Natalie Andres & Molly Madfis | Blogzilla Studio
We’re Molly and Natalie and we co-founded Blogzilla Studio. We sell simple and stylish pre-made Wordpress themes for customising your site - we also recently released wedding themes! We both live in LA and have been friends for almost a decade. Molly is a blogger herself, and after trying to give the blog a facelift, she noticed how expensive it can be to have a stylish theme. She joined forces with Natalie to help build a theme that she loved and Blogzilla Studio was born.
We launched our shop in 2013 when we realized that there are just not enough resources out there for affordable and modern blog themes. Molly designs the themes, then Natalie codes them, with both of us working remotely from home. This is great in some ways - we’re totally free to work in our pajamas, and we have the option to work whenever we want to. But, we’re starting to increase the amount of in-person meetings because we’ve realized that it’s really important to meet face to face. It really amps us up every time. We love what we do, and getting together to talk about it helps remind us of that!
Since we started Blogzilla, we’ve had ups and downs - certain themes have been more popular than others, some experiments work and some don’t. And, to get real, since our inception, there has definitely been an increase in competition. What was once a small pond of choices is now a vast ocean, and it makes it much harder to stay relevant. We’ve dealt with various crises, from blatant theft and plagiarism of our designs, to being wrongly and publicly accused of theft ourselves (with no apology to follow) - issues that are way too common on the internet.
It’s important to focus on how you can be the best you can be and on making your brand stand out, not wasting too much time on all the phonies or haters out there. It takes a lot of work for a brand to survive on the internet (or anywhere), so don’t forget that we’re all struggling with the same issues.
We draw inspiration from everywhere… but when you’re in a creative rut, it’s really important, again, to just get up and out. Leave the house, visit a boutique, go to a museum, have a sandwich - inspiration is everywhere... not just on Pinterest.
Because our businesses function mostly online without the need for a brick-and-mortar shop, our experience is somewhat unique. For women thinking about starting their own businesses, working from home and establishing things online can make the barrier to entry so much smaller; the risk isn’t as high, and if you don’t have a lot of startup capital, you can still start pursuing your dreams!
In terms of starting and running your business, our advice is to work really hard before even launching. You really want everything you can possibly think of ready to go and in good working order before you launch. Because once you launch so many unanticipated things can go wrong. You don’t want to be scrambling to fix problems you weren't anticipating, while you’re still finalizing your products. Another thing that makes our business successful is working with a partner. It helps in so many ways. We each bring different strengths to the table, so when one of us is lagging, the other can pick up the slack. It’s also great motivation because you really want to come through for your partner. And, it’s nice to have someone to commiserate with and celebrate with, through the ups and downs of the business. And finally, be really realistic about how much money you think you can make. Businesses take a long time to grow - be patient and make sure you’ll be financially okay while it gets off the ground.