What It’s Like Inside Zola

Every day is the big day at the wedding-planning company’s HQ.

4 min read

This story appears in the April 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Diamonds may be forever, but so are the stressful memories that come with planning a couple’s big day. Zola promises to fix that. The New York–based company, which has raised $ 140 million since its 2013 launch, offers a host of wedding tools in one place, including registries, websites, invitations, and a soon-to-launch honeymoon-planning product. All that growth (headcount increased by 50 percent in 2019) required larger digs, so the startup moved into a new space in downtown Manhattan last year. Zola’s headquarters now boasts a registry product showroom, a wellness space, countless fresh flowers, and plenty of shared spaces where engineers, product managers, designers, and customer service reps connect to discuss their one shared goal: making wedding planning as delightful as the wedding itself. 

Will Tso / senior product manager, wedding planning tools

“I’ve worked at some really intense places, and the great thing about Zola is that there are really smart, sharp people, but everyone is also genuinely kind. One of our fellow product managers got a concussion recently, and our team got her a football helmet and signed it. I haven’t seen those sorts of little moments working anywhere else.” 

Related: What It’s Like Inside Shake Shack

Kathleen DeTurris / senior manager, recruiting

“I love the townhouse [the name for Zola’s showroom for registry products] because it feels like home. It has a beautiful view, and it’s great if I ever need to walk away from my desk and get a bit of a breather. My head’s in my computer a lot, so the townhouse is a nice place to relax.” 

Audrey Djiya / customer insights manager

“I serve as the voice of the customer across the organization. We send out surveys right after someone signs up with Zola, as well as right after they’ve gotten married, when people are really tuned in and most likely to give us feedback. We also leverage another firm to help us reach out to people who don’t use Zola, so we can understand their preferences. That’s a whole other population we could be reaching.” 

Melissa Trentadue / manager of community

“I’m pregnant, and one of the greatest things about this office is having access to our wellness room. Although I’m not pumping right now, my manager gave me permission to go in there and listen to a podcast or take a break. This sounds corny, but it’s a very sacred space because it’s for new moms, or people who need to pray. It’s great to have access to a private space.” 

Kemy Lin / product designer, registry

“I’m a product designer on the registry team. To a lot of people, your registry is a representation of who you are. Your family is looking really closely at it, for example. There’s emotional intensity and stress involved in that point in people’s lives, so that’s pushed me to design in a way that’s really simple and joyful.”

Related: Zola Founder Shan-Lyn Ma Shares How to Collaborate and Conquer Your Biggest Challenges

Connie Cyran / senior director, merchandising and planning

“I went to Portugal to develop a collection of tableware for Zola to sell. I found a factory, worked with them on designs, and researched what would resonate with our couples — price point, quality, colors. It’s beyond the scope of what solely a buyer does.” 

Virginia Cook / mobile engineer

“I started about a year and a half ago as a rotation engineer, a new program at Zola designed for recent college grads to explore different teams and projects. First I worked on the application support team, then moved into building tools to help our employees work efficiently, and then I moved into product development.”

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Image Credit: Adam Friedberg


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