This long old story about little old me is what helped shape ZUMI. into the company it is today. If you can dig it and wanna know more about ZUMI. and our philosophy, check out our mission.OUR MISSION
You know when you're young and think you have everything figured out? Yea, I was one of those people too...
I was on track to do exactly what I set out to do too. The societal norm, the make your parents proud and hopefully look forward to retirement kinda stuff.
That is until life reminded me that planning is merely the road to an intentional life, not life in and of itself.
One day, Neurocardiogenic Syncope became my new normal - long story short, I have a tendency to blackout without much warning - and this made my master plan of conventional employment a bit more tricky.
I never really thought outside of the box when it came to adulting. It was all about getting a job that would make my mom proud, paying the bills and hopefully having enough to enjoy myself and secure my future while I was at it.
But it turns out conventional becomes a luxury with a health diagnosis that turns you into a workplace liability for virtually any company.
At the time I thought I was the punchline to some cruel cosmic joke, but in reality, the universe was like "lemme just give you a nudge in the right direction..." (solid lookin' out universe - thanks)
Slow. Good things take time.
Clearly needing to take employment in my own hands, I went to school for commercial photography with the intention of becoming a pet photographer when I graduated. I felt like it gave me enough flexibility while still being able to work with dogs - which was all that really mattered to me.
Somewhere along the way I began doing my typical crazy-dog-lady (a proudly self-proclaimed title) stuff, by working with textiles to create a functional lead that would be convenient for agility, hiking and all the other activities I get up to with my dogs.
In time, I did just that and the Dual Lead was born.
Soon I started taking orders, I slapped up a crappy website and before I knew it, a few leashes became a business.
A little luck and whole lot of magic. (Plus a crap ton of hard work and perseverance)
Without really realizing it, I had created a business that I was passionate about. I was no longer trying to fit society's ideal path to success, hell I was making up mast of it as I went. I surely wasn't doing it for financial security cause there was absolutely zero.
There was no more, "I'm supposed to" or "this is what is expected of me". I was finally doing something for myself. I embraced the risk, the challenge and all of the uncertainty that came with it.
All thanks to a diagnosis I can hardly pronounce (seriously, I have to think about how to say it when people ask me).
It isn't what you see, it's how you see it.
Turns out, sometimes having your life turned upside down can do wonders for your perspective. It was uncomfortable and shitty, but that hard-to-say game-changer diagnosis shifted my entire world.
I came out the other end not only looking at life differently, but I was a business owner (say whaaat?).
Growth is a process though and I continued to expand, always looking to my dogs for those mind blowing life lessons the love to quietly throw our way. With time I had a new outlook on myself as a person and I was able to give new meaning to my company.
In between the go.
I leaned into the magic of living within my passion and ZUMI was reborn and redefined. Simply making quality gear wasn't good enough anymore - it had to be quality gear with a purpose.
ZUMI has become about the adventure of life. Taking it in stride and appreciating all the little things along the way. To celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention. To grown and approach the world with an open mind and heart. (Yass... give me all that "woo-woo"-yogi-hippie-goodness)
And what better role model than our dogs, seriously, they've got this shit all figured out.
ZUMI is about holding space and honoring our dogs' role in our journey and growth as a person, because in doing just that, I was able to create ZUMI.