BY ALLIE CARLSON
Have you ever felt like a zebra among horses? You almost fit in, but something about you is just a little different? You aren’t alone, and that feeling is exactly what founder Forest Franzoi had in mind when she created Herd of Zebras. After a battle with endometriosis left her feeling isolated, Forest started a blog and now a clothing and accessories line. With the help of her sister-in-law, Liz, Forest has created a brand that embodies the message of acceptance and support for one another.
I struggle with multiple food allergies and intolerances, which may seem like a silly thing to complain about with so many worse things out there, but it’s a challenge I face every day. With a wheat allergy that mimics celiac disease, a soy allergy, and lactose intolerance, going out to eat is a struggle. Accidentally eating the wrong food ranges from making me sick to totally forcing me out of commission for weeks.
Most of my friends and family have experienced some sort of panicked, teary-eyed restaurant mix up with me. I often feel embarrassed and wish I could eat whatever I want, but it’s not something I have control over. Thankfully, I have found friends who also struggle with food allergies and make me feel more normal. They are my “herd.”
The first thing I noticed when I opened my Herd of Zebras box was the packaging. Everything was neatly rolled and organized. It looked pretty just being in the box — always a good sign! There was a sweet note from the founder, and everything looked so cute that I was excited to dive in.
The first item I put to the test was the mug. I am a chai tea latte-aholic, so I was super excited to get this one-of-a-kind stone pony HofZ mug. The purple coloring is super pretty and I love the look and feel of the pottery mug. It’s certainly not your average logo mug!
The sweatshirt was next on my list to try, and it did not disappoint. I live in south central Alaska, the high this coming Friday is -7*F. Sweatshirts are a daily item of apparel for me, and this one was instantly my new favorite. It is super soft and I love the orange sherbet color. For those who don’t love orange as much as I do, the sweatshirts come in multiple colors. My puppy also seems to love the sweatshirt, as she has been a consistent photobomber in any picture taken in it!
Long sleeve tees are another staple of my wardrobe. This one was again, very comfy! I like the color and fabric and detail of branding on both the front and back. While it is a lightweight fabric, it is not see through, despite its light color, which is a huge bonus for me. It is nicely fitted as well.
I am a baseball hat person through and through, but usually stay away from trucker style hats as I often find they stick up on the top of my head, which is not the most flattering look. This trucker hat was nice and soft, and fit perfectly. The mesh if also soft and breathable, not stiff. I know once it warms up it will be a staple in my wardrobe. I also got a bag. Simple and sweet, this is a perfect quick and easy tote bag. It is lightweight and flexible fabric so I can easily be stored when you aren’t using it and pulled out when you need it. The logo as always is adorable. It is perfect for running errands with! My sparky the zebra sticker is already on my water bottle and I love it! Super cute and made of a really durable material to stand up to being used.
Finally, I got a saddle pad, which made my husband say “not another one” (I might have a bit of a saddle pad hoarding problem). This Dover brand pad, which hold up really well to the abuse that I put them through with daily rides, with embroidered Zebra logo is absolutely adorable. I’m planning to keep it nice so I can rep Herds of Zebras in the jumper ring this year! The embroidery of the logo looks great, and is the perfect size.
Overall, I love my Herd of Zebras gear. The quality on each product is great with well placed, beautifully done logos. If you want some great new gear and to support a brand with a fantastic message, check them out and “show your stripes.”