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Zeynep Yurderi, Founder, Zeyzani

Business Excellence

Zeynep Yurderi

Founder, Zeyzani

If you happened to be watching Dolly Parton on “The Bachelorette” several years ago, you just may have noticed the uniquely fabulous boots the singing icon was wearing. Lots of people did. And that became a turning point for Zeynep Yurderi, who founded and now runs an international design company that custom makes luxury boots, which many consider works of art.

Zeynep is known worldwide. And the women who commission her boots range from the ultra famous – including Parton and Jennifer Lopez – to the many, many South Jersey women who discovered her designs at Z’s Treasures, the store Zeynep opened 14 years ago after deciding to walk away from a secure job as a pharmaceutical executive.

“I’ve always believed that women are at their peak when they feel and look sexy,” she says. “With that sexiness comes confidence, especially when it emanates from such beautiful hand-crafted pieces of art.”

Opened in 2009, Z’s Treasures in downtown Haddonfield was the starting point for her business. She made regular trips to Istanbul to purchase the Mediterranean wares she sold at the time. After learning the business of managing imports, Zeynep soon started designing boots using tulips, paisleys, pomegranates, grapevines and other motifs inspired from ancient Greece and the Ottoman Empire. The company name Zeyzani is derived from Zeynep’s first name and the fabric she uses, called Suzani.

It didn’t take long for Zeyzani to catch on by word of mouth, articles in fashion magazines and newspapers, as well as social media posts of fashionable women rocking the look that went viral. Zeynep considers The Bachelorette moment in 2012 as an early milestone. “The camera kept focusing on the boots,” she says.

Zeynep moved Zeyzani to the Moorestown Mall in 2014 as a flagship store, where she had walk-in customers while also operating her robust business selling to boutiques worldwide. Then everything changed when Covid hit, and storefronts were shuttered. Zeynep was unsure how she would stay in business when, out of the blue, a man reached out asking her to custom design a pair of boots for his wife.

“That changed everything,” she says, noting that she trained her artisans based in Uzbekistan on new technology, closed the store and now takes only custom orders.

Among her many clients worldwide, a TV chef from Australia is likely responsible for the brand’s newfound popularity down under. The woman told Zeynep that because of her size, she was never able to find boots so pretty, so sexy and that made her feel so good. The woman cried on the phone, saying it was a dream come true.

“It was emotional for me too,” Zeynep says. “People use the words empowering and uplifting to describe my boots. It makes me feel I do make a difference in people’s lives.”

Styling by Sarah Gleeson

Makeup by Vanessa Lopez for Jaylyn Thompson, Brielle Savage & Suzan Nickelson; by Melisa Ortiz/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Zeynep Yuderi & Marguerite Schroeder; by Jessica Palumbo/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Ivette Guillermo-McGahee

Hair by Ashley Voit/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Brielle Savage & Jaylyn Thompson; by Mackenzie Garland for Zeynep Yuderi; by Debra Beach/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Ivette Guillermo-McGahee; by Tiffany D’Argenzio/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Marguerite Schroeder

See all of our 2023 Women of Excellence Honorees!

May 2023
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