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Get to Know the Zentangle Crew

Get to Know the Zentangle Crew

 Julie writes...

A few years ago, I was visiting Amsterdam, NL for work, when I befriended a few fellow tourists for the afternoon as we realized we had similar itineraries. When I told them about my job, they said with amusement, "your job sounds fake."

It is not the first time I have gotten a response like that, because sometimes it does sound too good to be true. I get to work for a company I adore, with a mission I believe in and most importantly ... with people that I love.

At the heart of Zentangle, Inc is a group of passionate people who pour their hearts into every tile counted, package shipped, blog posted, idea shared and class taught.

Whether you have met us all before or just stumbling across the Zentangle Method, it is my honor to introduce you to the Zentangle Crew!

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Name: Sue B.
CZT #: 2
I have been working at Zentangle since: 2004.
Job title: Auntie Sue, Sue the Great, Chief Officer of Quality Control, Snack Manager.
Favorite tea time snack: Tea time has always been a signature affair that we all enjoy with peppered rice cakes and peanuts.
How my Zentangle journey began: I was very fortunate to be around Maria and Rick at the beginning stage of creating Zentangle. My job then, around 2004, was to assemble product, like White Tile packs of 55, and to work at the first Seminar in the store. How time flies. I’m still at Zentangle 20 plus years later enjoying working with the Zentangle family that I love. We all work hard to prepare for seminars but the best part is 4th meal as we gather together in our PJ’s to go over the events of the day.
Favorite tangle: Marasu, Tripoli and Knightsbridge.
Funny Zentangle-Crew memory: Whenever Maria says something inappropriate on stage at seminar and Ricks face goes red. It happens often!
But wait... there is more:  Thank you Maria (my sister) and Rick for all the wonderful years you have given me and more.  


Name: Stephanie S.
CZT #: 26
I have been working at Zentangle since: October 2016.
Job Title: The Boss. CFO (Chief Fun Officer). Spreadsheet Artist.
Favorite tea time snack: Burnt rice cakes.
When I am not at work, you will find me: Reading, spending time with my family, and searching out new wineries with my husband.
Mosaic Name: SASCZT26.
Favorite tangle: verdigogh.
Funny Zentangle-Crew memory: At one of our holiday parties, we had a joke contest and everyone brought their best joke and we voted on our favorite. I don’t even remember the joke that won, but I do remember how hard I laughed.

 

Name: Jen S.
I have been working at Zentangle since: December of 2014.
Job title: The Jeneral. Zentangle Philosophy Ambassdor, Spreadsheet Artist.
Favorite tea time snack: Maria’s spicy peanut butter cookies.
How my Zentangle journey began: I used to coordinate an after school enrichment program at my children’s school. A mutual friend said, “You have to meet Molly, you have to have her come to teach the Zentangle Method.” A few texts and a playground meetup later, and the Zentangle Method became part of my life. My daughters fell in love with the artform, and of course fell in love with Molly. And now 10 years later, I am so grateful for that insistence of my friend. I work for a company whose philosophy I truly believe in, with people I truly love, and with a worldwide community that is composed of some of the kindest and most inspiring people.
When I am not at work, you will find me: With my not-Zentangle family, baking, reading, at my girls’ sports events, or in the woods.
Mosaic Name: Same as my job title courtesy of Julie. 😊
CZT #: 22
Favorite tangle: Recently, it is foundabout.
Funny Zentangle-Crew memory: Oh, there are so many to choose from. I am going to choose Sue’s rice cake fire. It is a tradition at Zentangle to have a short tea break every day. It gives us a chance to all gather and connect. There are some of the crew that are better at making tea than others, and “Auntie” Sue is one of the best. One of the regular and favored snacks at teatime are rice cakes, toasted to just before burning. The one downside of rice cakes is that window of time of perfectly toasted is very short. It goes from not quite there yet to literally on fire within moments. One teatime when the Counting House was located in a beautiful brick building that was the former “Counting House” of a mill, Sue was in charge of teatime. Well, some sort of distraction took Sue’s attention away from the rice cakes. The kitchen area filling with smoke brought it back. Sue came running down the stairs yelling “Fire!” leaving the rice cakes even more unattended. It is hard to set the scene in words, but once the fire was out, I had one of the biggest belly laughs, complete with tears, and still laugh about it every time the rice cakes are a little extra charred. And for anyone who has ever burned a rice cake, the smell is undeniable, so, needless to say, the employees who were coming to the Counting House from ZHQ knew what happened when they were still in the parking lot.

