We had the good fortune of connecting with Thomas Bui and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thomas, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was growing restless workin the pharmaceutical industry and needed something more fulfilling. Something where I would be using both right and left brain. When I started business, I had no formal training or interned with any wedding planners. I paid a web designer to put together a basic website for me using some of my images from past events.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Thomas Bui Lifestyle is a full-scale production company that manages and produces luxury weddings, social affairs and corporate events. We meet with our clients to understand their vision and goals. After our discussions with the client, we design the event, the color palette, inspiration design boards/decks, fashion, decor, photography, florals, etc. We build trust and confidence with our clients so they know that their events are spectacular and memorable. These qualities are achieved through constant communication and listening to my clients and ensuring transparency at every step to make sure that they know what is going on and what is expected. I also give my clients a visual representation of what their events will look like through illustrations/creative boards , color palettes, 3D renderings. We source samples of linens and rental items for them to visualize and feel the whole experience together and make any edits necessary. We manage every aspect of the event so our clients can focus on their special day without any worries. Each of our events is unique and no events are reproduced or recycled. We strive to honor the vision, personality and style each of our clients and ensure that trust, communication, transparency and confidence are instilled with each of our clients. No business is ever smooth. Through my many years in business, I have grown and learned from my mistakes. Some of my struggles along the way include managing unforeseen circumstances during events, budgeting and finance for the slower period of the year, and trying to juggle and manage multiple events at the same time. I am honored that I have been recognized on the national and international stage for my events. I’veI have been featured in television segments and in numerous wedding and lifestyle publications, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, Martha Stewart Weddings, etc. I have also shared my experiences at universities and worldwide conferences.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents deserve all the credit for where and who I am today. We immigrated from Vietnam when I was 8 years old, my parents were in their mid 30s and 40s, respectively. Our journey to America was both hopeful for a new life and tragic at the same time since some family members were not able to leave with us. We got on the last helicopter out of Saigon on April 29, 1975. The next day, the Northern Communist Regime took over all of Vietnam. The helicopter took us out to sea where we lived on a wooden boat with hundreds of other refugees. Eventually we moved to several places including The Philippines and Guam.Eventually, we ended up inFort Jeffrey, AR where we lived in refugee camps for a few months before making our new home in San Diego, CA. Living in the US was difficult for all of us, especially my parents since we they did not speak the language, did not have jobs, had very little money. However, they were determined to make it work and survive for their family. My parents worked and saved enough money to buy a house within 5 years after living in The US. My dad was able to go to school here in the US to get his Pharmacy degree. After a 50 year career in medicine, they are now retired. Seeing how hard they had to work and struggle in the beginning instilled in me that nothing in life comes easy. It is through hard work and determination that will get you what you want.
Dennis Kwan, Katie Beverly, Clane Gessel, Birds Of A Feather, Jessica Claire, Jen and Shane