing her skills and knowledge for this industry. The mysterious gemstones she would use to create jewelry were beautiful pieces of artwork. People who purchase these items would be so happy and it would make my heart full.

There were many challenges in my 20’s. To know what I liked and which job that I wanted to pursue was a very difficult task. It required a tremendous amount of experience and had to face failures along the way. Hiddenspace Jewelry is not a common jewelry shop. My growing experiences from studying architecture and the years I worked as a stage lighting designer are all embedded into each sketch and construction of the jewelry I create. Having been started for not too long, our jewelry shop received much attention from the boutique shops located in New York and California. The unique and bold design of Hiddenspace jewelry pieces was loved by many people. The reason why Hiddenspace jewelry come this far is due to God’s provision and guidance, a supportive wife, and family. I have high hopes for the future of the Hiddenspace jewelry shop.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?

It was not an easy nor a smooth road. Jumping into an unfamiliar field and running a business was hard. If I did not have my wife who majored in jewelry design and supported me along the way, then I clearly would not have made it in this industry. Without the expert knowledge of jewelry design, I was required to learn as much as possible in a short amount of time. I pushed myself to visualize, hear, and study more. I boldly took chances in this industry because I felt I had lost time to make up. I made my own jewelry and developed connections with the designers of ten years of experience. By interacting with them, I have learned their skills. However, throughout that process, I was taken lightly and experienced financial loss. Even though it was a difficult time, all of these experiences helped me to develop myself. In the beginning, I was anxious because of the unstable income and I was disappointed towards the lack of growth in my social media platforms. Thinking back, I have realized that I was my selfishness trying to achieve so much in a short period. Now I know that if I do my best, there are people who acknowledge and enjoy my work.

Hiddenspace Jewelry – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?

Hiddenspace Jewelry is located in Downtown LA. We do not have a showroom, but we mainly focus on our online business. Our designs can be seen throughout San Francisco and Los Angeles. In boutique shops such as Gem Breakfast, Audry Rose, Curated LA, and Beyond Two Rings. All of the designs are handled by my wife and me, and the professional jewelers of ten years of experience are helping it come to reality. The pieces of Hiddenspace Jewelry are made based off of various kinds of art and is set apart from other jewelry shops for this very reason. The origin of the name Hiddenspace is from the idea of hidden space in jewelry. Purposely making a distance in between gemstones to produce a sleek and elegant design. Coming out of the traditional design of gemstone taking part of the whole design.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?

My personal belief is that success is living a life that stands honestly before God. It’s quite a religious answer, but I could only justify the success of my business thus far in this particular way. As you could tell by reading my answers to the previous questions, my life did not go as planned. And during the most difficult and trying times, I frequently asked God for His guidance which led me to this exact point in life. Every day, I am walking through life encompassed by His grace. A business cannot be run by one’s achievements, but by the help of others and at the right timing. All of this does not happen by the plan.

You can see it in your surroundings. Things don’t go as planned. Just because you have a lot of money doesn’t mean your business is going well, or not having enough money doesn’t mean you can’t do business without it. Indeed, a good work ethic and investing time is essential and the most basic requirements, but to achieve the final goal to success–there has to be something greater or someone greater. When your business and life are standing honestly before God–it’s unshakeable. I believe an unshakable life is a successful life.

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