I live in Westerville, Ohio with my wife, 4 dogs, and 3 cats. Oh, we have some fish too : ) and several grand dogs. The pets usually outnumber the people when we have a gathering.
When did you join ZOX VIP?
What drew you to ZOX?
The designs of Zox first caught my attention. I loved Scooby-Doo as a kid and used to get up early to watch the cartoon on Saturday mornings. It scared me though, so my Dad would get up too before my Mom and brother and watch it with me. I still appreciate those moments; he was so relaxed and in the moment with me before the chaos of chores and stuff to do for the day. Part of it was also seeing the Mystery Packs advertised.
How did your collection first begin?
I bought my first Zox on September 8, 2017, a day after my birthday. I had seen the Mystery Zox advertised and fell in love with it and used birthday money to buy a few straps. I also got Aphelion, Fernweh, Stay Salty (sure wish I'd have gotten two of those!), Constellations, and Mahalo - What a great start to my collection.
What's your favorite ZOX, and why?
One favorite is so difficult to pick, which is one of the joys of Zox. Some favorites include Army Strong #1985, the year my wife enlisted in the Army. My wife's favorite is I've Got Your Six. Rawwwr, Meowzers, and Glacticats, because cats!! Humble OG, Raptor, Love What You Do, Long Live the King, and the Doggo strap with 4 of my dogs front and center.
Let's say you're given the opportunity to create a new ZOX. What would it look like, what would it be, and why would you want it made?
Iron-on transfers!!!! So many are not able to obtain the hoodies for a variety of reasons. Yet the designs on them are really gnarly. If they were sold individually, many more could enjoy them. I especially love the "We're all friends here" design. The retro coloring and lettering a so fun. It reminds me of the t-shirts my Aunt would bring me from her vacations when I was a kid. I worethe sky blue t-shirt with the rubbery iron "Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to" to threads. My cousin and I had matching ones. That phrase became a motto for us. It also reminds me of the iron ons I'd win at the local fair every year. My friend and I would play the dart games to win as many as we could, then we'd spend the afternoon transferring them to our favorite shirts and hoodies. So manyin VIP are so creative and these would be so fun. A variety of sizes, designs, and phrases would prompt i parties all over the World :) That's howZoxers do things, go big or go home!
What's your favorite thing about being a VIP?
I enjoy being in VIP bc so many Zoxers are eager to spread the love of Zox. Gifting is so special. Not only to friends but complete strangers. Over the years, I have enjoyed gifting Zox to local food banks, individuals at the Veterans hospital and homeless camps. In the Summer of 2020, I handed out "You Matter to Me" Zox at local demonstrations and political events. As well as the "Dissent" Zox to community members who were fighting for LGBTQ inclusion rights for the city. This simple gesture makes a huge impact.
What do you love about ZOX?
I love the simple concept with incredible art and profound messages. I stay with Zox because of the giving back. I appreciate the impact straps and donations to all organizations chosen. I tell everyone I know about how ZOX gives back to build wells in communities in need of water.
I appreciate the bros and their excitement to give us awesome experiences.
What do you hope to collect next?
My ultimate Grail is Nerd. I have been a Peanuts fan since I was very young. I used to have so many stuffed Snoopy dogs. In the Summer of 197, I was 5 and there was a tornado in Xenia, Ohio just 60 miles from where I lived in Lancaster. My Mom screamed for all the kids outside playing to get into the house and to take shelter. I ran to my bedroom to gather all my Snoopys so they would be safe. Luckily, the tornado did not reach Lancasterz although it left a path of destruction in Xenia. Nerd has been on my radar since I found out about it. I will continue to enjoy it from afar.
I am also looking forward to finding Mystery Solved and Free Your Mind; both because of my recent emergency brain surgery. On September 3, two docs saved my sight. Dr. Kiener, OD had been doing tests on my eyes for a couple weeks trying to figure out the cause of my blurred and foggy vision, eye pain and vision loss. On 9/3, tests showed a significant sudden loss of peripheral vision and referred me to a neurologist, cautioning it could take several weeks to be seen. I dropped off a copy of the results to my primary care, Dr. Waxman, who had been working with me for several months to determine the reason for my increased migraines, dizziness, nausea, body aches and lethargy. The office had closed for the day but the admin assistant welcomed me in. I gave her the eye test results, hoping Dr. Waxman could review it first thing Monday. An hour later, his assistant called me to schedule an MRI for that afternoon. The MRI identified the >2CM tumor on my pituitary gland. 12 hours later I was undergoing an emergency craniotomy to save my vision. I am so grateful for the knowledge, compassion and willingness to go above and beyond, even on a Friday afternoon. Without the emergency intervention and treatment I would likely have lost my vision permanently.
Turns out the tumor has been with me and growing for over 20 years and it is the primary cause of the unexplained symptoms mentioned above.
Following surgery my vision has improved and is stronger now than it was 8 years ago. My energy has greatly improved and I am getting stronger and stronger. I feel like I have a life again - I see everything in brighter colors than I have in years, metaphorically. I have hope for an active life again and to be able to hike, kayak and travel and to spend time with loved ones.
So Mystery Solved, my mind has been freed.
** Disclaimer: All photos and stories are property of the VIP. Their featured collection in this blog does not mean that what is shown is for sale by the VIP.