Voss Babe Female Entrepreneur Series — Zola Jeffers, Owner Of Zola Zee Consultancy
For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Zola Jeffers, Owner of Zola Zee Consultancy!
Zola Zee Consultancy is a one-stop style consultancy business. As a fashion architect, she works as a stylist, personal shopper, Creative Director to various other business owners, and a freelance wardrobe stylist contracted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for various TV shows. She has dressed clients for many of the biggest red carpets on Canadian media- The Toronto International Film Festival, The Junos, The Canadian Screen Awards, Canadian Country Music Awards, and The SOCAN Awards to name a few. And most recently, she also has had the pleasure of styling a client for the 2020 Golden Globes in Hollywood.
Our CEO Mandi interviewed Zola about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for 5 years but only started taking it seriously, 3 years ago
2: What made you decide to break away from the 9–5 and start Zola Zee Consultancy?
I am still a 9–5er. I am a social worker by day and Fashion Stylist by night and weekends. I work 14 hr days every day. I have been blessed to be paid for everything I love doing. I got my Masters of Social work and have been in the field for 15years. I have always loved fashion and people in my circle told me I should be a stylist. Originally, I didn’t think that being a stylist was a real profession until I sat down with one and learned quickly how much we (stylist) guide the culture, in what is seen as cool or on-trend.
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
I never in my life thought I would be an entrepreneur. I followed all the steps; went to school, got good grades, got a government job. That was my initial trajectory for my career path. Even seeing my name and the word ‘entrepreneur’ still trips me out because it was never something I aspired to. But occupying that space now, it’s amazing that I can monetize something I love and am good at, without a “boss” setting a framework for the ways in which my success will be achieved. I work as hard or as little as I want but my success yields are contingent on that also.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to start your business?
How to set my price. For a long time I would constantly negotiate my prices with my clients; giving them a quote of what I think they could afford or would pay without second-guessing, rather than a price for what I am worth. That difference was huge in regards to me finding my own self worth in this industry. I have things to offer the world and my style vision is the intellectual property that people pay me for. I have to know and believe how valuable and unique it is and charge accordingly.
5: What is one thing about working in the fashion industry that people would be surprised to learn?
That you need money to make money. When I first got in I was wide-eyed and only focused on the glitz of it all, nice clothes, amazing images; but all of this comes at a cost. In styling, a lot of the work you do you are required to shoulder the upfront cost, so having liquid cash and credit were and still are mandatory. If your financial life is a mess and you don’t reign it in, in this area of work you will drown and put yourself into more debt. 5 years in and I am now seeing returns on my investments and I am more deliberate in the ways in which good money management is paramount to my success in fashion.
And Now Onto The Social Media Question
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
If all other social media platforms ceased to exist I would still be able to conduct a lucrative fashion business with IG. I find so many amazing designers and clientele finds me through a simple DM. 90% of my business is done on IG.
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
I have always been on social media before becoming an entrepreneur. I would post my ‘Outfit of the Day’ and I would always get a lot of engagement because people liked how I dressed. Once I started my business account I utilized the same formula, people like to see Zola dressed up, so I dress up and take pics and it has directed business to me.
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
Social media is an essential tool for my business. For almost every pic I post the Return on Investment is at least one client. People trust the way I look as well as the way that I dress others so they will trust me with their image.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
I am the worst person to give advice about social media (lol) there are so many things I don’t do. I do not post as frequently as I need to. I’d rather post memes all day. But what advice I can offer is to ensure that whatever content you are putting out into the world, ensure it is authentically you. I focus on providing a service that is so stellar, that my clients will be so happy they cannot help but refer me to someone else. Social media has been integral to my business success; sharing current fashion news, trends and just things I like on my social media invokes engagement with my followers who very often turn into clients. I want when fashion is mentioned in my city, my name is brought up. And thanks to hashtags people are finding me.
A Little More About Zola
I am a left-handed social worker and trained trauma worker. I am an only girl out of 4 brothers. Later in life I want to get into funeral direction, I just can’t dedicate any more hours to anything else right now. I am obsessed with the history of North Korea. And most importantly, though I am in fashion and like to wear cool clothes, I love to be behind the scenes and not in front. I’d prefer if no one knew what I looked like but just knew my work.
Connect with Zola
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Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today — we’d love to tell her story!