Linda Kim is a Board Director at Natalist. In her day job, she serves as Chief Operating Officer of HAUS LABORATORIES, Lady Gaga’s beauty brand. She was previously VP of Digital at Honest Company and worked in senior positions at Zynga and Apple. Linda has a BA from University of California, Berkeley.
Tell us about yourself and your family.
I immigrated to the United States with my parents and sisters at the age of nine without knowing a single letter of the alphabet. Both my parents fled North Korea during the Korean War to South Korea to live a better life. Then, in their 40s, with just us in their hands, we hopped on a plane to come to America with just one hope—a life full of opportunity for us three daughters.
Birds and the bees, birth control, my reproductive system—none of these were things we discussed at home. What was discussed was that we had to get married and have a family of our own.
Tell us about your love of gaming and technology and how that led to where you are today.
I never owned a gaming console nor was allowed to play video games growing up, but much of my career was focused in the gaming industry. Now I’m an avid casual mobile gamer and love leveling up! My gamer handle is “kimasabi.”
How games took me to eCommerce and the beauty industry is still a mystery to me. But, I am now the COO of HAUS LABORATORIES, managing the digital sales channel, growth, operations, and IT/tech teams.
Let’s talk about your own fertility experience and freezing your eggs.
I was never good at dating. The ROI never panned out for me. So, I focused on where my ROI was highest: career development and progression. Fast forward to age 38 when I witnessed my eldest sister having trouble getting pregnant and going through rounds of IVF without success. That was a wake up call for me to take action.
I started my egg freezing journey—researching, interviewing, and finding the right doctor and clinic that can help. Through this process, I realized how little I knew about my body, specifically my reproductive system. I was diagnosed with fibroids and found out that even if I were to freeze my eggs, I might not be able to carry the baby. And that my fatigue and lack of energy wasn’t because I was pulling 10-12hr work days, but because I was dangerously anemic. I completed my egg retrieval process at age 40, and they are nicely secured in a freezer. And, a few years later, I went through a microscopic myomectomy which changed my life. I am still single and no kids of my own, but a proud aunt of triplets (my sister’s last attempt at IVF was a beautiful, healthy success). They are the love of my life.
What advice do you have for other ambitious women?
Career advice I always give to all young women is not “get a MBA” or “develop XYZ skills,” it’s “freeze your eggs!” It’s one I wish I did earlier in life. It’s liberating to know that my reproductive system isn’t controlled by a clock anymore.