Too bad ZoZa failed.
I was looking forward to working with the staff we had accreted.
We built a good e-commerce platform, but unfortunately sales were slowly building just as the dot com economy collapsed. We had built a company to handle the promised phenomenal sales based on the Ziegler's self-promoted public profile. That never happened. The costs of building our sales and fulfillment capabilities, combined with ZoZa's lack of credit in the apparel manufacturing world caused us to go through SoftBank's 17 million quite quickly.
Mel and Patricia went looking for a 'senior strategic partnership' but none was forthcoming.
Our much needed second round from the VCs never materialized.
Sales discussions had gone on for quite a while with Nike and The Walking Company.
Nike's disastrous second quarter of '99 nixed any chance of being bought by them.
We set up a series of 'test-the-water' deals with The Walking Company, providing our goods for sale in their stores. These were quite successful, and we proceeded to early due diligence phases.
While our sales were climbing, our rate of return/exchange went through the roof. The failure of the design department to manage sizing was causing an 80% return rate in a number of Spring 2001 styles.
At that point the Walking Company seemed to get cold feet.
In reality they decided to wait until we went under, and to selectively buy assets at firesale prices. A small number of the ZoZa design team, exclusive of the Zieglers, were hired by The Walking Company and have set up a design shop in southern California.
A few weeks after we went under Xuma, our back-end development and managed hosting firm, also went under.
Our technology assetts were sold by the same liquidators.