Zenzee donates proceeds to Arts Council in new clothing line
November 18, 2017
Every time Sharon Backurz moved, she reinvented her business based on the clients in the area. When she arrived in Park City, she immediately jumped into the nonprofit space, doing graphic design for organizations while dabbling in the outdoor industry. Finally, she decided it was time to design and create products of her own.
With her company Zenzee, she started out making footwear, but expanded a few months later to include graphic t-shirts. After a successful beginning, she partnered with the Park City Summit County Arts Council to create an "Art Lovers" clothing line and is now launching her second footwear line. Her desire to give back to the community is still a major part of what she does.
Backurz has designed 20 pieces for the council, including t-shirts, hoodies, sweats and hats, which she initially launched last spring at the Monster Drawing Rally. The council receives 30 percent of the proceeds.
"I love to use my talents to make a difference," she said. "Doing something with my skills makes it so much more fun for me."
Backurz, who sits on the Arts Council's board of directors, designed the clothes with an art theme. The clothes say the words "Art Maker" or include images of Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso, two designs which are new to the collection.
"They're expressive, gooey, printed art pieces," she said.
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Backurz said that the fundraiser has hit its monetary goal for the council, and she hopes to increase the amount at the upcoming BRANDed Park City event from Dec. 4 to 10 at the Kimball Art Center. She said she is designing a “Film Lovers” line and hopes to sell them at a retail pop-up at Sundance Film Festival.
She said she is happy to be doing what she loves while giving back to and connecting with the small business community. As she launched her second footwear line in September, she utilized students from the PCCAPS (Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies) program to create a marketing plan to target university students and alumni. The shoes are designed with university logos on them.
Three boutiques in town — JOLI, Urban Renewal and Mary Jane's — all support Zenzee by carrying the shoe line.
She said that entrepreneurs and small businesses in Park City thrive because of the supportive environment and collaborative spirit. The Arts Council line is reflective of that.
She wants to continue giving back with her new footwear line. She is currently prototyping a pink camouflage shoe and a portion of its sales would be given to causes that support breast cancer awareness. As long as she is designing and giving back, Backurz is doing exactly what she loves to do.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect Backurz’s intentions to create a retail pop-up for Sundance Film Festival.