With a line-up of fans including a selection of Husskie’s favourite influencers – think Mimi Elashiry, Matilda Djerf, Andi Csinger, and Belen Hostalet – lifestyle label Zulu & Zephyr have undoubtedly managed to land a spot on the list of retail success stories coming out of Australia.
Created by sisters Candice Rose-O’Rourke and Karla Rose, the two run the ZZ business from their headquarters in Byron Bay – where 12 staff cater to the 120+ stockists worldwide. But it’s not just incredible designs that Zulu & Zephyr are bringing to the table… with a cool 291K Instagram followers to their name, the brand is also nailing it when it comes to social media.
Here, we sat down with director Candice to find out all their inside secrets to their Instagram game – from image creation to engaging influencers.
We absolutely LOVE the Zulu & Zephyr Instagram account. Do you work with just one photographer to create your images?
Karla (my business partner) and myself usually pick up the camera to shoot original content for our Instagram page @zuluandzephyr. Additionally, we work with a select bunch of creatives and influencers who parallel our brand. We also regram images of our staff who wear ZZ on the daily.
How hands-on are you with the Instagram styling?
We’re 100 per cent hands on for our work. Other projects, where ZZ is featured in the shoot, we leave the art direction up to the individual.
How much impact do you think Instagram has had on the success of the brand?
Instagram is not intentionally used as a marketing resource. We wanted to showcase the brand, our values and what we stand for in a way that was untouched by outside influence. Our followers are loyal, supportive and excited – they have followed our journey from small time grassroots to global success and I think they resonate with our approach. They don’t feel that they’re being sold to, so they seem to stick around – and they tell their friends about us too.
Everything about Zulu & Zephyr seems “on brand” and so real and authentic. How do you ensure you’re building an authentic brand?
A big question! I guess we have created a work environment, a work space, a work balance that is an extension of our lifestyle – so work days blend into the weekends. @zuluandzephyr is a glimpse into how the label runs on a day-to-day basis. What we are creating, what’s around the corner, what inspires us… We don’t beat ourselves up about how it will be perceived – but instead, we ask how does this stay true to the label that we really are.
What part does Instagram play in this?
Instagram is an opportunity to visually diarise the textures, moods, colours and feelings of Zulu & Zephyr. It is also a vessel for us to keep in touch with our customers.
You’ve had the brand featured on some amazing influencers. Do they normally come to you or do you select particular ones you want to work with?
It’s a mix of both. The people we work with have their own individual style and story – Zulu & Zephyr simply works back with that, or not.
Have there been any social media milestones that have really helped with the brand’s success?
Our goal is to keep offering original content to our followers and not rely on other people’s hard work. I think followers love this personal touch and consider this a milestone on its own.
There have been so many incredible posts by influencers for Zulu & Zephyr. What would you say have been your top three?
So much great stuff comes from the influencers we work with. I also think our everyday girls are putting out amazing personal content, along with our partnering stockists. So there is too much to choose from!
Do you try to have a mixture of both original and regrammed content on the ZZ account?
I would say, we like to keep it 90 per cent original and 10 per cent regrammed work.
How much time do you put into Instagram each day?
We divide our time between actively Instagramming, researching, responding to customers, creating Insta stories, and a lot of time just leisurely scrolling and getting caught up in the vortex that is Instagram.
Have you had any Instagram fails?!
Sure! Wrong tags and a few accidental selfie posts – which were not complimentary!!
What’s next for the brand?
A super exciting Spring and Summer 17/18 ahead. You can check in and follow @zuluandzephyr to keep on the pulse.
All images: @zuluandzephyr