The road to discovering your passions in life and what your goals are isn’t always straightforward. Lizzy Klein knows this first hand. It took years of hard work in different roles at top companies and startups for her to discover what path in life she found the most joy in. Lizzy wanted to be the boss – the woman in charge. But, when she decided to start applying for CEO roles, she was continually passed up for men who had similar or less experience. That is when Lizzy decided she was going to start her own business.
“It never occurred to me that I could be a business owner.” -Lizzy Klein
Over the years, Lizzy has created 10 different startups in various industries. Some of these organizations were mobile and digital products, another was a company dedicated to helping other entrepreneurs reach their goals. Her first venture started in a field she was familiar with – the retail and cosmetics industry. “The difference between all cosmetics really is just marketing,” Lizzy said. She created an app that showed users they could get good quality drugstore products that were similar to top cosmetics brands without the hefty pricetag.
This wasn’t the only mobile app she created though. Another popular app she created was doing well but didn’t prove to be very profitable for time she was dedicating to it. Knowing there were other ways to maximize her time, Lizzy reflected on where she wanted to go and what interested her. “I love fashion, design and art,” Lizzy said. “I wanted to figure out what I could do with sustainability and what I could do to reduce waste.”
A New Path
From her background in retail and working for companies that were expanding their platforms online, Lizzy had a good understanding of consumer experiences and what they were looking for. Lizzy, like many others, saw a lot of college-age social media influencers and noticed many of them weren’t wearing jewelry. With her familiarity in the industry, she knew there were inexpensive jewelry options that weren’t the best quality, and could break easily or turn your skin green. She also knew there was really expensive high-end jewelry many young women couldn’t afford. Neither of these truly fit the needs of the average young college-aged woman.
“I had an ‘aha’ moment and decided to make layered jewelry,” Lizzy said.
So, Lizzy decided to fill a hole in the market and design jewelry for young women. She began with the connections she had as a sorority woman and tested out her line of jewelry with a local sorority chapter in 2019. When the entire line completely sold out, she knew she had something.
mazi + zo became the company Lizzy foresaw filling this market need for young women. While originally intended for sorority women, the brand expanded after gaining attention from a broad range of women. Her dream for the brand is to create something that celebrates women’s achievements. She wanted to create jewelry that would recognize special moments in a woman’s life and celebrate it with something meaningful and long-lasting.
“If you get married or have a baby, there is jewelry for that,” Lizzy said. “But, where is the jewelry for when you get your MBA or get a promotion?”
While mazi + zo is still new and growing, Lizzy hopes to continue to expand the company to have products that mark all the important moments in women’s lives.