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How My Business Goes Global

Interview with Luisa Masciello

Certainly, expanding a business globally doesn’t happen overnight.

It’s a difficult process that requires strategy, partnerships and more.

On the other hand, internationalizing your business has become much easier in recent years, thanks to online tools and digital marketing strategies that help you connect with potential customers and do your market research.

Some entrepreneurs plan to go global from the start. For others, it just happens.

For Luisa Masciello, it simply happened. Luisa is the founder, owner, and creative mind behind Zigozago, a fashion brand that produces children’s accessories with that hint of creativity and irony.

Today we have a chat with Luisa to understand how she started her company, how she managed to expand her business globally, thanks to some online tools like Amazon, and what challenges she faced as an entrepreneur.

Hi Luisa! First of all, thank you so much for your time. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your professional background and how it all started with Zigozago.

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been a designer, creating clothes and accessories for my Barbie dolls! But as I grew up, I also discovered that I loved math and computer science. So, after my graduation in 1990, I ended up working successfully for some of the leading IT brands in Europe and the US.

But thread and needle always remained my passion. After the birth of my daughters Sophie and Bianca, the change happened. At that moment, the desire to be with them was stronger than pursuing a career that would have kept me away from home. And so Zigozago was born. This was in 2006.

Initially, I started by creating objects for friends and their children, which led to the transformation of this talent and passion into a business: Zigozago.

In the beginning, Zigozago’s growth was slow and sometimes challenging – as I think it is for most startups – but now it is a world-renowned brand, recognized for its originality and variety of accessories.

You started this venture for fun. In the beginning, did you have any idea that you would need an e-commerce or other online tools to increase sales?

Yes, from the very beginning, when I opened my site, I immediately added an e-commerce. But maybe that was also due to my background in IT. My last job before starting Zigozago was for Yahoo! and that experience gave me a lot of useful insights for my new company: for advertising, presentation, web marketing, etc. An online presence with an e-commerce was one of my priorities from the beginning.

When you started did you have any plans to expand your business globally?

Honestly, no. In the beginning I was focused on the local retail market, working with boutiques and specialty stores in Italy and some neighboring countries. I did acquire some clients in the United States and Japan, but that was mainly due to my participation in some fashion shows.
My clients at the time were mainly stores, not end consumers.

You’ve experienced the crisis in the fashion industry first hand, do you think the use of online tools, like Amazon, in this case, could have avoided this situation?

I’m not sure if Amazon would have avoided the fashion industry crisis or if Amazon became what it is today because of that crisis. I entered the Amazon market about five years ago.
Looking back, I’m pretty sure I would have had better results in those early years if I had started selling my products on Amazon sooner. But that’s hindsight, and it’s always easy.

For me / For Zigozago, the crisis was slightly different. Our challenge at one point was that slowly all of our stores and retailers were closing. We ended up running out of retail customers and had to find a way to reach out directly to end customers, which we eventually did.

One last question Luisa, where do you think you would be today if you hadn’t included online sales tools in your business strategy?

Zigozago would no longer exist and I would definitely be doing another job.