This month we partnered with The Latibule blog to bring you a truly authentic and insightful look into the life of our founder Ada. Please feel free to check out their instagram and their blog. Enjoy!
Ada is a 19-year-old Nigerian-Canadian, who currently resides in Mississauga Ontario. She is a student of the University of Toronto-Mississauga Campus, receiving her undergraduate degree in psychology and biology. Her goal after graduation is to pursue a career in research and explore healthcare-related careers. Aside from pursuing a traditional career, Ada has always had an interest in the business field right from her childhood. She always admired her father for his entrepreneurship skills and his ability to manage various business ventures. Despite this admiration, she never wanted to pursue a degree or career in business. At least that's what she thought.
While in college, Ada experienced some challenging events in her life and was looking for outlets to turn her struggles into strength and motivation. As someone who has always had a desire to motivate women, she began to explore creative ways to empower the women around her. This journey led to the birth of ZTQ Jewelry.
About The Brand
ZTQ Jewels is a jewelry brand that aims to empower, enlighten and inspire young women. Each piece created has a meaning and their names or designs have been curated for women to amplify their stories.The Inspiration
Growing up as a Christian, Ada always wore a necklace with the cross on it. It was her favourite jewelry piece and she never took it off. At many points in her life, that necklace was more than just an accessory. It was a reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for her, it was a reminder of love, salvation, mercy, grace and the fact that she was never alone. You see, every time she wore that necklace she felt as though she could conquer any struggle she encountered.
This feeling that this necklace gave her is what she wants to share with women all over the world. She wants women to feel empowered despite their life experiences. She wants women to put on jewelry pieces that boost their confidence and remind them of their utmost inner beauty. She recognizes that sometimes young women may feel like in our current world there is no hope, but she wanted to create a brand and community which reminds women that all hope is not lost.
Meaning Of Each Product
The name of this piece originated from the Greek word for STAR, Ada describes. She states that “There are more stars than grains of sand and somehow, they all manage to shine. The same is true for her. She realizes that there is no need to compete with others because we each have our ambitions, goals, and dreams. Two unique stars shining in their way”
This piece was created as a letter to self, Ada describes. “Dear self, I want to do to you what spring does to flowers. I know we have had some tough times but our time has come to blossom. Blooming, not by starting over and becoming a new person but by accepting my flaws & failures, and growing from my experiences, after all, it is from them that we rise, shine, heal, learn, live, love”.
This piece was created to remind women that it is okay to need some space. Ada explains that it is important to have “Space to heal, grow, glow. A space that nurtures and supports her dreams. After all, a bird cannot fly if it is in a cramped space”.
4) Butterfly Effect:
This is currently the only neckpiece in the collection. It means “As a butterfly emerges out of its cocoon, so will she come out of bad situations better and stronger than ever. Her experiences, challenges, mistakes and lessons have shaped the person she is / will become. The Butterfly effect theory says that the tiniest action can change the course of one's whole life. Meaning the smallest change towards her goals will make all the difference”.
Being A Young Business Owner
Running an online business is not as easy as it may sound. It usually involves one person juggling several roles that are vital to keeping the business afloat. We were curious about what it takes to effectively manage an online business behind the scene and Ada was kind enough to share some of the secrets with us.Preparing For Launch:
This is the most critical stage of starting a business, as it is usually the stage where most people give up. It is the stage where you are filled with nerves and excitement as you are planning to release your baby (idea) into the world.
For Ada, 80% of this stage involved research. She took her time to research the types of jewelry she wanted to include in her collection and also different types of metal. She needed to outsource, quality, non-tarnishing and affordable metal, therefore this process took a lot of time. She researched cost-effective and eco-friendly packaging and also important materials for branding. A majority of her time was also spent negotiating with manufacturers and suppliers. This was particularly a difficult journey for her because as an introvert she had to learn how to be outspoken, assertive and confident in her requests.
After receiving various sample products, she tested the product’s longevity and durability on herself. As someone who was allergic to fake metal, she would wear the samples for extended periods and watch for any reactions or changes in colour. Her testing period usually lasted between three to five months and it included her wearing the jewelry to sleep, workout, shower and swim.
The other 20% of this stage was spent on creating an online presence through social media and building a website. This was also a learning curve for her, as before running a business she was not active on social media. She spent time learning how to create content, the importance of using hashtags to drive traffic and different ways to build excitement for her launch such as giveaways.Daily routine/responsibilities:
Ada describes her daily routine as very flexible as she juggles both being a student and a business owner. A quick guide through her typical day includes:
Ada still struggles with maintaining a balance and as a small business owner, ZTQ Jewels sometimes consumes her life. Recently, she has been working to ensure she is adequately nourishing other aspects of her life. She does this by;
Creating social media content in batches, which allows for stepping away from social media other days during the week.
Planning a month ahead for her business so she can free up time to do other things
Using a physical and online planner to organize her day.
As a new business owner, managing finances can be very difficult and this is why Ada has made sure she makes it a simple and easy process. She uses a google excel sheet to keep track of every expense and revenue from ZTQ Jewels.Challenges with running a business in a pandemic:
One of the goals for ZTQ Jewels this year is to expand through collaborations. Although Ada has been able to schedule some online collaboration like her interview with “The Latibule”, it has been very difficult to plan physical collaborations due to the pandemic. All upcoming video shoots and photoshoots have currently been placed on hold, due to the recent restrictions placed in Ontario. Ada speculates that these shoots might be paused indefinitely as her priority is the safety of all the people involved.
Goals For 2021
Ada hopes that this year her business continues to grow in reach. She hopes for greater exposure and more awareness for ZTQ Jewels. She plans to actively work on her consistency as a business owner and staying true to the core values of the brand. Her goal is to make sure that her brand continues to be seen by the women it was created for.
Advice for aspiring business owners.
Have a good support system. The journey to starting your own business can be very challenging and you will need people you can trust and lean on.
Stay rooted in your faith and values.
Stay consistent even when you don't see the results you hope for. Consistency builds patience and endurance and you will need it in your entrepreneurship journey.
Do your research and prepare, but do not get stuck in the research phase. You will never know what could have been unless you take that step.
Block out the outside voices and the naysayers. People will try to attach their insecurities to you and try to discourage you. You must know the people you trust to give you healthy advice, the others you can just ignore.
There are a lot of exciting things to come with ZTQ Jewels in the next coming months so keep your eyes peeled.
And guess what?...
You are the first to know that new jewelry pieces are coming soon and also more giveaways to be hosted on ZTQ jewels social media.
Interested in daily motivational quotes? You can find these quotes on their Instagram, and spoiler alert they are amazing.
Expect to see more creative collaborations from the brand and many more.
So, what are you waiting for? Go follow them on Instagram and Pinterest and let them know you are from The Latibule Family.
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