07.11.18

Who is Z SUPPLY? Our Story.

As we design new collections, we take our inspiration directly from you: real, on-the-go, lovers of comfort. So much so, that we go beyond creating simple, effortless styles — we design a line of essentials that are made to wear everyday, by everyone.

To celebrate our growing community, we decided to make something special — a tee to connect us through meaningful storytelling.

We all have a story; we all have a strength.

Our story (and our strength) derives from our talented, hard-working teams. Meet some inspiring individuals, read their stories, & learn where their strength comes from.

 

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Allison - Customer Service

My strength is my mom’s resilience to her chronic illness.

My mom has always been my role model and a constant in my life. Like most girls do, I look up to her as an example to follow and a shoulder to cry on. At age 39, my mom had her first heart attack. Since then, she has been in and out of the hospital every few years with nutrition issues, a small stroke, and two more heart attacks – most recently, just a few months ago.

A very hard thing to comprehend as a kid let alone later in life, my sister and I have watched our mom battle congestive heart failure with a certain strength that I only hope to model to my kids someday. It’s difficult to see someone who was once so strong now leading a very different life, but I know that lack of strength just limits her physically, and not mentally. Although she will never be fully healthy again, she fights every day to not let her disease run her life and always puts on a happy face. I don’t remember much about my childhood other than these periodic episodes of almost losing her, but her struggle has taught to stay positive in the moments I feel great negativity, and to make the most of the time I have with the people I love.

 

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Teruko - Model

My strength comes from a second chance which continues to amp up my appreciation for unmitigated joy.

  • Cancer clearly changed my perspective.
  • Values are refined. 
  • Daily aggravations are not crucial. 
  • Some people matter, some do not. 
  • Boldness comes directly from my heart. 
  • Love Strong. Love Hard.  
  • Navigate Risk. Learn to listen.
  • Dance and floss!

 

 WinstonWinston - IT Assistant

My strength is perseverance.

My parents and I came to the US when I was 18 years old. We came here empty handed and not so ready to start a new life. They were already out of the age to start over, in their 60s, so I thought that if I didn’t go to college, then I wouldn't be able to support myself or my parents. After high school, I took 3 years to finish an Associate's degree because I had to work almost full time while also going to school full time. Sometimes I felt like giving up because studying got harder once I got to the university level.

I was stubborn about not taking out any loans. I was committed to graduating loan-free. That made my college life the most miserable time in my life due to working and going to school full time. But whenever I was about to give up, I look at how hardworking my parents were, although they were supposed to retire already, then I stood up and kept walking.

Then, after another 3 years, I finally walked on the graduation day at Cal Poly Pomona with a summa cum laude degree. I'm really glad that I took this path. The only thing I regret is that I didn't finish earlier, even though I could have. I regret that I couldn't show my dad what I have achieved because he passed away just 2 years before I graduated.  

My advice is to never give up. Your patience and effort will be paid off once you have reached your goal. Also: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”

 

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Ciara - Graphic Designer

My strength is learning to be comfortable alone and accept change.

Losing loved ones is a horrible experience but I believe those experiences have helped me build confidence. Whether I lost those relationships through death or other circumstances, it's forced me to reflect on how I want to live my life. I'm not entirely sure why, but I used to be so terrified to be alone. After a few events, I decided I was going to treat my depression and live a fulfilling life. Loss has taught me to accept change because I can't control everything around me. Working on my issues has given me confidence and I look forward to spending time to myself everyday. I've learned that we can't control what happens to us, but we can control how we react. I choose to be happy.

 

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Kristen - Digital Merchandising Manager

My strength is my curiosity.

Being curious is what makes life exciting. I’m not afraid to step out of my comfort zone. Being curious has brought me across the country from Massachusetts and to explore an adventure-filled lifestyle in Southern California.

 

 

 

 

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Jackson - IT Intern

My strength is being easy-going and a good listener.

I struggle to be any kind of leader because of my personality type. I grew up in an abusive home and was told to always listen and follow instructions. Anything that didn’t meet my grandparents’ expectations would result in punishment. On a brighter note, this meant that I learned to be a great listener and follower. At the end of this year, I will graduate from Cal State Long Beach with a Bachelors in Information Systems. A 7 year long journey that took way too long!

 

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Shannon - Customer Service

My strength is finding purpose through the pain.

