Meet the Founder: Michelle Zimora of Z Wraps
For as long as she can remember, Michelle Zimora has been passionate about infusing everyday life with timeless beauty and style. She’s also been on a mission to help protect the environment and people in need.
That’s why Michelle created Z Wraps – food savers that are reusable, washable, practical, and charming all at once. That’s also why Michelle shifted to making masks in collaboration with resettled refugees who have been laid off during the pandemic.
Recently, we caught up with Michelle to learn more about the journey leading up to her inspiring new endeavor.
01 Why did you start Z Wraps?
Before I became a mom, I taught outdoor education. I also come from a family of DIYers. When I had my girls, I realized that we were wasting lots of food and there wasn’t a great way to save it without wasting plastic. Meanwhile, I had lots of beautiful fabric, thanks to my years of sewing.
I wanted to offer people a reusable alternative to plastic wrap and zip-lock bags. The idea of making a reusable and plastic-free food wrap that’s both easy to use and beautiful started in early 2017. After lots of testing, our food wraps are now available for your lunchbox, leftovers, hostess gifts, and more.
And, in case you were wondering, the Z in Z Wraps comes from our last name, Zimora. We’re so happy to share what we’ve learned – and share what we love – with you.
02 What obstacles did you face along the way?
Obstacles come and go all the time, and I have to work with them and take them head-on. That often means talking through those problems with as many people as possible until we have a solution.
I feel fortunate to have the support of my wonderful family, friends, advisors, and mentors. They all helped make Z Wraps possible. That’s the only way to keep things moving. Stopping is not an option, even in the midst of this bizarre and challenging pandemic. That’s why we’re now making masks and selling them at cost. You always have to look around, see what people need, and adjust.
03 What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?
Don’t do it! No, I’m just kidding. It’s really hard work, but I love it. It sounds so cliché, but you truly have to love what you are doing to make it worthwhile. That’s the first thing, because it takes an incredible amount of work to start a business and there’s not much monetary return in the beginning. It’s also important to have advisors and mentors you can talk to, for all aspects of your business. This is so key – I call on these folks all the time!
04 What’s on the horizon for Z Wraps?
Right now, we’re making masks. I never thought I’d say that, but we want to do whatever we can to help people.
We’re making the masks in collaboration with a local group of resettled refugees – talented tailors and seamstresses who are out of work. Together, we’re going to sell the masks, at cost, to support this wonderful project and the community at-large.
05 How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?
There is no such thing as work/life balance. (Again – kidding!)
The amount of work that needs to be done always ebbs and flows. For the first 18 months, I was working 80-100 hours per week. Then, it became a bit more manageable. Now, I’m back to working 12+ hours a day.
You do whatever the business needs you to do, because there is no one else who is going to do it. That’s the responsibility of an entrepreneur. It’s hard to miss out on family time to support your business. You hope you don’t have to do that too much. But, sometimes, it’s necessary.
Soon, I hope to get back to bike rides and hikes with my family. Spending quality time with my husband and my girls – that always puts a smile on my face.
Meanwhile, I know that my mask project is keeping people safe and allowing people to earn a living. Right now, that feels like the right thing to be doing.