Julie HyunJae Lee had a rather different path before she became a jewelry designer. Due to the experience of living in South Korea and the States, majoring political science as undergrad and receiving her master’s degree in international relations and working for an advertising agency, the British Embassy in Korea, a university, she had opportunities to build rather unique perspectives.
It literally took 10 years before she decided to change her career to jewelry industry.
Julie founded “GOI”, a design-oriented brand that produces hand-made pieces using pearls and melee-size diamonds in 14k and 18k rose gold. She was inspired by the concepts of “beauty of emptiness” from Korea, the east, and “being pragmatic” from America, the west. Julie incorporated these two similar ideas and launched “GOI” which is a Korean term translated as “with all your heart” in 2015.
GOI’s jewelry pieces best represent the concept of “daily jewelry” as they are suitable for any occasion, any time, and any garments.
Simple is the key word to describe both Julie and her brand GOI. From mixing her experiences into jewelry designs, she learned the importance of “elimination” to reach the essence.
MOVIDA Where are you from?
GOI I was born in Evanston, Illinois in the States. But I grew up in a city called Daegu in South Korea.
MOVIDA What are your favourite things in your hometown?
GOI I don’t have vivid memories of my hometown, Evanston. Since I left the place when I was five years old. Yet, Evanston makes me feel nostalgic. It could be the pictures my parents took, or just the idea of hometown itself. I am not sure but the images of Evanston to me are happy, peaceful and bright yellow.
MOVIDA Where do you receive inspirations for your designs?
GOI I think for me, not thinking about the designs, brings out better designs. Just to elaborate more, if i think too hard to come up with new designs for GOI, I become a blank. I just have to wait for new ideas or designs come up naturally, but I have to be in a good mood for my thoughts to flow naturally. It’s the state of peace.
MOVIDA What's the meaning behind the name "GOI"?
GOI “GOI” means “with all your heart” in Korean. It is not a direct translation, but it means pretty much the same. In korean, “GOI, 고이” means “정성을 다해”.
MOVIDA Your favourite quote?
GOI “Two roads diverged in a wood, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” by Robert Frost
MOVIDA what are you currently reading?
GOI Insanely Simple by Ken Segall and books on Korean history.
MOVIDA what's your favourite show/movie?
GOI Dead Poets’ Society has been my all-time favourite.