Carol Gardner & Zelda Wisdom
It was love at first sight when Carol Gardner met the four-month-old chunky English bulldog who she named Zelda. Divorced, living on four credit cards and recovering from two broken legs, it may sound like a dramatic movie made for the big screen, but it was Carol Gardner’s life when she started her business, Zelda Wisdom, Inc.
With her background as a creative director in advertising she recognized that “there is a little Zelda in all of us.” Gardner, along with photographer Shane Young, launched the Zelda Wisdom, Inc. greeting card line using photos of her lovable pup, Zelda. Within six months over a million Zelda greeting cards had been sold. Eventually Zelda became Hallmark’s number one selling mass greeting card line. Zelda quickly was recognized as America’s Top Dog with over 200 licensed products including calendars, books, figurines, stuffed animals, apparel, etc. According to an article in the New York Times Zelda Wisdom Inc. annually generates over $50 million in sales.
Zelda is a media magnet as proven by her track record. On television she has made appearances on Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Sunday Morning, Martha Stewart, NBC’s Nightly News, The Today Show, CNBC’s Power Lunch, CNN, FOX/The Morning Show, National Geographic, Animal Planet, etc. In print she has appeared in The Associated Press, Forbes, Parade Magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek, The London Sun, The Guardian, Animal Fair, etc. There is even a bronze statue, complete with bubbling water bowl, in front of the five star Heathman Hotel in Portland, OR.