Activating Happy

Carol Gardner

Creator of Zelda Wisdom

AH!2016 Talk:


Fifteen years ago, Carol Gardner, a former advertising executive and creative director, found herself divorced, depressed, and in debt. She was unemployed and unhappy. A friend suggested she get either a therapist or a dog. The more she thought about it, the better the dog sounded. One day she found herself looking at the saddest little English Bulldog puppy, the mirror image of what she felt in her heart. They were both underdogs who wanted to be top dogs. Carol took the puppy home, named her Zelda and started to heal and be happy with her companion by her side.

Carol's decision to choose the dog turned her life around. She designed a greeting card line called Zelda Wisdom featuring Zelda dressed in various costumes accompanied by humorous one-liners, using her own life for creative inspiration.

Carol takes a little of her Zelda Wisdom a long way in telling her audiences how they can turn their disadvantages to advantages and how they can re-invent themselves and find happiness and success in the process.

Today Zelda Wisdom products are an international brand and the list of licensees is impressive: Hallmark, American Greetings, Russ Berrie, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Macmillan Publishing, Perseus Books, Westland Giftware, Antioch Publishing, Danbury Mint, the Bradford Group, Interstat, the Paper Magic Group, and others.

Carol and Zelda have been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Ladies' Home Journal, Parade Magazine, USA Today, Forbes and the "Sunday Style Section" of the New York Times. In addition they have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Life & Style, Animal Planet, CNBC, CNN and more. According to the New York Times, Zelda Wisdom does over 50 million dollars a year in sales.

Carol is also the author of a dozen books, (Bumper Sticker Wisdom, Zelda Wisdom, The Zen of Zelda, Zelda Rules on Love, Zelda's Survival Guide, Zelda's Tips From The Tub, Zelda's Bloopers, Zelda's Moments With Mom, Dear Zelda, Princess Zelda and the Frog, Zelda’s Lick or Treat Halloween Book, and Zelda’s Puppy Love.) Carol authored Zelda’s weekly column, Dear Zelda, for three years, and for the past six years Zelda’s Day to Day Dogmas are sent, online to thousands of people around the world.

Recently Carol was one of ten women entrepreneurs named in Washington DC to theOutstanding Women’s League’s Hall of Notables.


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