Girl Boss Bea Soriano-Dee Changes The Retail Game While Balancing Family Life
Floral pantsuit by Vania Romoff and mules by Balenciaga
Bea Soriano-Dee makes it look easy. Entertaining guests, running a retail empire, singing “Five Little Ducks” to her daughter—whatever it is, Bea makes it look like it’s no biggie. Always. That effortlessness has been inherent in her for as long as we can remember. Bea, who was always the more elusive of the "It" girls, the one who seemingly kept everyone at bay, but in truth, possessed such business savvy that she has successfully launched several brands since she started modeling. Back in 2012, Metro ran after the enigma that was Bea and took her with Sam Milby to New York City, fashion capital of the world for commerce, for those who want to make it big.
“Wow, that was in 2012. Pre-marriage, pre-kids, my entire life has changed since them,” she tells Metro.Style. At that time, Bea has just opened the fifth store of Charlie Apparel, a project with her then-boyfriend and now-husband Eric Dee, Jr., that launched just the year prior. The two met in college, when she was still studying BS Psychology, and had set up Charlie two years into the relationship, pretty much doing everything themselves, from sourcing fabric to designing the store. These learnings helped them build Sunnies Studios in 2013 along with friends Georgina Wilson and Martine Cajucom.
Bea and Eric cemented their partnership in a gorgeous garden celebration at Antonio’s two years after, followed by bliss—two children, Braeden, age 4, and Billie, age 1.
“My life is really different now, me and my husband, it’s just so peaceful between the two of us,” she says. “A lot of people tell us that marriage is scary, but for us, everything fell into place. And I also gave birth to two kids and three concepts—Sunnies Café, Sunnies Specs, and Sunnies Face. That’s a lot of changes since then, and I love it,” she adds.
Perhaps the ease in which we see her navigate through her various commitments, juggling her multiple roles as mother, wife, manager, daughter—is brought about by her general positive attitude. Gracious and forward-thinking, she is a ray of sunshine and positivity that spreads across all those whose lives she touches.
Ruffled dress by Vania Romoff
Motherhood, for one, proved to be one of those aspects where she excels, or at least, makes it look like she’s carrying on well.
“I try to manage by bringing my kids to the office, like Billie, my youngest, I bring her to work every day. With Braeden, I make sure we sleep in the same room, or at least even if I’m not there during the day, I can see him at night,” she explains.
Braeden, at this point, marches up to us to offer a Tim Ho Wan pork bun, the Michelin-starred hero product of her in-laws, restauranteur Rikki and Beng Dee of Fodeee Global Concepts.
“He’s insane,” she says of her firstborn. “He’s just full of energy. He has such a distinct personality, I don’t know where he gets that from because Eric and I are pretty chill. He wants to know everything about the world—like he knows the name of each and every plant in the house,” she adds.
Billie, on the other hand is a darling. “She’s just so sweet and so chill. Clingy, but chill. Just the way I like it,” Bea adds. At the moment, Billie likes being one of the boys, as a most-male coterie of cousins and friends, like the sons of all the other ‘It’ girls Georgina’s Archie, Isabelle Daza’s Baltie, and Liz Uy’s Xavi. “It’s going to be a tough one. I’m still hoping someone gives birth to a girl!” she adds.
More than running her business, where she is operations manager, her biggest challenge is balancing being a mother and a wife. “Where do you give your attention—your kids or your husband? There should be a balance between two parties who want to be with you,” she says, appreciating the fact that she works with Eric. Otherwise, she says, she might never get to see him.
The two are in perfect sync, with Bea’s knack for organization and attention to detail, coupled with her husband’s natural affinity to management and finding the right people. Even in their temporary pad, atop one of BGC’s most coveted addresses, the two run their household efficiently, like a business.
Bea makes sure everything is organized, while Eric is in charge of food. “We play to our strengths,” she explains. “It’s lucky that we have the same taste in furniture, as they’re a big part of your life,” she adds.
Button-down dress by Olivia Von Halle
And right about this moment, Eric swoops in to say hi, and bye, and see you later. He is off to a 6:30 p.m. meeting, and like her, he also juggles his work life, and tries to make it back home in time to play with the children.
Bea is of a new generation of millennial mothers—seemingly combining the tenets of attachment parenting, co-sleeping, extended-breastfeeding, along with the sage advice of many who have come before her. Sure, she has a gorgeous social media feed—skiing in Niseko, holiday photoshoots, a Hong Kong getaway—but behind all that is a woman lives exactly as she portrays herself to be on social media. It’s hard to find authentic people like that nowadays, more often than not there is oversharing, overhype. In an industry where there is premium on being out there as a brand, Bea emerges as the real deal, showing everyone how the real girl boss manages to make everything effortless—and enjoying every single moment of it.
Mustard dress by Khaite
Photographs by Seven Barretto
Makeup by Mayesa delos Santos
Hairstyling by Lourd Ramos Salon
Styling by Gelie Manansala
Shoot Assistant: Cara Tirona