Like many women nowadays, I play different roles in my life – I’m a skincare and beauty connoisseur, accidental entrepreneur, image expert, career coach, inspirational storyteller, speaker and trainer. I moved from a career in investment banking to be founder of Evie Beauté to fulfill my mission of inspiring others to live a life with purpose, a life worth living. And the most cherished role I have is mother – to two precious young children whose smiles and laughter bring me endless joy every day.
Life for me began in Japan – I went from laid back Vancouver, Canada to the land of sushi and kimonos, where the women always looked perfectly polished and were never overdone. This was in direct contrast to the Chinese culture my parents instilled in me growing up in Canada as part of an immigrant family – that caring about your appearance was a personality fault of vanity. While studying in Japan, I clearly remembering devouring beauty magazines in Science class. To this day I curl my lashes the way I learned from the well-thumbed pages of those magazines.
Back at home, my complexion was far from perfect and my mother sent to me get facials, eventually being persuaded by my facialist to become a direct salesperson for a Japanese beauty brand. Even now, I remember who shyly bought a lipstick for his girlfriend, and who never paid for her large order. I also took the written beautician licensing exam – and passed with flying colors.
While studying International Business at the University of British Columbia, I spent a year at Korea University – the land of kimchi and K-pop, plastic surgery and heavy contouring makeup. I fell in love with the elegant, feminine beauty ideals that contrasted with the girly looks prevalent in Japan.
It took me a while to understand how (and why) the girls at school were always perfectly coiffed and made up – even during exam time. And to figure out the cultural phenomenon of the subway cleaning lady ‘adjummas ’ who would scrape chewing gum off subway floors in full makeup – thick foundation, drawn eyebrows and bright red lipstick.
Experiencing these different cultural values and norms of beauty as I was growing up shaped how I saw the role of beauty in my life. And have ultimately ended up in my work. I see Evie as my third child – one that I nurture and shower with love, to share love with others.
In 2000, my father had a brush with acute leukemia, a wake up call for me to start caring for myself; this experience ultimately led me to create Evie, which started as a loving gift to friends in Christmas of 2005.
In 2013, my father came down with medium stage Alzheimer’s after suffering numerous mini strokes. Both times the doctors told us the worst was inevitable; both times, my father recovered – the doctors called it a miracle.
This second time I was a parent myself, so it was a wake up call for me to treasure, love and care for myself and the people I love all the more. It inspired me to take a fresh look at Evie, and find a way to share and give this gift of love to myself and to others.
My team and I created the ultimate brand that we identify with, the skincare insiders’ beauty secrets and products we would use and recommend to our closest friends – that are just too good to keep to ourselves. Because after all these years, there still isn’t anything quite like it on the market. And like all things it’s about enjoying the process of creation, the joy of sharing, and the journey – to walk the road less traveled and design a life you love. Because life is too short not to make the most of it.
~ Beyond Beautiful ~