Welcome to M2057's Spotlight Series: In Her Own Words, which features dynamic, stylish, and powerful women who inspire us.
This month, we spoke with non-profit executive Soo Choi.
Soo Choi is Chief Human Resources Officer at Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Chicago’s only non-profit serving victims of child sexual abuse by coordinating the efforts of child protection staff, law enforcement professionals, family advocates, medical experts, and mental health clinicians under one roof. She’s also involved with Chicago House, which supports individuals and families impacted by HIV with housing, health, and employment services, as well as the Honeycomb Project, which organizes philanthropic projects for families. Outside of work and volunteering, Soo loves to attend shows of all kinds (concerts, theatre, dance, opera, and more), dabbles in aerial circus silks, and spends quality time with her children and friends.
SPECIAL THANKS TO LEAH MISSBACH DAY FOR THE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THIS SPOTLIGHT.
Soo is wearing Emilie Coat, Aiko Jacket, Ginkgo T-shirt, and Gabi Skirt.
IN HER WORDS...
HOW I THINK ABOUT WORK/LIFE BALANCE: I’m fortunate to work for an organization whose mission really impacts all aspects of my life and with colleagues who are equally passionate. I guess I don’t love the work/life dichotomy because life is so much more intricate than that. I think about it more in terms of exercising self-care when I’m feeling overwhelmed or tired and am thankful to work somewhere that not only allows for that but also encourages it.
HOW I TAKE CARE OF MYSELF: I try to take at least one moment a day to reflect on something positive in my life, and though it can be hard, I try to hit the pause button when I need calm and quiet. I also immerse myself in the love of my kids and the joys of friendship.
CHALLENGES I’VE FACED: In my work, there have been times that I felt lost, and letting go of the idea that you have to stay on a specific path really helped me gain some new footing. In my life, I’ve faced some personal adversities, as well as some mental health challenges, and asking for help when it was needed and letting my amazing family and friends in has gotten me through some really tough times. I’m so grateful to have so many incredible people in my life!
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT BEING A WOMAN: The clothes, of course! Seriously, though, it’s incredible to look back a few decades and realize how much women have accomplished, and I’m so proud to be a part of that and am so excited to see what lies ahead for us.
MY PERSONAL STYLE: Classic, accessible, sometimes playful. While I like to be stylish, I dress more conservatively at work, since it’s a professional environment. Going out, I’m usually in t-shirts and jeans or maxi dresses. But sometimes I also like to take the opportunity to wear something fun that wouldn’t be appropriate at work!
MY FAVORITE M2057 PIECES: My first M2057 dress was from Maria’s Kickstarter campaign, and it’s the Isabella in navy. That was back in 2013, and I still wear that dress today and get compliments! It will never go out of style. I also love the Magnolia Dress for its delicacy and intricate detailing, the Florine Coat because it’s timeless and goes with everything, the Flavia Top because the sleeves are just so unique, and the Elena Skirt because it’s the first short denim skirt I’ve found that doesn’t look like it was meant for a teenager. I love how beautiful I feel in these clothes - the fabric and styling are amazing, both elegant and comfortable. I also love how pieces from different collections can be combined to make new and imaginative looks.
WHAT I’M WATCHING AND READING RIGHT NOW: I’m totally in love with an FX/Hulu show called Reservation Dogs. It’s a hilarious yet poignant look at contemporary Native American culture, and that’s long overdue! I just started reading a novel called The Sweetness of Water, which takes place in the waning days of the Civil War and is so far very compelling and well-written.
WHAT BRINGS ME JOY: The laughter of my kids, cuddling with my dog, hugging my friends, and just living life fully and compassionately.
WISDOM FOR MY YOUNGER SELF: Things don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.