DREAM CATCHER: KRYSTEL TIEN
Krystel Tien is a renowned San Diego wedding planner whose Couture Events business has been featured everywhere from Martha Stewart Weddings to the Disney Fairytale Wedding Ever After Blog. With a background in the world of fashion, she combines all of the elements of couture into her events: gorgeous, quality, glamorous, and one-of-a-kind. She recognized a need for a bridal shop that gives brides the type of magical experience you see in the movies, providing them with a complete look along with all of the lovely extras. She founded Elle Bridal Boutique with the goal of making every bride feel beautiful and adored and giving them exactly what they need for their wedding day. Coupled together, the businesses provide a direct resource for brides whether they are seeking creative services or the perfect dress (or both!)
When did you know you wanted to pursue your business or venture? Senior year of college when I had a radio show and I sat in a box talking to myself (and a faceless audience) for four hours a night. I realized that I did not want to be on my own. I wanted to create things as part of a team with lots of people. I dreamed up Couture Events in chemistry class, which was so boring to me that I knew that I just had to go after something I really loved. I first started brainstorming names, created my logo, and then created my packages – all in chemistry class. Don’t tell my professor! I got a C in the class (unsurprisingly), but an A+ in pursuing my dreams.
Did your original business plan change along the way or are you doing exactly what you set out to do? If it changed, how so? The main focus has stayed the same but I have definitely made tweaks along the way! It’s all about trial and error in the beginning.
What makes you different from your competition? We get asked this a lot in our industry and I honestly don’t believe it’s about what makes us different, but rather why you would choose us. The answer is: design, style, and personality. Each coordination company does things differently and I really want our client to trust us. If they love what they have seen from our past work, then they will love us.
Tell us about a time when you thought you should throw in the towel. What kept you going? We had an unhappy mother-in-law who wanted the wedding her way and we sided with the bride and gave the bride exactly what she wanted. The bride was overjoyed but we ended up having a very unhappy mother-in-law on our hands. We did all that we could to please her and her words to us were: “You can’t please everyone, honey.” It took some time, but we came to see that she was right – there was no compromise that would make both of them happy. We had to live with the words that she said to us and take them as TRUTH. Realizing that we could not please everyone and had to choose whom we would be able to please was an “aha” moment for us. We were able to continue on knowing that we were making the bride happy and that it was her wedding day. We were able to help her through what would have been a very hard time for her with her mother-in-law if we had not been there.
What three factors have most contributed to your success in business and in life? Be Kind: This is my number one rule! Do everything out of kindness and it will all be OK. Be Lovely: Be someone that you would want to be around- delightful and of great moral and spiritual beauty. My faith is super important to me and without it I would be lost and I feel that it is a part of being lovely. Stay Calm: I promise you, it will all work out. It always does.
If you could have a one-on-one meeting with any woman, who would it be and why? What’s the first thing you would you ask her? Taylor Swift. I mean, who doesn’t love T-Swift? I love her passion for her brand and the details. She determines every detail of everything she does and even though she has become a huge singer/songwriter, she keeps herself grounded and has a passion for people and for her trade. I would ask her: In the midst of being so insanely busy, how does she make time for herself? What does she do to unwind and relax?
I wish someone had told me… To stay true to myself. Don’t worry about your competition or anyone else. Just DO YOU! Follow your heart and your gut, and you will be fine. You know your business the best.
I gave up ____ to pursue my dream: Mediocrity.
My biggest challenge is… Remembering that Rome was not built in a day. I get caught up in wanting everything to fall into place straightaway. I have to remind myself that great things take time.
My proudest professional moment to date is… Every time I send off a happy bride and groom after the wedding. It just fills me with so much joy I can hardly stand it.
LET’S GET PERSONAL:
The three words that best describe me are… Visionary, Go-getter, Doer.
While on vacation I always… Want to do it all (I am not slow-paced and I like to bounce from one place to the next quickly). I have to remind myself to relax.
My beauty routine consists of… Lots of lip gloss! My favorite lip gloss is Chanel #179.
My tips for eating healthy during the workday are… Don’t! I get by on sugar and coffee.
My favorite type of workout is… Walking the seven blocks to work and home each day!
A teacher or boss who influenced me is… Mr. Jollet was my ASB Director and the most valuable lesson he taught me is to MAKE IT HAPPEN. There are no excuses just do it, fix it, make it work!
I rejuvenate by… Writing in my journal, spending time at the spa, dancing in my living room, and painting (I am terrible at it but I really enjoy it).
Lately I’m inspired by… Geraldine Magazine. I mean WOW. It’s wedding perfection.