New Twin Cities women's activewear brand has anti-bullying focus

- A Twin Cities couple has launched a clothing line that aims to help end bullying.

Lea and Brian Leopold of Plymouth, Minn. started developing Zuma Blu clothing out of their basement about a year ago. Next week, the couple officially launches the activewear brand.

“Whether you’re exercising at the gym or running around at the playground, your clothing really needs to transition throughout the day,” said Lea whose retail industry experience includes jobs at Gap.com and Banana Republic.

When the couple decided to launch their own clothing brand, they knew they wanted to give back.

“When we started talking about it, [bullying] was one Leah just put the kibosh on. She said 'nope, I don’t want to talk about it,'” said Brain. “So, it was clear. If you can talk about it, you care about it deeply.”

Lea was bullied in high school—an experience that even 20 years later is hard to talk about.

“Until recently, it was something I didn’t want to deal with,” she said. “Because it did affect me—and does affect me to this day, it’s something I need to give back to.”

Zuma Blu will donate 10 percent of annual profits to charities primarily focused on anti-bullying efforts.

Sales will officially start Tuesday, April 4 on ZumaBlu.com. On that first day, the company will donate 100 percent of sales to Athletes Committed to Educating Students (ACES), a Twin Cities group that uses sports to teach children valuable life skills.

“If we can use our proceeds to better our local community, that’s going to pay dividends down the line,” said Brian.
 

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