Zdena was raised in a small farming village behind the Iron Curtain in what is now the Czech Republic. In 2003, when she realized the only employment opportunities available to her as an international student in California were low-wage, low-skills jobs, she decided to launch Z Folio – a designer jewelry and art glass gallery based in Solvang. When she needed inventory and couldn’t get bank financing, she came to WEV and received a $20,000 loan. In 2009, Zdena opened a second location in Monterey’s Cannery Row. She now has 14 employees and her business generates over $2 million in sales each year.
Photography courtesy of Meghan Nicole Photography