Sometimes life bites. That reality led creative director Carol Gardner to develop Zelda Wisdom, a successful line of international greeting cards, gifts, clothing, jewelry, and eleven books.
According to The New York Times, Zelda Wisdom, Inc. annually generates more than $50 million in sales. In 2006, Zelda cards were the #1 mass selling card line for Hallmark. Now more than 600 different Zelda greeting cards are available through American Greetings Card Store.
When Carol was 52, she was about to divorce, leaving her with huge debt, no job, and no income. Depressed, Carol followed her divorce attorney's advice to either "get a therapist or get a dog." Carol bought Zelda, a four-month-old English bulldog. Both underdogs, Carol and Zelda found unconditional love in each other.
Zelda first gained fame by winning a local pet store's Christmas card contest. Carol dressed Zelda in a Santa hat, placed her in a bathtub filled with bubble bath, and made her a dog beard from the bubbles. Carol’s caption – “For Christmas I got a dog for my husband... good trade, huh?” – and photograph earned Zelda a free supply of forty pounds of dog food for a year.
Carol used the prize-winning photo on her holiday card. After receiving an overwhelming positive response from friends, Carol created Zelda Wisdom, a line with humorous, healing messages.
A few years later, Hallmark carried the Zelda Wisdom line. Zelda’s image accompanies wisdoms such as “Life is tough...wear a helmet.” and “Go braless...it pulls the wrinkles down.”
“Zelda and I started out as underdogs, but we are proof that you don’t have to be thin, rich, young, or wrinkle-free to be successful,” said Carol. “More importantly, you don’t have to be perfect.”
Zelda is the official "spokesdog" of Delta Society Pet Partners®, an international program dedicated to the human-animal healing bond. She's a certified therapy dog and works with children who have learning disabilities. Zelda's one-liners keep them laughing while they learn to read and write.