Originally published on

Originally published on


Krystel Tien is the founder, creative director, and lead stylist of Couture Events and Elle Bridal Boutique. We asked her for a little Expert Advice:

What advice would you give to someone who feels overwhelmed by the competition? “A flower does not compete with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” It’s hard, but I do my best to completely ignore the competition and do what I love. I hope we all make it in our own way and in our own time. I have come to learn after seven years in the industry that ultimately I only need to compete with myself. I only need to outdo myself, by creating better than I did the last time. If I do that each time, then I am succeeding.

What top three tips would you like to pass along for those who have just started to use social media? 1: Post what would speak to your heart. If it speaks to you, it will speak to others.  2: I have days where I want to post 100 photos and other days where I don’t want to post anything. For me, the perfect balance is trying to post three photos a day! 3: Spread out your posts. Early on my assistant had to create a limit for me. I had to wait until we got to 50 likes before posting the next post. This helped me space out our posts so that I didn’t fill up our followers’ newsfeeds too often.

When you think of the best people to work with, what traits do they share? Kind, honest, creative, and hard-working.

Give a budding entrepreneur your best hiring and firing business practices: Go with your gut. If your gut says this person is going to be awesome, they probably will be. If your gut says something is wrong, then something is probably wrong. You might really like someone as a person or they may look really great on paper, but if your gut tells you they’re not the best person for the position then they probably aren’t.

Entrepreneurs often say that “you can’t do it all.” What two things do you always outsource? Accounting and PR.

What business book would you recommend to someone who is either about to launch or in the early growth stage? It’s a publication and not a book, but I love Fast Company. It offers great advice that is tailored to creative types.

What are your thoughts on raising capital? Couture Events is a service-oriented business so I did not need to raise capital, I just needed to work hard. I kept my corporate job as I built my small business, so I was able to take the money from the first wedding I did and use it to buy business cards. Then with the next wedding I did, I was able to create to website, and so on. Elle Bridal Boutique needed fairly large capital, so for that business I had to take out a small business loan.

What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? “Confidence, Cohen.” I was a major fan of the TV series The O.C.and this was advice that Anna gave to Seth Cohen. But it’s just as true in business as it was for the fictional Seth – confidence is KEY in pursuing your dreams. If you are good at what you do or you produce a good product, then you should have confidence in it and be able to sell it and make a business out of it.

My best advice to a woman launching a venture is… You have to believe in what you do and believe in your own vision. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it or change your focus. If you know what you want, then go after it! Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart but it does pay off in many ways. Following your dreams and creating the life you want is worth all of the time, stress, and hard work.

What would your advice to your younger self be? Go for it! Do IT! Don’t be afraid. RUN TOWARD YOUR DREAM. You will make it! I used to lay awake at night and wonder, am I doing the right thing? Can I really quit my corporate job? What if I don’t make it? So I would tell my younger self to stop that – get rest and jump in head first tomorrow to follow your dream. You will be OK!

Finally, please share your top five tips that would benefit an entrepreneurial woman launching or growing her business:

  1. Time management is essential.
  2. Build the best team possible. You can’t do it alone.
  3. You are worth it!
  4. Do it right – don’t cut corners and think you will go back to it later. Do it right the first time.
  5. Make time for your family and friends. Your business dream is important but don’t forget to live life. Early on in my career I met a newly-divorced man; his ex-wife was a wedding planner and he said “Make time for your family. Your clients are important but your family should take priority – if they don’t you will lose them.” I will never forget that and I remind myself of it every time I am about to tell my husband “I can’t because I have to work on x, y, z.”


Image: [Sara France]