Everyone’s journey into a healthy and green living starts in their own way. Frequently, it is a startling event that brings a new thinking and living routine into our homes. In a hurry, we research, assemble, re-organize.
I do believe we do not need or have to wait until such a moment strikes.
To live an eco-friendly means to live healthy lives, and we need to act now.
What does it mean? Simply, beginning with ourselves and extending healthy eating and healthy products sharing to our kids, families, friends.
I am constantly on the lookout for more products that would add to my “green” contribution to this beautiful planet Earth. This path of “discovering” new ways of living, led me to meeting a lot of women-enthusiasts and dedicated entrepreneurs in the field of developing and creating new eco-friendly, toxins-free products for our daily life.
Julianna Shaw is an amazing leader in the movement of green, phthalates-free living. This working mom took an aggressive action in making her babies’ lives safe from chemicals, while enjoying the growth and popularity of ZoLi.
How in the world did she make it happen? Here’s a true story by Julianna herself.
CelebrateWoman (CW) What got you started on the path of developing ZoLi products?
Julianna Shaw (Julianna) After my first child was born, I found it really difficult to find products that were safe for the baby and that were functional, easy to use and attractive.
I’ve always been interested in and advocated for the environment. So it was natural that these interests applied to my newborn.
I was primarily concerned about the chemicals that could affect my baby, so became particularly interested in products that were free of the toxic chemicals – lead, PVC, BPA, phthalates, and similar.
By the time I had my second child, there still weren’t a lot of options. After some thought, I figured it was time to put my business and marketing background to good use:
Why not combine my passion to keep my child safe with my interest in great design. From there, ZoLi was born.
CW What was your life before you started this company … and after …?
Julianna Before ZoLi, I was immersed in the corporate world responsible for launching products and services for companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Safeway, Nestle, Oral-B, Wells Fargo and Hewlett Packard.
Like many working moms, each day was a balancing act – days were long with meetings, conference calls, and more meetings and evenings were all about the children.
Since starting ZoLi, I am still juggling between family and work but instead of doing it for someone else, I am doing it for myself. I now have more flexibility with my schedule, which means I can be more present for my children and be involved with their school and their activities.
Somehow, that difference and knowing that the products we are producing are safe and free of toxins makes it all the more rewarding.
CW Who are those remarkable people that influenced your creative, professional, and personal life that lead you to starting and sustaining this company?
Julianna There are so many people that have influenced me in so many ways but when it comes to ZoLi, I would have to say my parents, husband and children.
My parents and my husband were the ones that first heard about my “crazy” idea, and they were the ones that gave me the courage to take the plunge. I never thought about being an entrepreneur, so it is their encouragement and support that enabled me to bring the vision of ZoLi to life.
My daughters – it was because of them that I became concerned about the types of products I was using for them and surrounding them with. I wanted to create better products – ones that were free of all the bad stuff but that were still stylish enough that I wanted to use.
To this day, they are still my inspiration for wanting to create better products and do my part to help the environment.
CW Has your involvement with your ZoLi products and company changed your self-image, and your relationships with family, friends, romantic involvement?
Julianna Starting ZoLi has me wearing several hats, so it has stretched me both professionally and personally. It has also deepened my relationships with my family and friends.
Much like it takes a village to raise a child, starting a company does as well. I am eternally grateful for my family and friends who step in to help with the kids when I need to travel for work or when I’m running late from meetings. They have been by my side, late into the evenings prepping gift bags, press kits or even helping me label packaging.
My husband is a co-founder of the company and it’s been great working side-by-side with him as we get ZoLi off the ground.
Many people ask how we get along seeing each other 24 / 7 … for me it’s been great. He is my best friend and the one I always turn to for advice when it comes to work situations. Now, it’s even easier talking to him about things because he’s there and knows exactly what I’m talking about and what we need to achieve.
CW If you had to do it all over again, would you? And why?
Julianna Absolutely! I have to be honest that being a mother and running my own business is a crazy balancing act. But, it’s exciting and challenging all at the same time.
ZoLi is a combination of two great passions, and I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to tie the two together – making products that keep children safe and that help parents care for them well.
What Julianna Keeps In Her Cupboards