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February 3, 2010

Selia Yang inFOCUS

is a new program that spotlights an innovative business or entrepreneur each month through a series of blog posts and events.

We will be spending the month of February focusing on Selia Yang, a brilliant designer, talented entrepreneur, and mover and shaker in the bridal market..

Our conversations with Selia will be shared on our blog posts and we invite you to meet Selia at a festive end-of-the-month festive soiree at Selia's showroom on February 24th.

So without further ado, we are pleased to introduce you to Selia Yang!

Selia Yang Sneak Peek:

Born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Toronto, Canada, Selia Yang always knew she wanted to work for herself. So after graduating with a degree in fashion design, she moved to New York to open up shop in a little store in the East Village. Selia began with a line of made-to-order eveningwear and cocktail dresses and her popularity grew quickly. Her devoted customers soon began turning to Selia to make their wedding dresses as well.

After spending some time resisting (traditional wedding dresses weren't quite her thing and she physically cringes at the word "poofy"), Selia finally brought her creative eye and sleek designs to the bridal market. A few years later, with both feet in bridal, Selia continued to expand her business, which also now employed her sister, brother, and sister-in-law.

Then last year, with 11 years of experience under her belt, Selia Yang entered the wholesale market and is now featured in 8 boutiques around the nation, including a prominent relationship with SAKS. Selia has won many 'Best of' awards and her designs have been featured in motion pictures and print magazines. She continues to reshape the bridal market and build a brand synonymous with elegance, style, and beauty.

What we love about Selia Yang:

We originally met Selia while Adelaide was shopping for her own wedding dress and quickly fell in love, not only with the prefect dress, but also the business and Selia herself. We were so intrigued by Selia's business style and story. Each conversation we had revealed just how thoughtful and purposeful an entrepreneur she is.

Her showroom is a perfect reflection of her designs - beautiful, comfortable and elegant with a few unexpected, fun elements (i.e. the lovely dog who hangs out amidst the bridal gowns and the awesome Vespa neatly parked by the register). Each dress is fitted by Selia herself. Her unique 'retail-first' business strategy has enabled her to grow steadily over time, maintaining both control and autonomy.

Determined from the start to work for herself, Selia has crafted a business where the relationship with the customer is central and a critical part of the business evolution. In fact, it was her customers who first convinced (begged and pleaded) her to enter the bridal market. Selia is clearly motivated by her desire to be creative and evolve as a designer, and we were wowed listening to her talk about the honor involved in making women feel beautiful.

We have been privileged to learn from Selia's story and experience and we are pleased to share bits and pieces of that story with you over the course of the next month. Each week, we will post a new segment on Selia on the blog and we will culminate the month with a festive soiree at Selia's Tribeca showroom.


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