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February 16, 2010

In Her Words: Selia Yang shares advice and perspective on being an entrepreneur

This is the last installment of our February inFOCUS series! We have spent the last month learning from brilliant designer and entrepreneur, Selia Yang. We've talked about The Decision to "Go Bridal"; The Ingredients of Success; and The Importance of the NO-YES. & We are excitedly ticking down the days to our Soiree on Feb 24th!

For our last piece, we wanted to share with you some of our Q&A with Selia so that you could hear her advice and perspective in her own words!

* Who inspired you along your journey? Did you have any role models?

I feel fortunate. In my path I've had the opportunity in meet so many women from all different walks of life who have inspired me to strive both in terms of my career and in personal growth. My most immediate is my mother, who happens to be a great role model, amazingly intelligent, strong and powerful woman. Despite being an immigrant who barely spoke English, she was successful as a business woman and raised a family. Given my education, ability to speak the language and that I had no one else to take care but myself, it was important for me to become a person she was proud of.

* What advice would you share with other entrepreneurs?

There is an enormous amount of pressure and stress that comes with taking a leap as an entrepreneur. The odds of achieving your aspirations are stacked against you. I knew this and instead of this knowledge working against me, it has allowed me to focus on what matters the most, to enjoy and pay attention to the demands that came every step of the way. It takes courage and strength to follow what's in your heart. It is important to always give yourself a break when things don't go as expected. I would much rather be a failure making an attempt than not striving at all, never knowing what I could have been. You should be proud of yourself just for that.

* Where do you want Selia Yang to go from here?

As a designer and an entrepreneur, of course I would love to see my brand go all the way, to be recognize as one of the top leading fashion designers in America. However, I realize it takes more than ambition and talent to get me there. My company has grown and is at a point where it requires more than my own financial investments to fuel the ultimate goal and thus, I try to not focus too much on where I'm heading....

For now, I'm grateful to have made it this far. There is an honor and a privilege in creating something and in having the ability to sell it because it holds a value. Just last month, one of my gowns was featured in Saks window display and the funny thing is, I was more thrilled with the company of designers along my side than the feature itself…Monique Lhillier, Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Reem Acra.....and me!

A huge thanks to Selia for sharing such amazing insights with us this month. She is truly an inspiration!

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