This type of profile is suitable for print or as a webpage. Approximately 1,000 words.
As seen in the book Miami Women, a pictorial by photographer Femke Tewari. Used with permission.
There are many reasons to adore Eva Hughes, not the least of which is her straightforward manner and her unconditional honesty. Eva tells it like it is, with sincerity and candor, because she believes in cultivating the best in people, and for her that begins with an understanding of self. An outspoken introvert, Eva is a delightful study in contrasts.
Born in the beautiful Basque region of Spain, Eva was the second of four children, with an older sister and two younger brothers. The family moved to Mexico City when she was eleven, but after two years they relocated once again, to Miami. Eva’s mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and her best treatment options were available in the States. Miami has been Eva’s base ever since, and she considers it her hometown.
Growing up, Eva was in love with words, and has always maintained a library of books and magazines. She loved to create collages from her magazines, indulging her artistic side with scissors and glue and poster board. She spent a lot of time in the local library, to the point where other patrons thought she was an employee. “I have a serious image; I always have. Apparently, that feels safe and reassuring to a lot of people, because all my life random strangers have confessed their secrets to me! I always thought that I was shy; it wasn’t until much later that I realized other people interpreted my seriousness as confidence and leadership.”
She enrolled at Georgetown University with the intention of studying psychology and philosophy. Eva’s college career ended early when she was called home to nurse her mother. “Those were the dark times,” she says quietly, “but I am still thankful for them; they were part of the process of developing who I would become.” Eva made the best of the situation by volunteering at South Miami Hospital, working with children.
Meanwhile, her elder sister had begun working at local radio station WLRN as a host and producer, and she brought Eva on board to work on a show called “Asian-American Focus”. When Eva was 24 her sister was offered the editor-in-chief position at Selecta Magazine, a very important Spanish-language fashion and lifestyle publication. Eva accompanied her to the interview, hoping to gain an intern position at the magazine. Instead, her sister turned down the position, and it was offered to Eva. Given her lifelong love for magazines, she “didn’t even ask for a job description. I just went, and I did all the jobs, attended all the events. I made a lot of mistakes, but my mother had taught me to always do my best. That’s how you demonstrate integrity and respect for yourself. For me, it’s a drive that I have inside; I’m always learning to become better at what I do.”
Her dedication didn’t go unnoticed, and after five years at Selecta, Eva was offered the position of editor-in-chief of Vogue en Español (later renamed Vogue Mexico & Latin America). It was a dream come true, but it wasn’t without obstacles. Originally based in Miami, the magazine began addressing a larger share of the Latin market, and Eva began traveling to Mexico City multiple times each month to work with her teams and with advertisers. Her presence became ubiquitous, and she was often introduced as the CEO, “which was funny because that job didn’t even exist! There was no CEO of Vogue because it was part of the larger Condé Nast group.” Eva moved to Mexico City full-time during her last year at the magazine, which turned out to be a healing journey for her. “I reconciled with the country. Mexico was where my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and that was always with me. To be there full-time I had to create inner peace, and I became a better person.”
As much as she enjoyed her work, Eva realized that it was all-consuming, almost like an addiction. Every moment of her life was scheduled, and the grind had begun to wear her down. She thrived on the hard work and the hustle, but innately understood that she had left herself – Eva, the woman – behind. It was time for a change.
She moved back to Miami, and became a consultant focused on business strategies, personal branding, and leadership. Most of her clients are fashion start-ups, but she has diversified into other areas, such as tech.
“I am open to all options. I work with anyone who can benefit from my experience. I ask myself, ‘Where can you make the most impact?’ It’s not always what you know, but how you apply it that makes the difference.”
As a business coach, Eva advises clients to do the work and believe in their vision. She struggled for many years with Imposter Syndrome, questioning whether she deserved to helm an international magazine or if she was just lucky to have been in the right place at the right time. Eventually, she understood that her ability to identify the most strategic path made her a natural for the role and accepted that she had worked very hard to learn new skills from day one of her employment. She never gave up.
“Resilience! That is the key to fulfilling your destiny. Don’t get stuck on your original idea. Shift gears when you have to; let stuff go. Stay curious, explore your options, open your perspective. Most of all, listen to advice, but trust your intuition. I tell my entrepreneurs, ‘Make others see and believe what you see and believe. That is your job.’”
Eva loves the life that she has created for herself, a life that is filled with stability, peace, health, and lots of family and friends. She continues to be a student of life, reinventing herself, finding ways to make a difference. “I am content with what I have and what I do. That is my definition of success.”