All I ever dreamed of being when I grew up was a mom. I was blessed to have a child when I was 25 years young and lucky enough to stay home with her for 5.5 years. When my marriage ended, we fought a horrible custody battle and I ended up with 40% custody. I fell into a deep depression. I suddenly had no purpose, no real career, and eventually had to move home with my parents. That was three years ago and I can tell you that I have learned so much about myself, perseverance, vulnerability, and courage. While I still live at home, I enjoy having a village to help me raise my daughter, I have started a career I love and have met some really amazing people along the way. The purpose I found through my pain is to help others and share my story (there is a lot more to it) in hopes it might encourage someone going through something similar. It is not easy being a single working mom, but I cherish and make the most out of each day I have with my precious daughter.

 

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Molly - Digital Marketing Manager

My strength is my love for my brother.

My brother and I were born 7 years apart, and I think because I have always been much older than him, we have pretty much always gotten along. In every decision I make, I ask myself if the outcome of said decision would make my brother proud or if it will teach him something. Having someone look up to you is a lot of pressure – especially when you mess up – but it pushes me to be better and do better. Everything I do is for Matthew! Love you, bro.

 

 

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Heather - Social Media Coordinator

My strength is vulnerability.

From a young age I learned that change is always prevalent. And with change, comes the fear of having to become vulnerable. I had an amazing childhood and wouldn’t trade the way I was raised for anything. However, growing from my vulnerability quickly became a theme throughout my life.

After high school I moved away from my hometown, family, and everyone I knew to embark on the wonderful adventure of college! I attended the University of Georgia and had the most amazing experience. However, during my sophomore year, my dad had a massive stroke at 44 years old and almost died. He had to relearn how to walk, talk, sit up, eat, everything. It was scary. I had to open up old scars with our relationship and help my dad through recovery at the same time. Through being vulnerable, I was able to establish a new and improved relationship with my dad after not speaking to him for four years. This experience also taught me patience, forgiveness, and how to love more.

I’ve always been an extrovert and love to meet new people, experience different environments, and push myself out of my comfort zone. I recently loaded up my car, packed up everything I owned, and me and my pup, Willow, headed for the West Coast. This has been one of my biggest adventures yet! Although it has been exciting, I’ve also felt vulnerable throughout the process. I didn’t know anyone in California -- I’ve always had my family and core group of friends surrounding me -- and the culture is definitely different from the south. It’s taking time to build up a life that I’m used to, but I know that through me remaining vulnerable to the people around me I will facilitate lasting relationships. Being vulnerable is hard and takes work but the growth that comes from it is astonishing. I’m always in a state of growing and learning, and I’m okay with that -- it’s what has shaped me into the person I am today.

 

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Kaitlyn - Model

My strength is my vulnerability.

I struggled with anxiety for years, at times debilitating, and for so long, that I fought that battle alone. I was afraid to open up. But acceptance ends suffering, and once my mindset shifted from “Why me” to “Yes, this is a part of me”, I began to talk about it, share my story, and learn how to move forward to where I am today. I’m no longer ashamed of my struggles. Sharing your struggle doesn’t make you weak, it makes you powerful.

 

 

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Guianina - Digital Marketing Intern

My strength is in my need to continually prove myself.

Long story short, growing up was a bit rough for me. I didn’t always have the best relationship with my dad and was raised by a single (badass) mom. As result of that, the one thing that I always struggled with was the need to prove myself to everyone — prove to my dad that he was wrong for denying me, prove to my mom that her job of being both a mother and father figure to me would be worth it, and prove to myself that I can do what I set my mind to. Now that the craziness has settled — family drama, graduating college, getting a full time job, etc. — I see that this need to prove myself has pushed me to become who I am today: a force to reckoned with.

And I can’t wait to see what I do next.

 

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Esperanza - Digital Marketing Coordinator

My strength is deeply rooted by my humble upbringing.

I was born in Mexico and came to the US when I was one and a half. Since then, I've lived with my grandparents: two of the most hard-working, kindest people I have ever met. In the 80s, they left everything they had in Mexico in search of a better life for themselves and their children (including me). I was raised in a small town in Fresno County, where everyone is an agricultural manual laborer. I came to almost instantly realize that life's tough on a field. Then I asked myself, “Why? Why did my family not pursue a better future? Was this considered better to them or were they simply making sure it was just better for me?” And then I realized: it was for me.

