We had the good fortune of connecting with Zoei and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Zoei, why did you pursue the creative path?
I think because I grew up under such environment, like this goes as far back to my mom actively taking me to symphonies, broadway, or art shows since she was still pregnant with me, that it would be more of a question why I wouldn’t pursue an artistic or creative career. I think it is a privilege being able to work in the creative industry, as most of us go into it due to the passion we had for it in the beginning, and we simply get to make a living whilst doing what we love! I believe even if I didn’t start my own design studio, I would still be working under companies that focus on creative direction. I wish I could elaborate on this more, but the answer really is simple: I pursued a creative career, because that is where my heart, mind, and profession lies, I cannot imagine myself doing anything else.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I grew up in a family full of entrepreneurs, so I’ve always known that that was what I wanted to do in the future! I started planning this future of mine since high school, and that initial plan was the same old tale: get a job straight out of college, expose myself to greater things, learn more about myself, to then eventually start my own business when I’m in my 30’s. But as we all know, life never goes as planned, and for me, that turning point was unexpected family matters that happened a year before I was meant to graduate from college. It completely turned my life upside down, and strongly made me realize, life is SO short – so that, mixed in with other personal factors, prompted me to graduate college early, and to start my business right away.

I feel very lucky that I’ve always known what it is that I am passionate about, which has always been creative media & design, so starting a design studio was the obvious path I decided to pursue! Of course when that business plan I had in mind fast forwarded by near 10 years, it was not easy to navigate. It was often faced with mass anxiety, expectations needing to be met, and lots of financial considerations. But I told myself, “you’re still young, if you do fail, just simply admit defeat and do better!” But at least I took a chance and tried, which I think having that mindset allowed me to overcome all the fear that came with starting a business. Which I think is also one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, which is to just take that risk, as you never know the next giant step it could lead you to!

When I decided to start my business, I also decided to make the huge change of moving from the U.S. to Taiwan. The reason why it was considered, is because I spent a part of my childhood in Taiwan, and have always felt a connection to the island. But the main motivation behind the final move, was when I noticed an apparent brain drain happening in Taiwan, which was quite disheartening to see at the time. So I decided to use my multicultural background to my advantage, and aimed for the ultimate goal of bridging Taiwanese creative talents with the rest of the world. In the past years, we have focused on collaborating with local talents to assist Taiwan/Asia brands in designing/redesigning their brand visuals and merchandise to become more internationally recognizable. We are very excited and proud of our mission, and always have so much fun doing it!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well since I live in Taiwan currently, I think it is only appropriate I recommend some local things to do here! Taiwan is known for its local eateries, so the trip would mainly revolve around food. We would start the morning with some traditional egg pancakes with soy milk, then to burn off the calories, walk around this art district at a place called Pier 2, and as you could guess from the name, it’s next to a Pier, which is just beautiful. Afterwards we could probably eat some very touristy Xiao Long Bao from Ding Tai Fung, which originated from Taiwan, but you could find them back in the US as well! For dessert, I always take my friends to this shaved ice place in this cute little alleyway. It’s super hidden, but I think that’s usually where the best food is at here. Lastly towards nighttime, I would definitely take them to a night market where you could eat any Taiwanese local street food you could possibly think of! There’s obviously so much more to do, but for that, I guess you’d have to come and check it out yourself!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would most definitely say that family’s trust and mentorship made me who I am today! When you decide to go on a somewhat unorthodox path, you would need all the moral support you could get. So I will always be forever grateful that my family were always there for me, and have always been there to guide me through each mistake and success!

There are also a few books that have changed and strengthened my mindset immensely, in which I still carry around with me to this day! The top 3 are: Atomic Habits, The 48 Laws of Power, and Think and Grow Rich. These are all self development focused books that I think could change ones life!

Website: https://www.zoleilstudio.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zoei/

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