Who Are We?
We’re Delwin (he/him) and Jimmy (he/him), a gay couple currently calling Vancouver, British Columbia, our home! We met and fell in love while living in Singapore, and we’ve been together for the past five years. We’re lucky enough to be able to openly share our relationship with all of our families and friends. We had talked about getting married, having children, and even a cute little puppy at some point in our future together; however, we knew that this could not happen if we lived in Singapore—where they still deny LGBTQ+ couples the right to marry. So in December 2021, we took a chance and moved halfway across the world—leaving behind friends and family to start fresh in Canada.
Delwin loves plants and outdoor activities; he left his architecture career to pursue his passion in design through Proud Zebra. Jimmy is passionate about marketing and loves Toy Story, desserts, and otters.
We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded and ancestral territory of the Kiwkwetlem people.
The Start of Proud Zebra
In 2020, Delwin wasn’t satisfied with his architecture job, so after months of contemplating, he decided to change his career path when the opportunity presented itself. He knew he didn’t want to work a 9-to-5 and wanted to start something of his own. On the other hand, Jimmy was also working a marketing 9-to-5 job, but he was supportive of what Delwin wanted.
So we brainstormed, spoke to friends and family, and tossed many business ideas around. Ultimately, we knew we wanted to create a business for the LGBTQ+ community. Even though we now have an excellent support system, it didn’t necessarily start this way, and we know that many people within our community don’t have it easy.
LGBTQ+ individuals face all sorts of discrimination and biases every day from family, friends, co-workers, strangers or even society. Even though people and organizations are now more open to diversity and inclusion, we cannot deny that many areas still need improvement for our LGBTQ+ community. So, we wanted to create a brand that empowers our community and spreads awareness of the issues we face. We wanted every LGBTQ+ individual to be proud of who they are.
In late 2020, Proud Zebra was born.
What does Proud Zebra mean?
As queer individuals, we know that coming out of the closet isn’t easy, and not everyone has the support and capability to do so. We wanted to create products that are subtle but at the same time meaningful to the individual and the community. We strongly believe that good design goes beyond slapping a rainbow flag on anything, and we aspire to do better than that. We love the large variety of pride flags and aim to be as inclusive as we can when designing classy and unique products for our community.
We used a zebra to symbolize our brand because zebras represent a strong sense of COMMUNITY, an undeniable love for FREEDOM, and an innate appreciation for UNIQUENESS. We believe the values derived from the zebra resonate strongly with our LGBTQ+ community, but we don’t promote LGBTQ+ individuals calling themselves zebras.
In the wild, zebras form intimate and tight-knight social structures. They stick to their groups for shelter and protection, creating a profound sense of solidarity in numbers. Their reliance upon a community to thrive resonates with our LGBTQ+ values. Our strong community makes us feel safer and more accepted in society today. At Proud Zebra, we understand the need for a strong community and continuously work towards strengthening and empowering our community.
Undeniably, our LGBTQ+ community loves to be free. We celebrate our freedom to love and be our most authentic form of ourselves. Our Pride parades display our greatest strength, our freedom of expression. Zebras share the exact value of having the fundamental right to live their lives freely. Their love of liberty has made zebras synonymous with being impossible to domesticate. There have been many attempts in the past to domesticate zebras without any success. We share the same fighting spirit with zebras when we stand for our freedom to live and love as we wish.
The striped patterns seen on zebras are wonderfully unique in their design. They depend on their unique stripe patterns to identify each other, like the fingerprints of human beings. A zebra’s stripes symbolize individualism, a value the LGBTQ+ community respects. We recognize that every individual is blessed with distinctive gifts and deserves to be unconditionally accepted. We embrace our differences and urge each other to contribute our exclusiveness for the common good of all.
Proud Zebra’s Mission
Apart from spreading positivity to the community, we’re raising awareness about LGBTQ+ issues individuals face daily. We’ve created six unique charity awareness pins where 100% of profits from these pins are donated to specific charities fighting for a good cause.
We have also pledged to donate a portion of our profits to LGBTQ+ charities, which we update on our donations page every month. We’re actively supporting LGBTQ+ community organizations and initiatives where possible.
We want you to know that when you shop with us at Proud Zebra, you’re not only supporting a queer-owned small business, but you’re also supporting a business that cares about the larger LGBTQ+ community. We’re a business that celebrates pride all year round, and we’re incredibly proud of that.
We’re open to any opportunities for collaboration and would love to hear from you if you have anything in mind. We also do wholesale prices for stockists and custom designs for corporate orders. On top of that, we’re friendly people!
To contact us, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form on our contact page.