 

Name: Jean M.
I have been working at Zentangle since: I have been working for Maria since 1989. I have only started working full time for “Zentangle” since June 2022.
Job title: Suzie screwdriver(Jen always call me this), Customer Care, Tangler.
Favorite tea time snack: Hubs Peanuts
How my Zentangle journey began: My Zentangle journey started on a day when I was doing some framing for Maria. Maria came into the framing room with great enthusiasm and started to tell me how she and Rick discovered this meditative art using repetitive patterns. She gave me a pen and some patterns to try and the rest is history.
When I am not at work, you will find me: Bee keeping and working in my yard with my husband.
Mosaic Name: JeanLMCZT1
Funny Zentangle-Crew memory: One seminar at the Biltmore having breakfast with Sue and Mary Lou. It was early so there were not many people in the dining room. I had a view down the hall to a set of elevators and just happened to look up and see this tall disheveled looking elderly man come off the elevator.
He had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and was wearing a white t-shirt and nothing else.
In a calm voice I said to Sue and Mary Lou ‘there is a man with no pants on.” Mary Lou went to look for staff and Sue (caregiver to all) grabbed a tablecloth to cover up this poor man.
The hotel staff was only concerned that this man was on the elevator with a cigarette and nothing else.

 

Name: Martha H.
CZT #: 2
I have been working at Zentangle since: 2009.
Job title: First Daughter : ) Party Planner, Tangler, and Teacher.
Favorite tea time snack: Birthday tea!
How my Zentangle journey began: Slowly and steadily, like Bijou told me to do.
When I am not at work, you will find me: In the kitchen or by the seashore.
Mosaic Name: MissMermaid.
Favorite tangles: Changes all the time! Right now it’s mooka and wyfore.
Funny Zentangle-Crew memory: Singing The 12 Days of 3Zs with the crew!

 

Name: Jane M.
CZT #: 13
Working since: 2012
Job title: The Entertainer. Multitasking Extraordinaire.
Tea time snack: the incredible TEA and a toasted rice cake floating in butter and black pepper. And fennel.
How my Zentangle journey began: I started at Zentangle very part time, when a beloved coworker was ill. I was hired specifically to help my mom wrap 55’s, assemble original kits and put them in priority boxes. I then progressed to working at Seminar. Through the years I increased my hours and secured my spot at the CH where we count, box and assemble all the Zentangle products needed for sales, Seminar and the seminar store. My mom and I continue to showcase our talents as greeters and classroom workers at every in-person Seminar and more recently began a side hustle of making meals for the Staff and production crew/team during online Seminars. Today, I continue to do and make whatever is needed to support the CH but specialize in assembling all of the newly released project packs.
When I am not at work: When I’m not at work you will find me eating, drinking and having fun with my awesome husband, my 4 adult kids and my brand new granddaughter.
Favorite tangle: diva dance rock and roll
Funny Zentangle-Crew memory: trying to seriously sing the 12 days of 3Zs with my Zentangle family. I was incredibly unsuccessful because I couldn’t stop laughing to the point of tears.
But wait...there's more: I love working at Zen and being a part of this amazing family, quite literally. I feel so fortunate to be able to work aside my mom, my auntie Maria, my cousins Martha and Molly, and the rest of the Z crew.

 

Name: Judi B.
CZT #: 25
I have been working at Zentangle since: on the payroll since 2022
Job title: Julie’s mom, shipping specialist and conservationist extraordinaire.
Favorite tea time snack: toasted rice cake, of course.
How my Zentangle journey began: I’m happy to say that I’ve been a tangler from the beginning! Rick and Maria were our neighbors and we have been friends for a long time. We are a family of CZTs. My son Luke’s Zentangles were featured on the first website at age 5.
When I am not at work, you will find me: hanging out with my grand kids.
Favorite tangle: squid, enyshou, Indy rella, ravel… to name just a few.
Favorite Zentangle-Crew memory: When we are at seminar, we always end each day with "4th meal" together. We always end up laughing until we cry.

