We are honored to feature the creative designer, Julie Martin of ZoZoBugBaby on the blog, today. Not only is she amazingly talented, but she has one of the biggest hearts for COLLABORATION! We absolutely adore her and we know you will too.
Without further ado …
NAME : Julie Martin
BUSINESS : ZozoBugBaby
LOCATION : Salem, Oregon
What is the story behind the name ZozoBugBaby?
Well..it’s nothing too glamorous, really. My oldest daughter (5) is Zoe and her most popular nickname is Zozo. My youngest, Delia (4) had the nickname of Bug or Bitty Bug when she was a baby. I started out offering just baby clothing, so…..there ya have it! Zozo+Bug+Baby!
Before you sit down to design a Zozo piece, creatively where does your inspiriation come from?
I am inspired by EVERYTHING, but especially the juxtaposition of textures and color combinations. There is a house down the street from mine that is a gorgeous aqua color. They have huge vibrant red rose bushes in front. I am inspired by the aqua/red combo every day when I drive by. The way cherry blossoms look against a blue sky. Seriously. I am inspired by EVERYTHING. Lately I’m into themes, so I’m going to explore the 1920′s for my Fall children’s collection. I am also inspired a lot by fine art and other designers and photographers, as well.
How vital is social media to your business & how do you balance that with family & creating?
Social media is CRUCIAL these days for any business. It’s the fastest way to reach customers! Facebook is hands down the best free marketing tool on Earth! Balance is a CONSTANT struggle and I battle every day. I am not any kind of role model for balance. I actually was very inspired by my friend, Kelly Moore (yes, THE Kelly Moore!), to take the summer OFF to be with my girls! My business will still run and I”ll have to work some, of course, but I am not putting them into child care this summer. I am restructuring how my business is going to function for a few months, so that I can get just a step closer to that elusive balance (before the craziness of the Fall line begins!).
What was your most enjoyable experience when you last collaborated with another creative?
Do I have to pick just ONE? I’m going to live on the edge and list two. I have 3 other designer friends with children’s clothing lines (Lillipops Designs, The Measure and The Trendy Tot) and we are all very different in our aesthetic, but we all came together to collaborate in Portland earlier this year. It was outstanding! It’s truly so special when a group of artists that are so different can come together and create something really amazing. We all just feed off of each other really push each other to break outside of our comfort zones. This new collaboration is even more breathtaking than we all imagined. The new clothing line is called Small Nation and will debut on May 1st! Secondly, ANYTHING I do with Shannon Sewell ends up taking my breath away. We kind of trade off coming up with ideas, but it always works out beautifully. I love it when she approaches me with an idea and I get to put my Zozo spin on it and turn her vision into reality. We have an unbelievable collaboration coming up in June. You wouldn’t even believe me if I told you what it involves.
For someone wanting to turn their hobby into a business, what advice would you have for them?
First, you HAVE To think long-term. Branding is SO HUGE and before you even set out to make your hobby into a business, you need to have a solid idea of who you are as a business and what you want to put out into the world. I think NAMING your business has got to be thoughtfully considered. You want to be memorable, but also taken seriously (i.e….. Pink Turnip Clothing sounds really interesting, but “So-and-So’s Cutsie Pie Couture” sounds a bit amateur). (I totally made up those names, so I hope I don’t step on toes!). BE ORIGINAL!!!!