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Women We Admire - Catherine Choi

This Female Founder Turned a Story of Struggle Into a Thriving Canadian Business

Catherine Choi is the founder of SoYoung, a Canadian brand devoted to making personal wellness products that are sustainable, stylish and self-empowering.

What inspired you to create SoYoung?

Over 20 years ago, I got clean from a drug addiction which started me on a quest of personal healing that continues to this day.

That quest is what propelled me to start SoYoung; I had lived a good portion of my life believing in my own lack, with an overwhelming sense of unworthiness. The only way I found to counter this belief was to have the courage to think bigger, believe in my own potential and pursue a greater vision. SoYoung has become the vehicle through which I tap into my inner resilience and continually push past the boundaries of what I think I'm capable of.

It is my deepest hope that our brand messaging and products serve to empower others to overcome their own limiting beliefs and access the courage necessary to pursue their own best life.

What motivates you?

What motivates me is the idea of freedom – not in the sense of spending the rest of my life sipping margaritas on a beach, but the emotional kind, where I have cleared away the baggage of the past and can fully embrace the present moment. My life is built around this principle, and through years of practice, I have come light years from where I once was, and understand that I will never arrive but just continuously expand.

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned in your industry?

No one except you has the answers to your problems. I used to try and seek out expertise for my issues and try to have someone give me the answer in situations where I felt lost and inadequate, especially business related. But now I understand that while gathering opinions and advice is very helpful, in the end, I must check in with my gut to know what's true and right for me. My gut is never wrong.

What’s your greatest accomplishment?

I consider my greatest accomplishment to be my continual commitment to personal growth. Where I am at today was created by small, consistent, and incremental steps that I devoted myself to, day in and day out, year after year, stacking up to what has become a slow transformation of my being.

What goals do you still hope to achieve?

There is still so much I hope to achieve – a desire to help others on their own healing and empowerment journey, to keep growing on my own path, for SoYoung to grow into a business that is a platform and model for purposeful growth – and , I am writing a book! (it's just getting started).

While it feels overwhelming at times and I do have days where I just want to curl up and give up, I also know that having the tension of striving towards something meaningful is really what makes us feel alive.

What are your top three favourite Province Apothecary products, and why?

Someone once told me Korean women take really good care of their skin, and in my experience this is true. It seems to be a gene that was passed on to me. I love toners and especially love Province Apothecary's Invigorating + Balancing Toner followed by the Rejuvenating + Hydrating Face Serum. And washing my face at the end of the day with their Moisturizing Oil Cleanser + Makeup Remover makes my skin feel so hydrated and pure. I have found that it's way better to cleanse with oils than soap, and I can't believe how many years I spent scrubbing my face at night with soapy, drying products!

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