Inspirational Woman: Holly Zoccolan | Founder, Carol

Meet Holly Zoccolan

Founder, Carol
Holly is the Founder and CEO of the mobile app, Carol.
 
After studying law at Newcastle University, then going on to complete her Nutrition Studies at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Holly started her journey as an entrepreneur by building her wellness brand The Health Zoc in 2016. Then after having her son in 2020 with little support around her, she felt that there needed to be a mobile app that connected and supported mums throughout their motherhood journey and so in 2022, she built it! 

Carol is a mobile app that connects mums based on similar interests, location and children of the same age and offers expert-led resources across Pregnancy, Postpartum, Baby Sleep, Baby Feeding, Baby Development and The Early Years all in one place.

Think of the resources as the encyclopedia of all things Motherhood with answers to the most frequently asked questions all in one place!

Holly is the key decision maker for the app and has a small and rapidly growing team working with her.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I never sat down and planned my career. My life and its circumstances have definitely shaped my career. I lost my mum when I was 17 after a 7 year battle with cancer and this sparked my interest in studying nutrition where I then went on to build my wellness brand to support women to better improve their health. Then when I had my son, I kept being told ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and I knew this was never going to be my reality as my mum wasn’t around, my partners mother tragically passed away suddenly and our extended family live in the North of England and we are in London. This sparked my interest in building an app to connect and support mums throughout their motherhood journey as there was no app available that did both!

I’m definitely the type of person who would struggle to work for someone else. I have always been very independent and being self motivated, the flexibility of my career enables me to work hard and also spend time with my Toddler, other half and work on my terms. The 9-5 life stuck in someone else’s office isn’t for me, I thrive at working from my office at home on something I’m incredibly passionate about!

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

I think life always throws challenges at you, but it’s how you handle them that matters. Because I have been through so much from such a young age, I’m able to separate myself from challenges that aren’t within my control and things that I can do something about. I don’t get stressed very easily and am very easy going, so generally if something comes up and I can do something about it, I make a plan and get it sorted out but if it’s not something I can control, then I don’t get stressed out. 

I’d say the biggest challenge has been since having my son and the mum guilt when I’m working! I remember people used to speak about mum guilt and I never understood it, but it’s definitely real now I’m in it! I know how fast time flies by especially when they are little and changing all the time, but working for myself enables me to spend real quality time with him in the afternoons and at the weekend, but it’s definitely not easy. 

Level Up Summit

 

Don’t miss our Level Up Summit on 06 December, where we’re tackling the barriers for women in tech head on. Join us for keynotes, panels, Q&A’s & breakout sessions on finance, people management, negotiation, influencing skills, confidence building, building internal networks, maximising the power of mentorship, and much more. 

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

I would say developing my app is my biggest achievement to date. Seeing it go from idea, concept and then a fully functioning mobile app has been amazing! I believe that my life has led me to this moment and I’m so proud to get the app into the market and support as many mums as I can so that they know they aren’t alone!

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

A saying that I live by is that if I don’t do it, it will never get done! And this is particularly true in my business, as I run the business I have to make decisions and keep things moving. I would also say that my resilience, ability to focus on what I’m building and to not worry about what others think because this can be a huge hindrance to the success of your business. I’m also very aware that life is short, so if there’s something you want to do, you have to go for it, or before you know if life will pass you by. Finally, I always say ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ and ‘if you don’t ask the answer is always no’ which is very much how I live my life and has helped me overcome self doubt and imposter syndrome particularly in business. 

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I’m very open to mentoring. I haven’t mentored but I’m definitely the one in my friendship groups that has the conversations about what they want to achieve, where they want to be and what they are doing to get there. I think inspiring and motivating others is a gift and something that I bring into conversations with others around me. I don’t have all the answers but I’m a good listener and really believe we all have a power within us to achieve great things, it’s just about finding it.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

I would say keep going, keep your head down and just go for it. Enjoy the journey because that’s what life is all about!

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

As Carol is about to launch, we are in ‘all systems go’ mode and it’s all happening very quickly! Our international launch is also on the horizon so that’s a key focus for us in the coming years and cementing our name within the space to support mums worldwide as they navigate their Motherhood journey.

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