My Huge, Little, Tiny, Microscopic Wonderful World


This morning, I went over to my friend Will’s shop to get his opinion on a new XIZOZU product I’m developing. While we were talking, Peggy, another of the shop’s “regular” customers who I enjoy running into there, came in. We invited her into the conversation. Will, who wears a medal himself, explained how I created XIZOZU, and was teaching her how to pronounce it: “SHĒ-ZŌ-ZŪ”. Peggy nailed it, the second time!

Discovering XIZOZU customers and friends

Then Peggy looked at me a little puzzled and said. “Wait. You designed this? But this isn’t something local. Right?”

I was about to answer when she added, “my friend in South Africa posted about this. I remember seeing it on her Facebook page.”

There was the briefest pause and then we simultaneously said “Penelope!?!!”

I got tingles listening as Peggy told me how she and one of my customers from the other side of the world were friends and had worked together in California.

I admit I teared up a little as I shared this memory with her: One evening last summer I was sitting with my husband on our back deck, doing some research on my laptop and, if I may be honest, grappling over what to do with XIZOZU.

Was it something? Would it catch on?

He was being wholly supportive and you know, wonderfully husband-y. I appreciated all his encouragement but, well, he’s my husband. It’s in his best interest to be kind and reassuring.

I returned my focus to the computer and  an email that had just arrived from a women in South Africa which, after reading twice, I read to him.

I will share with you just the ending:

“I absolutely love what you’re doing here. And these pendants are an amazing way for women like myself to feel proud of our will to survive without having to write what happened across our foreheads. It’s a beautiful first step to allowing the world to see our story. For that, I thank you.”

The message brought me to tears and left me speechless and came at a moment when I needed it.

I knew I would keep going. For that I thank you, Penelope (and Peggy and Will) for being a part of my journey!

And thank you.

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