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@work with Lauryn Chun of
Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi


As part of our Style Your Success series with WeWork and LinkedIn, we’re talking to and getting inspired by a few entrepreneurs across the country. Here, Lauryn Chun—founder of artisanal food label Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi and member of WeWork in NYC—tells us about her humble beginnings slinging coleslaw, her favorite podcast, the power of a great jacket and what she’s “in it” for.

A TYPICAL DAY IN THE (WORK) LIFE:
I’m at our WeWork office by about 9am. I love being on Montague Street by the court building, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge. We have our daily internal team meetings with updates from operations and marketing, work on strategy sessions with sales, catch up on social media campaigns and review customer emails. Lots to be done!

THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB:
Playing a role in changing the American palate. I get a rush bringing cultures and health together through food! I’m proud of my recent contribution to The Immigrant Cookbook (published in December 2017) with a kimchi recipe from The Kimchi Cookbook (which I authored in 2012). I was one of 80 chefs and home cooks who helped reflect the voice of the new, changing American palate—and proceeds went to the ACLU.

FIRST THOUGHT WHEN YOUR ALARM GOES OFF:
“Kimchi!” Joking… “Was that a weird dream?” “Where’s my coffee?”

YOUR MORNING ROUTINE:
A light stretch in bed, 10 minutes (or more) of meditation, WNYC’s Morning Edition and coffee.

WHAT YOU'RE "IN IT" FOR:
Nothing makes my work more worthwhile than getting customer emails. There was one email from a mom who made her first batch of kimchi (from The Kimchi Cookbook) and wrote to tell me how much the cookbook and making kimchi had changed her family’s diet and health. I would have never imagined what the future held for me when I sold the first nine jars of Mother-in-Law’s on top of a milk crate back in 2009 at my local deli in
New York.

COFFEE ORDER:
Regular, no sugar. It’s an old-school New York thing to be able to order like a true New Yorker after 20 years in the city.

AFTERNOON SNACK OF CHOICE: 
A peanut butter and gochujang sandwich (gochujang is a Korean chili paste). Don’t knock it till you try it!

ULTIMATE WORK JAM:
“How Soon Is Now?” by The Smiths.

OFFICE PET PEEVE:
Using a MacBook Air as a tray to hold drinks. (Shhhh... I do it all the time!)

YOU SPEND YOUR COMMUTE:
Organizing my emails for the day ahead and listening to Andy Paul’s podcast Accelerate!

COMMUTING STYLE HACK:
Always carry a scarf (preferably one that’s colorful) for the subway ride, since you never know what the temperature will be inside a NYC subway train...even during the hot summers.
YOUR OFFICE STYLE:
Classic with a pop. Posture says a lot too. 

FOR A BIG CLIENT MEETING, YOU'D WEAR:
A well-fitting suit jacket and slacks. Never underestimate the power of a great, well-fitting suit jacket. One of my staple pieces is my blue herringbone J.Crew blazer!

POP QUIZ: YOU'RE MEETING FRIENDS FOR DINNER AFTER WORK. HOW DO YOU SHIFT (STYLE) GEARS:
With a pair of great heels, my gold sculptural bracelet (the first piece of jewelry my husband gave me) and big, bold earrings. Go big or go home!

YOUR FIRST JOB:
Taking drive-through orders at KFC and making coleslaw. Wait... Making coleslaw sounds a little like making kimchi, right?

WHEN YOU WERE A KID, YOU WANTED TO BE:
An anchorwoman like Connie Chung.



Photograph by Bryan Derballa.

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TAGS: womens, style, at work, wework, linkedin
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