 

Name: Julie W.
CZT #: 14
I have been working at Zentangle since: 2013.
Job title: Princess of Everything, CZT ambassador, Tangler, and Teacher.
Favorite tea time snack: peanuts, and every so often.. an apple.
How my Zentangle journey began: I always joke that when Rick and Maria ran out of family to work for them, they hired the neighbor.
When I am not at work, you will find me: wrangling my two little boys, at the beach or dreaming of the beach.
Mosaic Name: JulieWillandCZT.
Favorite tangle: marasuju
Funny Zentangle-Crew memory: At one of our seminars in Providence, Rhode Island, a group of lovely ladies from India did henna on a few of us, including Stephanie. The next morning, I got up to go for a walk and returned to the hotel room that Stephanie and I were sharing to her screaming in the bathroom.

It turns out, she had slept on her hand and now the henna was going down half her face. I thought it was hilarious, but Stephanie was not as amused. She had a family wedding in a few days. I told her to embrace it… No Mistakes, right? Lucky for her, I had some exfoliator in my bag and she got it right off. I will never forget her yelling “It’s not funny, Julie!”

 

Name: Molly H.
CZT #: Ummm...
I have been working at Zentangle since: 2010 (I think, but I am not actually sure)
Job title: Tangler, Inventor, Organizer, Cleaner, Muscle, Teacher, but not a counter or anything that has to do with numbers for that matter.
Favorite tea time snack: Hubs peanuts. I don't usually have much at tea but if there are peanuts, I can't resist. Sue and Jane always cut up fresh fruit just like a cool mom would. And that usually entices me as well.
How my Zentangle journey began: It began in 2004 but was it was not love at first sight. I struggled with my relationship to the method at first. Mostly because I fought the parts of the method that I needed the most. Once I let go, and decided to actually indulge in the method and not get so caught up in trying to change it, I embraced tangling for tangling's sake and then I was hooked. It actually helped me more than I ever thought. I was able to make more sense of myself as an artist and my creative journey became more grounded.
When I am not at work, you will find me: Usually with family or friends. I love cooking and eating and being around loved ones. I love long walks with my friends. My husband and I do a lot of work on our old house. We take on DIY like a second job. I am always up for a stop at a good coffee shop. And when I am alone, which is not often, I like to hang out in my studio, drawing, crafting or sewing.
Mosaic Name: MollyHollibaughCZT.
Favorite tangle: This changes but I will always be a fan of crazy 'nzeppel. It just always looks amazing in the end. Plus it is so fun to shade.
Funny Zentangle-Crew memory: Well, there are soooo many. And many of them just don't translate into words. But one of the funniest times was when we brought the whole staff to lunch and then to one of our event venues for a tour. While we were there, we sort of sprung it on them that we needed them all to perform a song we had written for an upcoming 12 days of Zentangle Series and we would record us all singing it for the newsletter. Specifically, it was the 12 days of 3Z's and we had rewritten the 12 days of Christmas to fit the theme. It just so happened that one of the crew had just had abdominal surgery and was recovering. The doctor gave her one order, please restrict yourself from laughter. So, there we all are, singing our hearts out, "Five golden tipples!" and so on. And as you can imagine, not laughing was not an option, in fact I think it made us all laugh more. We were all rolling around literally laughing our hearts out. Luckily in this case, the laughter seems to have magical healing powers and did not cause any damage. If you manage to get your hands on this video, you can see us all trying to keep it together until the end. Now that is from the heart.

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You may have noticed that one of our favorite memories is singing the 12 Days of 3Zs a few years ago. In honor of this fan favorite, we are sharing it again. Don't worry.. we are not quitting our day jobs.


 

Julie Willand

50 comments

  • This was a fun read, thank you for sharing

    Karen R Todorov on

  • Thank you so much for all you do for us.With all that is going on in the world it is nice to have a place to go and just be ourselves and do something we love and make us feel so good,because the Zentangle family is all about love respect and positivity.Been tangling since 2020 and my family, my grandchildren,and my quilting friends enjoy receiving the cards I make for them.In one word 💕😊 💕 taking part of your journey.

    Jose From Montreal on

  • This was such a fun post to read…it’s lovely to see how connected you all are to each other and to the Zentangle method. Each time I receive an order I can tell it is processed with great care; it will be all the more special now that I have ‘met’ you all. Keep doing what you do! You definitely make my world a happier place!

