Shan-Lyn Ma, the CEO and co-founder of Zola, joins Andy in this episode of The Wedding Biz to discuss her business and her career! Launched in 2013, Zola is the wedding company reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience by combining compassionate customer service along with modern technology. The company has been named one of the Wall Street Journal’s top 25 tech companies to watch as well as one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies!
A first-generation immigrant two times over, Shan discusses her childhood and what her interests were as she was growing up and how she learned that she had to work really hard in order to accomplish her dreams. She touches upon former jobs prior to founding Zola and what she learned from them and also how Zola came to be and what about weddings attracted her. Having co-founded Zola with Nobu Nakaguchi, she also touches upon how she and Nobu divide responsibilities and who is in charge of what, the smart technology that Zola makes use of, what kinds of services that Zola offers, how the COVID-19 pandemic affected Zola, what is on the horizon for the company, and so much more!
Andy had such a blast chatting with Shan-Lyn and hopes that you enjoy listening as well! If you can think of three good friends who might benefit from and enjoy this episode of the podcast, be sure to share it with them! Andy would also be appreciative if you were to leave a top review wherever you listen to the podcast!
Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don’t forget about Sean Low’s podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.
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[1:37] – We learn about some of Shan-Lyn’s education and regional background.
[4:15] – Shan shares that she had wanted to be an entrepreneur for most of her life.
[5:51] – Shan touches upon some of her biggest lessons learned from past jobs.
[8:01] – We discover how Zola came about.
[10:56] – Shan-Lyn reflects on when she realized that Zola was going to be successful.
[13:00] – Andy and Shan discuss entrepreneurs being able to tolerate taking risks.
[15:01] – Shan explains how she divides responsibilities with her partner Nobu Nakaguchi.
[18:47] – Shan discusses the smart technology that Zola implements.
[21:33] – We learn about whether or not potential wedding vendors are vetted.
[22:32] – Shan-Lyn makes a case for how Zola stands out from other wedding companies.
[24:09] – Shan reflects on how and why Zola has grown so explosively since 2013.
[26:17] – Shan discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic affected Zola.
[28:49] – We hear how the pandemic had some positive impacts on Zola.
[30:33] – Shan talks about a new platform offered that offers home products.
[33:13] – Learn about what wedding trends Shan-Lyn has been seeing in 2022.
[34:51] – Shan-Lyn projects toward Zola’s future and its goals.
[36:30] – Shan offers some final thoughts.
[37:37] – Find out where to find Shan-Lyn online.
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Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment.