When founder Stefanie Taylor decided that her family and friends were her greatest motivators, her accessories wholesaler business was born. Recognized for her sharp sense of style, and often asked for styling advice, Taylor wanted to help women feel beautiful, put together, and confident inside and out. She started ZAXIE, an online accessories retail business, as a way to do all of that and more! Taylor has since aligned her company with several nonprofits that share her company’s messaging of empowerment, persistence, and confidence for all women. We learned a little bit more about Taylor and ZAXIE when we asked her a few questions.
1. Tell us about your company.
I call ZAXIE my third baby, born April 2018. ZAXIE was founded in order to give women everywhere the opportunity to find great seamless accessories and have fun shopping for them. Being a third-generation accessories wholesaler for over several decades, I truly believed we had the opportunity to offer consumers an amazing product at an even better value. At this point in my career I really felt it was important to do this on my own terms and bring something more to the accessories shopping experience. Friends ask me all the time “what should I wear with this?” “I have an event can you send me some jewelry” and a light bulb went off. We can make a business out of this! Our incredible merchants can style and help women put their outfits together. We also saw an opportunity for moments-based navigation so it was simple to identify what should be worn for certain life events. Every moment counts, everyone is busy, but women still want to get dressed, look and feel put together and beautiful. We wanted to make that easy and attainable for everyone. The other very important aspect of ZAXIE is that I wanted deeply to create a brand and a destination that truly empowers women and makes them feel good every day inside and out. We love living this and we are so proud to speak to this in all of our messaging as well as live what we say by giving back to several non-profit organizations that align with these beliefs. ZAXIE is a great place to be!
2. What/who inspired you to start your company?
Easy … 2 things. 1. The consumer…it was my hope to inspire and empower women through a brand they felt comfortable shopping with while showing them what great product they could get at a fair cost. 2. My children.
3. Tell us a story/incident that happened while starting or running your company that may have made you feel defeated. Now tell us how you overcame that.
Haaa. There are SOOO many .. I had a very large retail buyer once throw a necklace at my head and tell me my quality is SH&^#, I am a “bad manger and I should just forget about it. The competition is so much better.” I apologized to her, took a deep breath, went home drank a few glasses of wine… Went into my office the next day and strategized with my team. I requested another meeting and when we met with her, we blew that buyer away. The business grew by 30% that year. That retailer is still a customer today.
4. Have you had any unique challenges as a woman in business?
We are working so hard as women professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs and beyond but we have a long way to go. I was all-girl educated for 13 years and am a bit of a feminist. ? I find business travel still hard because there are places where we are still looked at as “not men” (even on the airplanes). International flights can be brutal. I want to take a video of how the women flight attendants treat the men vs. women. Also, I know its cliché but as a mom of young kids It’s HARD. My husband is a great help, but we have no family help and there are a lot of sacrifices that have to be made when mom leaves.
5. What is your biggest fear with your company and how do you overcome it?
Every day I fear it will fail…and it’s not because of financial reasons (which is also scary). But it’s truly because I love what we have created and would be so sad if I couldn’t live and breathe my passion anymore. I work my butt off DAILY, and no matter how I’m feeling, I give it my all and do everything in my power to make sure this doesn’t happen. When I fail, I shake it off and go at it again!
6. Please share your best piece of advice for aspiring female founders.
You need to work really hard — don’t get me wrong — but self-care, emotional and physical, is so important. You will find the most amazing strategies come to you when you are able to take a deep breath and step away. You are going to fail over and over again and that’s ok! Have grit get back up and try something else! ALSO, be NICE to people …always…because it’s the right thing to do and you also never know.
7. What are your goals with the company?
I just want to continue to create recognition for ZAXIE to women everywhere so that hopefully one day hundreds of thousands of people will feel the way I feel about ZAXIE and our mission. I want people to be excited about what we are doing and continue to want to “hang out” with the ZAXIE sparkle squad. The more we grow, the more we can empower and give back and make a difference. I really want to create my own nonprofit that focuses on mentoring young women college and beyond. Coaching them for success in their personal happiness as well as their desired careers. Confidence and support is key.
Shop the fabulous line of ZAXIE accessories here!
Join us this Friday on Instagram for our Female Founders Giveaway! We have an AMAZING assortment of jewelry from ZAXIE and some great Too Pretty gear to kick off the New Year! See you there!!