“Never Lose Your Curiosity”: Christina Cho On Living With Purpose

Christina Cho is a dear friend of ours who inspires us to live with kindness! She is extremely accomplished as a manager, with previous experiences at J.Crew, Mario’s and now at Zillow Group. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine/Studio Arts at York University, and a B.A. in Psychology at the University of British Columbia! Learn more about Christina’s journey and passions in her profile feature below. 

Q: Tell us about yourself!

Christina: “Hi! I am Christina and I was born in Busan, South Korea, grew up in Kona Hawaii in my early childhood years, immigrated to Vancouver BC where I became a naturalized citizen and now live in Seattle, WA with my family. I met my husband at a summer camp when I was 15. We crushed on each other at the time, stayed in and out of touch until we reconnected later in life. We’ve now been married for over 10 years and have two amazing daughters: Abigail (4) and Emma (1). I am a creative at heart, a realistic optimist, and love finding joys in the simple moments in life! My favorite time to snack is at 10pm but I am trying to be better about sleeping earlier.” 

Q: Do you have any favorite college memories? How did your time at UBC differ from your time at York? 

Christina: “My report cards from preschool to high school always had my teachers highly encouraging me to pursue art/ art school. I explored it with Emiliy Carr’s pre college program, but ultimately couldn’t picture myself there and decided I wanted to pursue psychology (my other passion - understanding people). Going to York University was somewhat of a middle ground because it was a school known for their arts program. I wanted to keep a lot of my electives in the creatives. I also wanted to try living on my own, and experience life in a whole different city (on the opposite side of the country). My favorite college memories were all dorm life related; getting Tim Hortons double-double (iykyk) and staying up way too late ‘studying’ with friends, going to brunch (aka cafeteria) in Pjs, movie nights and dinner parties, and just meeting so many different people who have walked such different walks of life.

I took a year off to go to Hillsong College in Australia - It was one of the best years of my life. When I moved back to Vancouver, I transferred to UBC where I finished my B.A in Psychology. My years at UBC were busy! I worked part time at Willingdon Church doing fun creative things like painting murals weekly for drama scene backdrops, leading summer day camps, doing songs/drama, etc. I worked with a team of some of the most creative and intelligent people who till this day still exude so much joy and creativity wherever they go. I spent a lot of time going back and forth between UBC, church, and home to visit family on the weekends. Those two years were a whirlwind, especially towards the end where I got engaged and was graduating, planning a wedding and a move down to Seattle.”

Q: What skills would you say are most important to have in order to succeed in the work you do? 

Christina: “Have a clear understanding of the vision and direction of the company, work hard with purpose, make great connections, take interest in what others do, and stay open minded! Back when I started with J. Crew company, it was my interest in arts/ fashion that motivated me. I’ve always stayed curious and wanting to learn more than my job scope and also lucked out with having amazing leaders and bosses who I built great relationships with (even to this day), which lead me to more leadership roles and growth opportunities. I think it’s important to never lose your curiosity. Rather than having a promotion as a goal, have genuine interest in the business and ways that you can expand your scope. A promotion will come naturally with timing and with the trust you build with your team and leadership.”

Q: Biggest lessons you have learned throughout your career? 

Christina: “Follow your convictions. Don’t stay in a company or team where you see a ceiling in your growth or doubt the integrity of the leadership or business. A lot of great opportunities await!”

Q: What has being a mother taught you about yourself? How has motherhood changed you?

Christina: “Experiencing motherhood shook a lot of preconceived beliefs I’ve always had about it. I’ve always heard a lot of stories and details of how hard it is, but after I became a mom, I thought people don’t talk enough about how fun and amazing it is! From the early days of little sleep to now when my oldest girl Abby talks non stop and always wants to play together, I love it all. I try to be really conscious of making the most of my time with them. Some days feel longer, and harder to balance everything, but I know these days will all just pass so quickly and I don’t want to miss a thing! I also have a better understanding of unconditional love by both giving and receiving it from my girls.” 

Q: What are you most proud of?

Christina: “I am proud of my resilience and positivity. I’ve been told by close people that it seems like hardships don’t seem to affect me. They do and I am pretty open if you ask me. While hardships can and do affect me, I don’t allow myself to wallow, worry about the uncontrollable ‘what ifs’ or ruminate in negativity. I tend to bounce back from things pretty quickly and move forward. With that I am also thankful for some incredible people in my life who support me and I can confide in (and even share laughs with) during hardships.”

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Christina: “I would tell my younger high school self to have a lot of conversations with people in different stages of life, background, and walks of life. Take interest in their stories and try to learn from them! Spend more of your free time trying different things and find things you really enjoy and spend a lot of time doing it!”

Q: What do you root your identity in?

Christina: “I root myself in love! The ultimate example of this is in the Bible – John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This was one of my experiences in University.. I still remember the moment this one sentence became my Truth. This Love is where my strength, my joys, and my confidence comes from!”

Thank you for speaking with us! Christina is wearing our Just Right Cardigan Marled Brown, Mini Cheetah Sage V Neck Cami & Mini Cheetah Sage Pull On Midi Skirt from our Pre Spring 2021 Collection. 

Connect with Christina on IG @christina_yujin

Photography by David Cho @imdavidcho