2021 Honorees

Yoon-Ji Nam

Head of Growth

“If you put smart, hard-working, and kind people in a team, the result will always be pure magic.”

Tell us about where you work and what you do there.

I am the Head of Growth at Magic Spoon. I oversee our customer acquisition, retention, and CRO efforts so that we can grow the company and spread the word about our delicious and healthy cereal. I started my career in management consulting at the Boston Consulting Group, and worked at Away and Hawthorne before joining Magic Spoon.

How would you describe yourself?

I love my job because I have the best team (I know, super unbiased) and it’s the perfect combo of left brain and right brain thinking. I like to sing, dance, cook, and bake. I’m originally from Korea and love traveling! I’m very passionate about helping reduce food waste and hunger through my involvement with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, which is a nonprofit org that delivers excess food from restaurants to homeless shelters and other organizations in need.

What is your leadership style?

I believe that my team members are the actual experts in what they do. So I ask questions, help remove blockers, and brainstorm solutions, but trust that they are the real owners and can make the right decisions on their own. I also believe that if you put smart, hard-working, and kind people in a team, the result will always be pure magic.

What do you think has been your biggest professional success so far?

This is such a hard one! Weirdly, I’ve found that learning about self-compassion and trying to practice it has been really helpful. I tend to be very hard on myself but understanding that we should be pursuing excellence, not perfection, has been key to a more sustainable, happier work life. While it’s not a conventional achievement, I think it will keep me grounded and help me go farther while being happy. I’m also proud that I’m taking care of myself through physical exercise (remote strength training) and executive coaching!

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What goals do you have for 2021?

Empowering my team to continue crushing what they’re already good at, and challenging them to develop skills or knowledge in things they don’t know already or aren’t good at yet. Also with folks mostly working from home still, I want to help myself and my team find a better balance between working hard and also still finding time to relax and take care of ourselves. Lastly, I want to read more books and call my family more often!

What do you think is the next big trend in eCommerce?

Not a big splashy trend, but I think the reckoning/realization that brands should care just as much (if not more) about customer retention vs. acquisition will continue. Strong brands are built upon real, genuine fans!

Name an eCommerce brand you admire and why.

I’m loving the Asian American brands!! I admire them for spreading the word on flavors/products I grew up with, and teaching me about things I knew very little about. Representation really matters. Sanzo, Kulfi, and Omsom to name a few.

What do you geek out over?

Hamilton and Trader Joe’s. Also, I love index + match (hot take but so much better than pivoting!), conditional formatting, and little dropdowns you can make from data validation in Excel/Google Sheets.