Talent Feature: Interview with Superwoman Careen Tan of The White Atelier
Updated: Aug 6, 2018
This interview is brought to you by Emily Goh Yi En
Photos by Susan Yong
As a mother of her incredibly adorable son, Tyler, and a loving wife to her husband, Boon, Careen is definitely a family-oriented person. However, she never stopped her lifelong dream of being in the wedding and fashion industry. Just last April, she launched her very own bridal boutique, The White Atelier which specialises in custom-made wedding gowns and shoes.
Since then, she has been hustling through the constant juggle of work, family, blogging and
everything in between. Despite her busy schedule, she still manages to always look put together and sophisticated; and the best part of it, down to earth and kind to everyone who crosses paths with her. In the spirit of entering a brand new year, we were more than fortunate to be able to sit down for a chat with Nuffnang’s superwoman, Careen Tan,
to catch up on all her latest endeavours, while getting some tips on how to ace 2018 like a
To know more about Careen, you can follow her on her blog here, or her Instagram at
1. LET’S START WITH THE MOST CLICHÉ QUESTION. TELL US ABOUT
YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU DO.
Hi everyone! I’m Careen, and I’m first and foremost a wife to my dear husband, Boon,
and mother to my son, Tyler who just turned two! I’m also the founder of The White Atelier,
a bridal boutique that provides custom-made bridal gowns and shoes to brides in Malaysia
and beyond. I’m also a blogger at www.careentan.com, a blog that I’ve been keeping
for the past 14 years or so!
2. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS.
Ambitious, optimistic, and practical.
3. WHAT IS THE ONE TRAIT OF YOURS THAT YOU ARE PROUD OF?
Okay, this is quite tough as I haven’t actually thought much about it before. I think one
thing that has been pretty consistent for me all these years is that I’m not afraid of working hard. This started way back in my high school and uni days where I would work multiple part-time/freelance jobs to earn pocket money to support my expenses, and also to be able to contribute to my family’s finances. Coming from a large family (I have 6 other sisters!) has shaped me into always thinking of ways I could help my family livea more comfortable life. Whenever I got the opportunity to earn an extra buck, I would jump on it no matter how tired or busy I was.
This has continued on to my adult life where I would always think of ways that I can make my days productive. I don’t like to waste time, so I’m always finding ways that I can squeeze in time to work, finish up tasks and run errands. Even in my free time before bed, I would squeeze in a few articles from entrepreneur.com or inc.com to draw some insight and inspiration before I call it a day. I would feel extremely restless and unproductive if I hadn’t done enough or learnt something new in my day.
So yes, I think that is one of the traits that I’m pretty proud of that I’m not afraid of hard work.
4. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE?
Spitting! Cannot stand anyone who spits in public.
5. IF YOU CAN ONLY USE ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE YOUR GOALS FOR 2018, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Growth. Not just business-wise, but personal development-wise, and also family-wise. *shy*
6. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 PRIORITIES FOR 2018? WHY?
1. My relationship with God
2. Building a healthy family
3. Growing The White Atelier
These 3 have been top priorities for year 2017, and will continue to be in year 2018, and I believe also in the years to come! Personally, I believe that everything I am and
have comes from God. Starting The White Atelier this year has truly strengthened my
faith and trust in Him, because truly without the open doors from Him, none of this would
have been possible. I owe all that I am and have to God, really.
On family, I want to work on improving myself; to be a better version of a wife, mother and
also as a daughter. I want to spend more quality, uninterrupted time with my family,
raise Tyler well, be a supportive wife to Boon, and be a loving daughter to my parents. My
family is my everything.
On business, I’m excited to bring new things to the table for The White Atelier, and see what
the year brings for us! Will do all that I can to grow and build this business. It is my dream
come true to be able to dress brides for their once-in-a-lifetime wedding, and I cannot be
CAN YOU SHARE A FEW OF YOUR 2018 RESOLUTIONS WITH US?
My 2017 resolution was “Do it, and do it well”, to live a life with no excuses.
For 2018, my resolution will also be the same as 2017- to do all that I do with excellence, and
to live life without making excuses for myself.
That’s for the big picture! For micro resolutions, I aim to sleep and wake up earlier,
be more organised and tidy *shy*, and exercise more!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, DO SHARE SOME TIPS ON HOW YOU PLAN TO STICK TO YOUR 2018 RESOLUTIONS, WHILE JUGGLING ALL YOUR TOP PRIORITIES?
One thing I’ve learned from the many years of making lists upon lists of New Year’s
resolutions is that they don’t work for me. Detailed lists of resolutions may work for
some, but I’ve come to realise that I get overwhelmed by the list a few months
down the road, and when I reach the midyear, I totally lose my list and forget what I
set out to achieve in the first place- simply because there were waaay too many of them! #overlyambitious
So for 2017, I decided to forget the list, and just work on what I want to achieve as a
whole. This was how I came up with my “Do it, and do it well” motto, which pretty much sums up what and who I want to be.
TIP #1: FIND OUT WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE
One of the things that would really help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions is to find
out what works best for you. Perhaps it is not because you’re not good at keeping your New
Year’s resolutions, but simply because the long list just doesn’t work for you.
Explore and find out what works best for your personality type, and stick to it!
TIP #2: COMMIT TO YOUR RESOLUTIONS!
One of the reasons why I failed to keep to my New Year’s resolutions was because I
forgot where I put them after a while. Life got busy after a few months, and when I finally
remembered the list, I had already forgotten where I’d placed it! Out of sight, out of mind. This appliesespecially true to New Year’s resolutions.
So if you’re creating a list, print it out and have it stuck somewhere in your bedroom, study
or office in plain sight. Then each time you go home or head into the office, you’d be
reminded of them. Or if you’re ditching the list and opting for a motto instead (like mine!), make it as simple and easy to remember as possible, and write it somewhere. Make it your desktop background, print it and frame it up, or put it as your Instagram bio (like mine! Hahaha).
TIP #3: REFLECT & REVIEW
Take time to pause and look back at your year, and see how you’re faring with your New Year’s resolutions so far. If you haven’t done much yet, remind yourself of your goals and keep working on them! If you’ve made progress, it’ll serve as great encouragement for you to keep moving forward and do better!
Reflecting and reviewing your resolutions every quarterly helps you stay on track. Doing so only in the last few months of the year might leave you without enough time to
pick things up, which may leave you feeling defeated about your year in general- not a
good way to end the year!
Reviewing your year every now and then helps you see how you’re faring, and whether
or not you’ve been living your life according to what you set out to achieve. Constantly
taking a pause to reflect and review your life is important, so that you can make sure that
you’re on the right track!
THANK YOU, CRUNCH, FOR HAVING ME IN THIS ISSUE! HERE’S TO A WONDERFUL AND FRUITFUL 2018 FOR EVERYONE! <3