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Founder Feature: Stefanie Taylor

Her entrepreneurial roots are strong, and Stefanie Taylor has her mom to thank for showing her that anything is possible. Join The F Project for a little Q & A with Stefanie about branching out a bit from the family tree.

The F Project: What was the lightbulb moment that made you start your company?

Stefanie Taylor: My family has been in the accessories business for over 35 years distributing private label accessories to almost every major specialty and department store in the country.  As a third generation leader I have seen this business take so many turns. When brick and mortar retail started to struggle I thought about how I could pivot. I knew we had an amazing product and distribution capability, and that we needed to get our accessories directly in the hands of our consumers. When our largest customer filed Chapter 11, leaving my company in a shaky financial situation, I decided it’s time to pull the trigger on a new venture. If I was going to be out working so incredibly hard every day I wanted to do so taking chances on my own accord. April 2018, after 4 years of hard work, ZAXIE was born.

TFP: What makes you want to jump out of bed every day?

ST: My children, my amazing team, and the possibility of what the day might bring!

TFP: What about your past career or life experience prepared you for entrepreneurship? What was a total shock?

ST: I grew up in an incredibly hardworking entrepreneurial family. Essentially all of my aunts and uncles owned business big and small. My mom was the driving force behind the business before me. Having that amazing female role model in a time where it was not the norm afforded me the confidence to believe I truly could do anything! My mother also sent me to an all-girl school from kindergarten through grade 12. This was an invaluable experience. I was surrounded by support and again the attitude that anything is possible. With all of that said, after college when I entered the workforce, I was almost in disbelief to see the challenges I was met with as a young woman starting a career.

TFP: What makes your product special/different?

ST: We have over 60 years of accessories deigning & manufacturing experience behind us. We know what a beautiful piece of jewelry should look like and the PROPER materials that should be used. We offer all this at a fair price, removing the markup a retail store would take. Every ZAXIE piece has a touch of sparkle; it's all about the details. Ultimately, the product is designed and produced so women feel truly special when  wearing it.

TFP: What advice do you have for other female founders?

ST: The harder you fall, the stronger you are when you get back up! You will fall over and over again, it's ok. Grit, hard work, positivity and surrounding yourself with the most amazing people are the keys to a successful life and enterprise.

TFP: Why did you join The F Project?

ST: I am extremely motivated to help other female founders because the world is a better place when we can help each other and lift each other up! We all need help and shouldn't ever feel ashamed asking for it. I am so appreciative of the help I have received thus far on my journey and it’s important for me to feel I am doing what I can for others in return. I believe it’s so wonderful when other women feel confident there is support.

 

Katelyn Murphy-McCarthy

Katelyn is a writer and editor specializing in creative nonfiction. She comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, and loves hearing and sharing the stories of women who are making a difference
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