Brilliantly Bold: Lindsey Zinno

Name: Lindsey Zinno

Year: 3rd Year Senior

Major: Environmental Studies + Professional Writing Certificate

Campus Involvement: UC Sustainability, Fossil Free UC, Rock Climbing, LEAP

Fun Fact: I’m a classical pianist and have been playing since age 5!

Her Campus University of Cincinnati: Hi Lindsey! Thanks for taking time to talk to me today. I am really excited to learn more about how you maintain your business as a full-time college student! First, can you explain what your business is and how you got started?

Lindsey Zinno: Thanks, Caroline! I own The Northern Market, a home and lifestyle goods shop. I make baskets, bowls, handbags, and backpacks from cotton rope.

HCUC: What is your favorite item to create from your shop? How long does it typically take to create from start to finish?

LZ: My favorite item?! That is so tough. I believe that my favorite item to create is my backpack. However, my backpacks are the most time intensive, about 2-3 hours to make. I also really love making small bowls because they are so fast and fun; I feel so productive when I make a handful of them in an hour. I love creating all of my pieces. The greatest feeling is knowing your work will be in the hands of someone else, who looks at each stitch you sewed for them.

HCUC: I heard you are opening a pop-up shop in December! Did you expect The Northern Market to grow larger than just an Etsy shop?

LZ: Honestly, I started The Northern Market when I was in high school. I was trying to save up some money before college, and I ended up getting a bit more sales than I expected. The big change was when I released my wholesale line sheet for shops and ended up in about 20 stores in the first month, today about 30-35. It was quite a shock to me.  

HCUC: Now that your business has grown, do you still hand make everything yourself or do you have help?

LZ: I have a few women helping now. I always make all backpacks, handbags, and large baskets. Two amazing students from UC help me from time to time, Grace and Paige. They both are very talented sewers and have helped me stay on top of deadlines and prevent me from being overwhelmed.

HCUC: How do you maintain a balance between your work and academics? Does one seem to take up more time than the other?

LZ: My business takes up more time than my academic time, mainly because I am always working. I’m sewing before and after class, shipping before the post office closes, emailing (always emailing), editing my website, having meetings, photographing, designing new products, and managing our social media. With school, I know that I don’t have a lot of extra time to study and work on homework, so I do as much as I can on campus. Time management is crucial.

HCUC: What is your favorite aspect of environmental studies? What drew you to that major?

LZ: I chose to study environmental studies because of my passion for nature. I have always been drawn to the outdoors--the oceans, the mountains, and everything in between. Before my business, I wanted to be a hydrologist studying ocean acidification. However, my favorite aspect would be that you don't need to be taking water samples your whole life to practice environmental studies. It is everywhere. I use my environmental background in my business because I only use eco-friendly plant dyes due to the effects fabric dyes have on the environment, and I also repurpose scraps, and source USA made recycled cotton.

HCUC: Since you are going to be graduating in the summer, what are your plans for after graduation? Do you think you will stick with your business as a full-time gig or go a more environmental studies route? Perhaps even combine the two?

LZ: Because I will be graduating while operating my pop-up storefront, I will see how my shop does before I decide on one route. I have a lot of interests and goals for my future. One of my biggest goals is to never regret not doing something. My decision to open a storefront in college was a big element of that goal. I love the idea of having a shop, but I wouldn't know if it was what I was destined to do if I didn't just try it. I believe that I will continue to work with my passions whether it may be sewing, design, or the environment.


If you want to check out more of Lindsey’s creations, her social media is listed below!

Lindsey’s Personal Instagram:

The Northern Market Instagram:

The Northern Market Facebook:

The Northern Market Etsy:

The Northern Market Official Website: