Switching careers might seem like a daunting life decision with countless unknown factors and risks. Switching to something completely unrelated to the field that you’re currently in might seem even scarier. Indie Lee’s career is an example of how possible it is – even in the face of adversity. The founder discussed how she started her eponymous skincare brand during POPSUGAR Play/Ground’s “Finding Purpose Through Passion” panel.
“I don’t actually come from the beauty industry,” she said, before explaining that she started out as a CPA. “[I] really had a phenomenal career. I realized something really important about my life – I don’t like accounting.”
Lee explained that after her realization, she was faced with a slew of health concerns. In 2008, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis; within the next year, she began to lose her vision. Lee said that her most “impactful day” was when she was told by her doctor that she had a tumor.
“I realized, on that day, I was one of those people who was truly a passenger in their own life and not actually living it,” she said. “And I said, ‘I don’t know what this is. Something good will happen from it. I just have to allow it, and every day from this day forth, I’m going to live with purpose, passion, and be fully present.'”
Lee said that when she was told that she had six months to live, she went back to her doctor and asked how it was possible – since “no one in [her] family had anything like this.” Her doctor noted that more of these things are linked to the environment and asked her, “What do you put on your skin?”
That’s when it clicked for Lee. “I said, for whatever time I have left, I’m going to dedicate it to creating a skincare line that was clean, effective, beautiful in the shower, and more importantly, I wanted to educate and empower others to live the healthiest version of their lives, whatever that looks like,” she said.
Ultimately, Lee survived the surgery to remove her tumor, but her passion remained – and her career is proof that it’s never too late to start over. Ahead, check out some of her bestselling products.