We’ve got one more #PlattAlumni spotlight blog for all of you to wrap up our Alumni Appreciation Week. Joan Olonan is no stranger to success, not only has she had a ton of success with her recent business venture, Zodianz, but we’ve featured her before when she started her own marketing business. If you’re looking for inspiration to pursue your own passions, Joan is a great person to learn from.
Natasha: For our readers who might not be familiar with Zodianz can you tell us a little bit about it?
Joan: Zodianz is an online retail store that also offers astrological information for all 12 zodiac signs.
Natasha: When did you discover your love for astrology?
Joan: My passion grew when I was about 15. This girl guessed my zodiac sign, and I was curious as to how she knew it without really knowing me. She wouldn’t tell me, so I did as much research as I could on my own. Over the years, I’ve just collected a bunch of books and read as much as I could online. I started to read other people’s birth/natal charts and discovered I had a talent for it.
Natasha: What inspired you to start the Zodianz website?
Joan: I always knew I wanted to create a business specifically for astrology lovers. It took me a while to do it because I wasn’t really sure if it would take off. So I created a Facebook page early 2016, and one of my posts went viral. From their response, I knew it was the right time to start an e-commerce site.
Natasha: Did you realize it was going to take off as well as it did?
Joan: No, I was really surprised that people took to it the way that they did. I knew I didn’t really have much competition anyways, but I wasn’t sure if they’d like detailed posts vs. short memes. Turns out, people want as much information as I did growing up.
Natasha: What’s been the most difficult part of managing Zodianz?
Joan: The most difficult part of managing Zodianz is being the sole owner, creator, and only employee lol. It’s hard to come up with content, at the same time create designs, and at the same time have to work on another business that generates an income. People are content hungry, which is fine with me, but very difficult to keep up with you’re the only one on it.
Natasha: Any advice for students looking to branch off and start their own business or blog?
Joan: My advice would be, if you’re going to start your own business make sure you’re going to be passionate about it. You’ll get overwhelmed with the amount of work and time it takes to build a business, but it’s your passion and drive that’ll keep you going. You’re going to be obsessed about your business. You’ll lose sleep, stop eating, and work like you’ve never worked before. If you’re not passionate about the cause, then you won’t go very far. You’ll burn out and become a one hit wonder.
Natasha: What skills did you acquire at Platt that have helped you with your business?
Joan: I taught myself a lot of basics before I went to Platt. However, Platt taught me how to utilize tools correctly, helped me to refine my craft, and helped me understand good design vs. bad design. They also helped me learn new skills faster than I would have on my own. I also met a lot of creative people who inspired me and taught me things outside of graphic design, such as web and video. So you’re not only learning within classes, but you’re surrounded by likeminded people who also share the same passion for creativity and design.
Natasha: What can we look forward to from you in the future?
Joan: I am going to launch more products for Zodianz by spring. I want to eventually hire someone that can take over the design aspect for me. I really want to focus on the building a stronger community and running the backend of business. I would love to hire some Platt students who share the same passion for astrology as well as design.
Want to learn more about Zodianz? Be sure to check out Joan’s website https://zodianz.com for more!