    NamasteNancy on

  • Love love love hearing the 12 Days with The Z Crew singers… and hearing some details of the people who have helped me provide enlightenment and Zen to others! Thank you to each one!!

    Annie Sargent CZT 33 on

  • Thank you all for your dedication. I am just about to order some materials for a workshop this Fall. Tangling has kept me sane during my late husband’s LBD journey. He died Feb/8/20. LBD=Lewy Body Dementia is a horrid dementia. From diagnosis to death it was 2 yrs and a bit. Now more is being said about Dementia in general and LBD in particular. Our website is .Thanks for being so creative and doing what you do. Unbeknownst to us our last trip was to Providence so I could take the Zentangle Certification Course=June 2014. I love Tangling. Merci Mille Fois=Thanks a 1 000 xs!!

    HCarol Schmidt on

  • It was delightful to find out about all of the crew at Zentangle Headquarters. We hear the names often but never before had a chance to put a face to the names. Happy 20th and many more!!!

    Barb Burgess CZT12 AKA: Barb B. CZT on

  • What a lovely team you seem to be! 🥰 It’s nice to know that the persons working for Zentangle also seem very happy to be there. Many thank’s to you all for supporting and giving us everything interesting with Zentangle! Lot’s of love, Annika / AwaSthlmCZT

    Annika Wiener on

  • Jen, Jean, Jane, Judi, and Julie. Did anyone else notice all the J names! 🤣
    Thanks for introducing us. A fun bunch for sure. Always enjoy the song. Are the words written anywhere?

    Deborah Raaen on

  • What’s going on with the rice cakes? How do you toast it? And why would you toast it? Please share!!

    Kate Ranft on

  • Thanks for putting faces to names! How fun it must be to have “fake jobs” and “work” with such a wonderful “family!” How lucky for the rest of us to get this backstage glimpse of the inner sanctum of Zentangle! Loved the 3Zs video! The Love, Fun, and Cameraderie shines through all you do!

    Jessica L DykesCZT39 on

  • First, I loved reading about each of the staff. Second, I need recipes for toasted rice cakes. Does it make them taste better? Last, The song is adorable. I would have loved to see the one where so many were out of control, not just Jane! Thank you.

    Clara Brunk on

  • I love this! Particularly some people cracking up. What fun.

    Suzanne on

  • How delightful to meet you all! :D

    Margaret Bremner on

  • Thank you for this very enjoyable read and watch.

    Thank you for celebrating all year long.
    Happy 20th anniversery.
    I HEART Zentangle.
    You all take care and enjoy.

    Bettina on

  • Watching the video was a delight! And I so enjoyed meeting all of you! Thank you!

    Lea on

  • What a delightful read! Thank you so much for the intro, and for all of the marvelous work you do. Many blessings are yours and many more to come.

    AliceCZT20 on

  • I just had the most enjoyable read. Thank you so much for the opportunity to know your work family. It’s really great to put a face to a name. I’ve had such wonderfully kind and supportive email exchanges with Jen S. It’s obvious you care so very much about what you do, each other, and the CZT community. Like they say, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Congratulations on your 20th anniversary. Well done! 🫶🏻🫶🏻🤗🤗

    Tanya Rice CZT36 on

  • I loved meeting everyone and hearing your amazing song. I was a bit overwhelmed by work this morning, and just listening to this gave me a much-needed laugh break! Thank you all!

    Elaine Dumler on

  • Thank you much for this very fun glimpse of each of you—and for the wonderful song—and for sharing this wonderful hobby/ art form.

    Anne on

  • So lovely to meet the family! Thank you for sharing.

    Dominique Martin-Proveux on

  • I am only on Day 6 of the 12 days but I can see and hear the tongue twister coming up….followed by crazy laughter. Loved reading the comments from all!

    Sherry Turner on

  • What fun to meet the tanglation of Z family!
    Your work, support and inspiration have blessed me in countless ways over the years.
    Thank you so much! Let’s keep tangling!

    Joanne Palarine on

  • You are all amazing people and you sing from your heart! So: welcome to join my choir!

    Anita Aspfors Westin on

  • You are all amazing. Nice to know who’s working behind the scene. Thank you for your work

    Catherine on

  • Hi Everyone! So nice to meet you all❣️Thank you for all you do and for singing this amazing song!
    Happy Valentangle Day!

    Bonnie Ralli CZT41 on

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