• UO Pride: Tea and Ziggy

    To celebrate Pride this month, we’re sharing the stories of young creatives showing their pride and proving that love is love. We’ve partnered with GLSEN to introduce an exclusive collection of graphic tees and hats, with all profits donated to GLSEN in support of LGBTQ youth. Read more about #UOPride here.

    Balancing life as moms and co-owning a small business, Miami-based Tea and Ziggy still find time to show each other how ridiculously in love with one another they are. We chat with them about how they inspire one another and others.

    Tell us a little bit about yourselves and what you do/where you live.
    Our names are Tea and Ziggy, short forms of our actual first names, Timisha and Xiomara. We always go by the shorthand versions because our given names are difficult for people to spell and even harder for them to pronounce!

    We currently live in Miami, Florida but we are new transplants to this area. Prior to being in Miami, we lived in Orlando for about 3 years. We've been here since September of 2016, and the metropolis of the south is a welcome change from Orlando - we like it here!

    Ziggy works full-time at a local Starbucks to generate secondary income, while I (Tea) focus on growing our grass-roots movement, known as kinsoul. "Kin" refers to the idea that we are all one tribe, one family, and one human unit, and the "soul" portion of the name speaks for the truest inner form of every human - their most creative and passionate being. The idea behind kinsoul is to inspire, lead, and cultivate other spiritually-inclined creatives to follow their passions and live life to the fullest extent of their dreams. We intend to turn our own passions of art, design, and writing, and our family ideals of plant-based eating and home-educating into a sustainable and inspirational platform that will inspire others to follow their truest paths in life while creating a community of conscious souls and spiritual humanitarians. 

    Can you tell us how the two of you met? We love how in love you two are!
    Ziggy and I met almost four years ago at a mall in Orlando. She was working a summer job right out of high school and I had recently transferred to Florida as a manager with the company I had been with for many years (we're 9.5 years apart in age!). She came into my store with a friend one day, and we made eye contact and literally fell in love on the spot (so corny - we know!). Funny enough, both of us were too shy to exchange numbers or say much (she did tell me I was beautiful but I didn't even say thank you!), so we didn't officially go on a date until she came back two days later and asked for my number. 

    She took me out on my lunch break and our first date was at a Chili's in the parking lot of the mall. After our first date, Ziggy came to the mall every single day to take me out on my break, or bring me breakfast, or meet me in the parking lot if I was closing late at night. She never missed a day, not one. Since then, with the exception of a funeral that I had to travel for, we've spent every single day together for almost four years. We haven't spent more than 48 hours apart, and we love each other more with each passing second. Our love story is almost unimaginable, something I'm not even sure I believed in before I met Ziggy, but for us, it's so real. We're really THAT couple. She's my forever and I'm hers.

    What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourselves this past year?
    This is a great question for us, particularly considering this past year has been one of the most difficult that we've ever experienced. It's been difficult but beautiful at the same time because it has taught us so much about ourselves and about life. We've both learned to stay positive even in the most adverse and unpromising situations. We've learned how to support one another and to be strong when things seem to be crumbling around you. We've leaned on each other, and held our little family together through almost unimaginable situations. Most importantly, Ziggy and I have learned the power of patience, perspective, and passion. We understand that although things may sometimes seem dire, there is a purpose for every milestone in this life. 

    When you see difficulties as opportunities to grow and change, your perspective enables you to find blessings in your hardships. Being patient with our process as we pursue the things in life that we have always dreamed of has been a recurrent theme for us, but we know as we inch closer to success every accomplishment is appreciated that much more because we've worked so hard and traveled the long road to get here. Ultimately, Ziggy and I fill every day with happiness and gratitude, no matter what. We made a promise to each other and to our children that we would live life with the utmost appreciation for every experience, good or bad, and we really do it - every day, all day. Thinking like this has changed our mindsets and our lives forever. 

    What’s a project you’re working on currently that you’re proud of?
    This! Aside from the creation of kinsoul, partnering with Urban Outfitters has been massive for us. We are so incredibly humbled to share our voice and be the face of a cause that we truly believe in and support. Not only are we proud members of the LGBTQ community, we are intensely passionate about philanthropy and giving back, so the joint collaboration with GLSEN is an amazing and humbling accomplishment. We could not be more proud or more thankful for this opportunity, and we really look forward to what the future holds.

    What big ideas have been most important to you lately?
    LOVE! Over the past four years, we have built and grown our social media following and presence based almost solely one one thing: the love we have for each other. It's incredible how such a genuine emotion can bring people together in ways we never imagined. Our love and the beliefs behind it have opened the doors for us to grow not only as a couple but also as individuals. We have created and shared our most artistic desires and we have a captive audience who is not only interested in, but supports all that we have set out to accomplish. We are so thankful for the opportunities that have and are coming our way, and it's all because of the love we have for each other, for our family, and for the world around us. We live in love, we share love, and we spread love.

    Why are you proud to be who you are?
    Ziggy and I are proud to be who we are because we understand that living in your truth is the most freeing experience one can ever have. We both spent many years existing in situations where we were not being honest with ourselves or others about who we really were. Living like that forces one to carry a weight and a burden that can saturate your entire life in unhappiness. In deciding to be 100% honest with ourselves and those around us, Ziggy and I have learned what it means to be truly fulfilled and happy. Those emotions and the pride that comes with them are indescribable.

    Say something to empower others to be who they are.
    Don't worry. Don't stress. Don't contemplate anything except how beautiful life will be for you. Learn yourself, explore yourself, truly understand yourself, and then live in that truth. You are a magnificent example of the universe conspiring in the favor of whatever you believe, so make sure you believe in you to the fullest extent of your potential. Whatever you believe, you become, so aim high and keep it real! Live for you, with love, gratitude, and compassion, and all the rest will beautifully and magically fall into place.

    Why is it important to love yourself?
    Without love for self, there is not potential to love others. Without love, this world is a cruel and scary place...

    What is one thing that you wish everyone would remind themselves every day?
    Be happy! A smile goes a long way, and even the smallest kind gestures can really change someone's life. No matter what you're going through, or what you've already been through, we can promise that anger and negativity won't change a thing, but making the choice to be happy and spread goodness wherever you go will. We've seen it, we've done it, we live it. Good vibrations are real! 

    What is it about GLSEN that you think makes them an important non-profit to represent?
    The youth of this world represent all of our highest hopes for the future. The best shot we've got at leaving a beautiful legacy is by cultivating that legacy in our children. GLSEN does just that, by facilitating and empowering children to be themselves and support others in their diversity. It's such a beautiful concept and one that is so needed. We support all of the magnificent promises that our future generations hold, and in that, we support GLSEN.

    Finish the sentence: “Love is ______________.”