“Using the influence of social media for social good is the vision of Zoe Elle Co,” Founder and CEO Taija Thomas told a group gathered at ETC Thursday to mark the company’s launch.
Thomas said she had been interested in starting her own fast-fashion company, following the trends of the industry. But after learning that fashion is the second most polluting industry, she realized the sustainable fashion space needed more support. That’s where the idea for Zoe Elle Co was born.
Zoe Elle Co began to work with micro-influencers who are in the sustainable fashion and cosmetics space who are able to curate content for an audience but lack the expertise necessary to monetize their content. Thomas used her expertise in marketing and business from her work with Real News Network and H&M to help influencers gain revenue from ads and product sales. The end result was services that are designed to drive the growth of these micro-influencers, who in turn drive more sustainable trends.
At Thursday’s event, speakers Kelcie Glass and Morgan Powell of Mila and Fire discussed the challenges of building and monetizing the clothing line behind their instagram account @mileandfire, the East Coast competitor to Nasty Gal. They shared how it was their passion for reconstructed vintage pieces that initially began as merely a fun social media account that led them to into the fashion space, but it was their business acumen that enabled them to scale and build a sustainable brand, both environmentally and financially.
Glass and Powell have partnered with Zoe Elle Co to support access to business resources that Zoe Elle provides for other influencers in the sustainable fashion space, enabling them to go from social media influencer to influential business leaders.
Nova Lorraine, another speaker, praised the work of Zoe Elle Co for helping other creative entrepreneurs overcome the challenges that she faced in starting Raine Magazine: “We have been working to inspire the everyday entrepreneurs to take the next step through Raine Magazine. These resources [through Zoe Elle Co] can further empower them to do so.”
The Zoe Elle Co team is currently made up of Thomas and Creative Director Tyrone Wilkens, who are developing a suite of services through their online platform that provides the “back-office for the influencer” to enable entrepreneurship.
“Too often these influencers have the content and the social media aspects down perfectly, but they aren’t equipped to handle the back office challenges of running a small business, so we provide that for them,” said Wilkens.-30-