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The Lowdown: Brian Leopold, Zuma Blu Co-Founder

Posted by Brian Leopold on

The Lowdown is an email series from Team Zuma Blu that brings you unsponsored pro tips on what's good right now - stuff you don't want to miss!  This week, we take a peek inside what makes one of our co-founders tick.

Favorite Cinco de Mayo Cocktail:  Jalapeno Margaritas! Aye aye aye aye! (Same answer for every day of the year). Family recipe

  • 1 part tequila
  • 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 part water
  • 3/4 part orange liqueur
  • 3/4 part simple syrup (of which: 1 part sugar, 1 part water, bring to a boil; then let cool and infuse with jalapeno rings, longer = spicier)
  • Shake over rocks and serve with salted rim, jalapeno rings, and lime wedge
  • Tip: Skip the jalapenos if your'e not feeling particularly spicy 

Top 3 Places On My Bucket List:  Currently... 1) Seoul, South Korea to satisfy my incessant hankering for Korean BBQ.  2) Yellowstone.  3) Chasing summer for a year across the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Favorite Viral Video:  In case you missed Ludacris rapping Llama Llama Red Pajama, do yourself a favor and click this link now. We must've watched this 100 times last week. And when we weren't with Benji, I had I Spy on repeat (note, this song has explicit lyrics). 

Spotify Playlist:  It's been a gloomy spring in Minneapolis, so I've really been digging Dirty Heads Radio for the beachy California / island vibes. I've been playing Garland by Dirty Heads on repeat all week. I guess I have a tendency to get stuck on songs...

Netflix Series:  OMG - The OA! I'm a believer in alternate dimensions and I want to see them. Add that to my bucket list!

Podcast:  How I Built This from NPR is the absolute best way to pass the time on long road trips. I recommend it to anyone thinking about striking out on their own, working on a side hustle or running a startup, and/or has a belly button.

My Hero:  I'm inspired by many people and many stories. But my mom's story has always been a kind of reference point for me as I navigate life. She's the embodiment of grace. She's steady as a rock. She can achieve anything. Proof.

Favorite Zuma Blu Item:  Men's is coming at the end of this month! I have to swallow my screams of excitement every time I think about it. Otherwise, I really love the Ikat Blu Active Shorts that are coming out 5/15. They're super cute with the Coral Spaghetti Tank.  ;-)

If you have any tips we should know about, write to us at If we include your tip in a future Lowdown email, we'll send you a free gift!
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Let's End Bullying For Our Kids

Posted by Lea Leopold on

High School was a hard time for me. Really hard. For two years I was the target of a discreet but relentless bullying campaign.

I lost almost every friend I had, and in a class of only 85, there weren't many places to turn. As a parent, it devastates me to think of my kids experiencing the same senseless pain and isolation.

I don’t like to talk about my bullying experience because it still hurts. But I can talk about its long-term effects and what we can do to help prevent it from happening to our kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews. 

Bullying can have a lasting effect

Bullying in a child's formative years can be acutely detrimental to his or her long-term emotional development.

Childhood is a time when we start to develop our sense of identity. It's a time when we're first categorized into groups - athlete, mathlete, musician, etc. But when we're not accepted into these groups, it stunts the development of our self-worth at a time when it should be flourishing. 

Fortunately, life provides opportunities for a clean slate - college, career, parenthood - but we carry with us the emotional scars from our youth.

While I can't honestly say that I've been able to fully develop my self-confidence (not by a long shot), my experience has instilled in me a keen sense of character. And once you're in my inner circle, I don't hold back. I cherish my friendships, and each of my friends knows that I love them.

Now, as a parent, it's my job to teach my kids the same kindness and inclusiveness that could've put my experience back on track. 

Is your child being bullied? How do you know?

In the United States, nearly 1 out of every 3 students aged 12 to 18 reports being bullied, and 9 out of 10 never tell an adult (source).

School Counselor, Ashley Rutman, explained it to us this way:

"In any group of three, one student is the target, one is the aggressor, and one is a bystander."

Which of these is your child? How do you know?

While bullying behavior is not a new phenomenon, the tools available to a bully for carrying out their aggression are. With the advent of cyberbullying, kids carry their bullies with them in their pockets, leaving them with no place to retreat from attacks.

Every parent needs to see this video from Norton Security

Bullying is not a rite of passage. It's an epidemic.

Creating bully-free schools where all students are included requires proactive intervention by the entire school system - teachers, students, and parents. 

Let's End The Cycle

In the U.S. alone, 60,000 students are bullied every day. Thousands more stay home because of the threats and shaming that they receive online.

Making matters worse, in this era of relentless financial cuts, schools are often unable to fund anti-bullying programs to make school a safe place to learn.

That's why we help fund bully-prevention programs that promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.

When you make a purchase from Zuma Blu, you empower us to make the following charitable contributions:

  • Zuma Blu donates 10% of annual profits to bully prevention charities
  • 50% to 100% of profits from Flash Sales go to charity
  • 100% of net proceeds from our inaugural charity bike ride in September will go to charity
  • Join our just-for-fun clubs on Strava (Bike | Walk/Run) and we'll match your miles for dollars (10:1)

Join us, and together we can help make schools an inclusive community for our kids. 


Lea Leopold
founder | product developer | relationship builder | runner | baker | reader | instagrammer | mom

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