Wedding company Zola tries on brick-and-mortar

New shop has a CBD lounge

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For Zola, the wedding company founded six years ago, breaking into the crowded wedding industry has been a challenge. Initially, the New York-based brand relied on word-of-mouth marketing, but as Zola has grown, it's courting consumers through brick-and-mortar experiences and new marketing channels.

In January, the company opened its first physical store, a pop-up shop in Manhattan that will operate through April, during the busiest season for engagements. At the store, shoppers can pick out their registry and order wedding invitations, but they can also have fun at a CBD lounge inside the store and print out a personalized 3D cake topper.

"We wanted to bring to life the Zola experience in a way that is fun and unlike any other retailing store," says Shan-Lyn Ma, Zola's co-founder and CEO. Speaking with Ad Age at Shoptalk, Ma adds that Zola is also diversifying its advertising strategy. The brand began using TV as a marketing channel last year—it now advertises on Hulu and YouTube along with Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

While many couples use a variety of apps and retailers for different wedding functions, Zola wants to communicate to today's digitized customers that it is a one-stop-shop for all their wedding needs.

"Today, there are probably 20 different apps or products to plan one day," says Ma. "It shouldn't have to be that hard."

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