We've decided to celebrate global entrepreneur week with a look back at our history and how our founder, Emily, built Zola Amour. We've come a long way since Zola was born in 2016 and have loved looking back and celebrating.
The EARLY YEARS!
It's the 90's - 00's: Emily is a young girl and dreams of being a fashion designer and one day owning her own fashion business.
Despite being a low socio-economic family and being on income support, Emily’s Mum really encourages her and tells her to ‘keep reaching for the stars’ and if she keeps reaching that she’ll one day get there.
2008 - She completes a BTEC ND in Fashion Design with distinction.
2008 - 2012 - Deciding to diversify she studies BA(hons) Cordwainers footwear: Product design and development. Which she graduates with first class honours.
2012 - 2014 - She gets her first job working as a footwear designer ‘Overland Footwear’. This job requires her to travel to asia on a regular basis to visit the factories.
Emily is shocked by the amount of pollution that she witnesses during one of these trips.
2015 - Emily returns to the UK and gets a temporary position assisting at Jimmy Choo.
2016 - Emily leaves her job at Jimmy Choo.
Feeling concerned by what she’s learnt about the fashion industry she watched a true cost movie, and begins researching issues surrounding the fashion industry.
March '16 - She begins to buy consciously and starts off by looking for a simple black t-shirt
After scouring the internet, she manages to find a sustainable black t-shirt, however the ethics of how it was produced is questionable.
Emily has a ‘lightbulb’ moment and the concept of a sustainable fashion business is formed.
April '16 - Emily takes on two barista jobs and begins working on the business.
June '16 - After lots of research Emily decides on the name of the business, ‘Zola Amour’ which means ‘Earth Love’.
At this point the business is going to be a shoe business and Emily enrolls on the Princes Trust ‘exploring enterprise’ programme.
September '16 - Emily attends ‘Linea Pelle’ to research innovative environmentally friendly shoe materials. At the show Emily decides that there is a bigger beast to tackle, and that’s the clothing industry.
September - December '16 - Emily designs her first products, pattern cuts and produces the first samples.
May 2017 - She has her first market stall at Sussex eco-fest.
June 2017 - She does her first photoshoot and the collection comes alive.
30th June 2017 - She launches the website
July 2017 - She gets a freelance footwear design job for one Month, this allows her to leave one of her jobs to concentrate of building the business.
September - October 2017 - After launching the website, not a lot happens, so she begins exploring other options for the business and does a little market in Brighton Marina.
She begins frequently doing Camden market and the Sunday up market in London. Her Mum, Mims Evans, joins the team and starts sewing for Zola Amour.
November '17 - She opens a little pop up shop in the rinse show rooms.
November 2018 - She gets accepted no the Natwest Accelerator programme.
February 2018 - She leaves her job to concentrate on the business full time.
April 2018 - She gets stocked in FAIR and FOLD, in Brighton. As well as Sheer Apparel and Mamoq.
June 2018 - Zola Amour is a year old and Emily closes the shop to concentrate on the bigger picture.
July 2018 - She attends the ethical fashion show Berlin (Her amazing friend Lou helps her out with it). and Pure conscious.
She gains 4 more stockists including, Schuh-hug in Germany, Hope disorder in Italy, Mi Apparel online, Polka Dot shoes in Devon, Kings road fashions in Milton Keynes.
July 2018 - She does the Lone Design Club pop up in Covent Garden.
August 2018 - She moves into a studio space in Brighton.
And begins working with discovery knitting, a mill based in Leicester UK.
October - November 2018 - She attends the Spirit of Christmas.
We’ve launched our new look website today and are going to be tweaking it over the next few days! We’d love to hear from you to see what you’d like from us!
We’ll also be ‘popping up’ in the AND AGENCY pop up store in Shoreditch for the next two weeks and will be featured in My GREEN POD insert in the guardian this Friday!
Well done so far and wishing you a successful and happy Christmas ! Wishing you further success in 2019 and beyond. JG Best wishes and further