Meet Jana Krinsky, who is in charge of the 350-person studio team at Seattle-based Zulily.
What do you do? As the Director of Studio at online retailer Zulily, I oversee a team of 350 creatives across Seattle and Columbus, Ohio. Because our storefront is digital, our photographers, copywriters and graphic designers have the crucial role of telling the stories of thousands of products only available for 72 hours to our customers. With 54 sets, our stylists build hundreds of worlds and work with models of all ages, sizes and even species — hosting plenty of pets each week!
How did you get that job? After spending years in traditional retail, I learned the power of visual storytelling. This was something I wanted to do, and drew me to Zulily in 2015. Zulily was doing something truly different with a low-inventory model that gave shoppers great deals on both big brands and unique, boutique finds. I originally led the copy and photo editing teams, and from there was promoted to lead the creative team within the Editorial Studio, and now hold my position today.
What’s a typical day like? My team is incredibly dynamic: Our work is all about making a brand a “hero for the day,” showcasing what makes each of our 15,000 vendor partners unique. A day could include doing a shoot with a rabbit posing on top of a robotic vacuum, or capturing photos of flying burgers to showcase cooking gear. We drive creativity at a fast clip: The studio team takes over 1,200 photos every day, and coordinates and preps 2 million samples a year.
What’s the best part of the job? The best part of working at Zulily is that every day is a chance to win as a team. Because so much of retail is moving to mobile — 73% of Zulily’s orders come from a mobile device — storytelling is key. It’s so rewarding to me when I see an individual push boundaries with their craft, and convert a fun idea into a serious business driver.
What surprises people about what you do? First, the scale and speed at which we work. Second, they’re surprised to learn how analytical and business-minded our creative teams are, traits driven by our unique business model and global scale. Everyone on my team is part artist, part scientist: partnering with our merchandising, marketing and analytics teams to tell effective stories by analyzing the data and using insights to create something amazing.