Jackie Zumba started at the top when it comes to fashion: Her mom, JoAnn Zumba, often took her shopping on Fifth Avenue in New York City, where the younger Zumba was born.
That love for fashion, both the clothes and a high-end retail customer experience, led Zumba to her career choice. That includes opening two luxury boutiques that specialize in clothes for women and men. Both stores opened last fall, one at The Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota and the other at Sundial in downtown St. Petersburg. And both stores, says Zumba, have surpassed her first-year projections for sales and store traffic. She’s even added space in the Sundial location, for a shoe section.
“It’s been crazy,” she says. “I’m shocked. I couldn’t have dreamed it would have gone this well.”
Zumba loves the entrepreneurial freedom running her own stores allows, but with success has come unforeseen demands on her, from everyone from clients and employees to suppliers and vendors. “I can’t be everywhere at all times,” Zumba says. “That’s the biggest challenge.”
— Mark Gordon
Name: Jackie Zumba
City of residence: St. Petersburg
Twitter handle: @jackiezstyleco
Employer: Self-employed, Jackie Z Style Co
Birthplace: New York
Years on the Gulf Coast: 10
Marital status/children: Married with a daughter
Alma mater: did not attend college
Best place to network: Local events
Coolest business experience: Opening up 6,000 sq feet of retail space in the matter of 90 days in two different cities while having a 6-month-old baby. Crazy to say the least.
The most important business lesson I’ve learned: Don’t put the cart before the horse. Take a lot of time before expanding, it’s not as easy at looks. And to be careful of all the smoke and mirrors.
One website that makes your job easier: Amazon
One community group you’re most involved with: We offer to do charity events and functions with almost any group that comes our way. We do a lot with Samantha’s Friends, NeuroChallenge and Women’s Council of Realtors, to name a few.
Favorite off-hours activity: Spending time with my 1.5-year-old daughter. Running near the waterfront with her in her stroller, and shopping, of course.
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Jessica Alba (inspirational women entrepreneur) and Coco Chanel (fashion designer)
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Interior Design
Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: Skydiving
What’s at the top of your bucket list: Climb to the top of an Egyptian pyramid, an African safari and a trip to Dubai.
What new skill would you like to learn: how to sew, so I could make my own clothes.
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Jamie-Lynn Sigler
If I had a magic wand I’d: cure cancer