I graduated high school, as valedictorian, on a full ride scholarship to the University of California, Irvine. All my life, I felt like I had something to prove. I had to prove that I was smart enough to leave the small town that no one ever leaves and that my grandparent's investment in my future was worth it. Last year, I graduated cum laude, with a degree in Business Administration. Unfortunately, my grandfather was not able to see it, but I know he would’ve been proud. Today (and every day going forward) I am sure to be thankful for those special people around me.

 

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Jeanne - Tech Designer

My strength is doing what I love, instead of doing what others want me to do.

I was born in Vietnam and moved to Orange County after high school. I attended Santa Ana College and pursued a degree in Chemistry because I had enjoyed the subject in high school. I soon found out that studying chemistry full time was not for me. Luckily, around this time, I found a job at a clothing company and fell in love with the idea of working with garments. After this, I knew that I wanted to go to FIDM.

Luckily I have parents that are open-minded and very supportive; they wanted me to find a career that I was passionate about (which I did).

 

 ee-kleinErika - Publicist, Shout PR

 My strength is perseverance.

For that past 21 years, I’ve been fortunate to run a fashion/lifestyle PR and marketing agency in Southern California called Shout PR. Owning a small business comes with lots of rewards and challenges, from winning business to losing business, long work days (and weekends), meeting crazy deadlines, keeping up with the constantly evolving industry, and much more. Despite all of these ups and downs, I wouldn’t change any of it. Surviving tough times only makes me stronger and more driven to keep moving on.

Thankfully, my determination to succeed has been reinforced by the patience and support of my family, the agency’s amazing clients, and all of its past and current team members. Shout PR has had countless achievements throughout the years, and without the dedication of this excellent team, those never would have been possible. Every day I come to work believing in myself and our ability to come together and continue succeeding – I never give up.

 

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Richele - Buyer & Merchandiser

My strength is resilience.

One thing I've learned as I've grown older is that change is constant. Whether it's good or bad, I always take it as it comes and deal with the situation at hand, knowing that once I'm through it, I will be stronger and wiser.

I moved away from my home in the Bay Area to go to college in Southern CA when I was 17 years old and didn't know a single person that lived there. In the 13 years I've been in SoCal, I've gone through it all. I finished school, had my heart broken, worked multiple jobs and long hours just to make ends meet, etc. When I was younger, all the trials that come with adulthood and being independent seemed like the biggest deal at the time, but I've learned to embrace them and learn what I can from my experiences so that I can be better and do better in the future.

I, of course, would not have made it as far as I did without my amazing support system. My family who still resides in Northern CA has always supported me in whatever decision I made for my future, and the friends that I've made along the way have become like family. They're people that I can talk to about anything, whether it's my successes or my failures. I never lose my faith that things will always be okay in the end because of them and I am forever grateful for that.

 

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Ron Layton - Photography Consultant

My strength is teaching.

This is what I’ve been best at for over 37 years at the college level. I still enjoy sharing my knowledge with others.

 

 

 

 

 

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Erica - marketing Manager

My strength is my family.

My parents and my sisters are my greatest support system in high and low times. I can always rely on them for anything – any day and any time. Our tight-knit family is what keeps me going and what motivates me to be the best I can be.

 

 

 

 

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Erin - Designer

My strength is adaptability.

When asked where I am from, I always take a moment to pause, thinking “where do I start?” My family moved a lot growing up. I was born in Houston, Texas, and a couple years later we moved to Bakersfield, California. After a few years, my parents made the bold move of taking their two young children to the jungle in Indonesia, before cell phones and internet existed. The phone calls were sparse and always full of static but it was a great learning experience to grow up abroad and going to a small American school where you knew everyone. We got to travel around the world and see many new places and different cultures.

When I was in 4th grade we moved back to the states for a reverse culture shock in the Bay Area, and later an even bigger culture shock in Midland, TX. For college, I went to Texas Tech in West Texas, and after graduating, I moved back to San Francisco for design school. While living in San Francisco, I married a Brit and we moved to London, and then we moved back and forth between New York City and San Francisco. Finally, now we are settled in Orange County, as my family lives here.

