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How My Midlife Reinvention Inspired The Launch Of Eileen & Eva (Part 1)

To the outside world, my decision to step down from my senior exec position at the Estee Lauder Companies probably seemed crazy. For years I climbed the corporate ladder and eventually became General Brand Manager for Crème de la Mer and Jo Malone.

I launched both brands in the Asian market and helped make them two of the most successful luxury beauty brands in the industry. I’m sure that when I left the company, a lot of people were wondering, who would walk away from all that?

The truth is, I loved many aspects of my job and I was proud of my accomplishments but my success came at a price.


My career was very demanding; the level of responsibility I had within the company and the extensive amount of travel required was stressful. Although I managed the demands very well and excelled at work, there were things I was struggling with in my personal life that were making me question my career path.

I was starting to realize there were so many important things I was missing out on as a mom and a wife because I was either away or working all the time. My mother was also battling ovarian cancer and wasn’t getting any better. My mom and I were very close and it was so hard to see her struggle and to not be able to be there for her in the way I wanted to.

Eileen and Eva in outdoor cafe
One of my last photos with mom

At the same time, I was dealing with my own personal health scare since I tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation a few years earlier. The demands of my career made it easy for me to avoid dealing with it but everything in my life was finally coming to a head. It was time to make some difficult decisions. It was time for a change.

My husband and I decided to move back to the United States for the sake of our family and my health (I had decided to undergo a total hysterectomy and double mastectomy to minimize my risk of developing ovarian and breast cancers and knew I would receive the best medical care there.) Relocating meant I would have to resign from my position at the Estee Lauder Companies.

As someone who had always been so career focused and driven, I knew leaving my job would be an adjustment…and temporary. I wouldn’t be able to sit still for long.


At that point, I had no idea what was in store in terms of my career but I was excited about the possibilities! I decided that whatever I did moving forward would be meaningful; I was determined to leave a legacy my mother would be proud of.

*Stay tuned for Part 2 of How My Midlife Reinvention Inspired The Launch Of Eileen & Eva®! Click here to join my mailing list and be the first to read the rest of the story when it becomes available.

Eva SooHoo

A mom of 2 amazing teenagers, a corporate executive turned entrepreneur, a runner, a BRCA2 mutation carrier, a previvor, and the founder of Eileen & Eva. You can reach her at eva@eileenandeva.com

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