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Shirley Tan

Shirley Tan

I’ve worked for my family business and in numerous banks. I’ve started my own business in 1985, opening a retail/wholesale business in San Francisco. I started initially as a mail order catalog in 1994. That didn’t work out too well, so thank goodness the Internet came about and we officially opened our Yahoo! store in 1997.

By no means was success achieved overnight—there was much more sweat equity that in went into the business than monetary capital investment, which was good, because there was definitely a shortage of that.

The turning point was in 2004, when I sold my retail business to my business partner and focused solely on my ecommerce store. In 2007, we were awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA Regional Retail Firm of the Year Award. And by mid-2009, we grew our business 12-times our initial sales revenue from 2004 and had 30 full-time employees. I sold American Bridal in 2009 to the largest wedding portal on the Internet, The Knot.

I now consult with ecommerce merchants on improving the operational aspects of their businesses, via Ecommerce Systems, my consulting firm.