Most people can’t imagine having moved so many times, however I love my life experiences as they have given me a great strength in adaptability. All of these places made me who I am today and gave me the knowledge that not everyone lives their lives the same way...and that that’s a great thing. You can always go back to where you came from, but to live in one place your whole life, to me, is unimaginable.

 

Sophie

Sophie - Sales Assistant

My strength is creating my own life in the midst of everyone else’s.

I spent the first part of my life taking care of those around me and I took on many adult responsibilities at a young age. I grew up faster than most people my age do, but I also grew up stronger. My upbringing taught me skills like independence, strategy, and compassion. I learned early on how to take care of myself, as well as the important role that self-care plays when you are looking out for other people. I learned that I am just as important as the ones that I love and that I need to create my own path in life in order to do best by everyone, including myself.

 

Christine

Khrystyn - Z SUPPLY Head Designer

My strengths are: Resilience & having a Positive Outlook In Life.

3 years ago my husband and I parted ways with our jobs in Seattle, packed up our Honda Civic and took a one way road trip to California. It was a scary change, but an exciting adventure. I learned that you’re more capable of conquering your fear than you know. I learned that by being resilient, taking a leap of faith, and seeking the things you love, you will find results that will surprise you.

 

 

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Heidi - Chief Operations Officer

 My strength is recognizing that with hard work and perseverance, you can accomplish anything.

My mother and father were two of the hardest working people I know. They lived their lives with complete integrity and were kind to every person that worked for them; all people were treated equal. I learned early on that hard work pays off, as my father owned a Coors Beer distributorship, and, on the weekends, he made me and my sisters work at the recycling center. I stayed inside and counted out the money with my mother, while my sisters had to work the forklifts and recycling machines. My father worked late hours, while my mother did the bookkeeping. When he retired at 58 years old, he had made himself a very successful businessman with 3 distributorships. I do not take for granted the lovely things I now have or the lovely friends I have acquired over the years. I know that my hard work and perseverance, learned from my parents, have allowed me this wonderful life.

 

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Kendall - Designer

My strength is my curiosity.

I love to travel and experience new cultures, learn new things, and meet different people. I first got the travel bug when I went on a vacation to Paris with my mom and sister after college. Experiencing that new culture gave me something that I would never learn in a textbook, but, most importantly, it gave me the thirst to travel more.

I believe it is through these connections and experiences that we shape our perspective of the world, and of ourselves. It has offered me the open-mindedness to try new things, listen to differing opinions without judgement, and have the confidence to adjust course when needed.

 

Jen - Tech DesignerWinston copy 2

My strength is putting my mind to overcoming tough times.

I am originally from Florida and moved to California in 2012 to attend FIDM. I had been on honor roll every term and I was really proud of that.

In February 2013, my dad had a stroke. When this happened, I wanted to give up; I wanted to drop everything and go back home. I started to think that whatever grade I got in my classes would do, but I knew that my dad would want me to stay and finish what I had to finish (which I did). At the end of that term, I was still put on the honor roll, and then took a quarter off to go home to visit my dad. At the hospital, I told him that I had made honor roll and he was very happy to hear that. Within two weeks he was out of the hospital. He went through physical therapy and is now able to walk on his own.

Throughout my life, my dad has instilled a sense of hard work. As the person who provided for the family, he continues to do his part, even soon after having a stroke. He now works from home, but nonetheless, he provides. He is my strength. He inspires me to keep moving even when times get tough.

 

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Tina - Designer

My strength is my perseverance.

At a young age, I learned that life is not easy. This realization not only gave me strength, but it shaped me to become the free spirit I am today. I’m a believer that life doesn’t happen to you – it happens for you (as Tony Robbins would say). With that said, I’ve always lived life with the intention to experience as much as possible without letting anything stop me. Whether it was experiencing life in different country, pursuing goals that seemed out of reach, or just living life on a whim, I always go for it and see where I land.

 

RileyRylee - Buyer

My strength is my daughter. 

My daughter was born with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome. After I found out, it was something I didn’t openly share with people because I was scared of the unknown. My husband and I kept a positive attitude since she was diagnosed and she has been striving; thankfully she hasn’t had to have any open heart surgeries. For only being 2 years old, my daughter has had so much strength and fight in her. I thank her for showing me strength to talk about her condition and not be scared of the unknown.