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Meet Jonathan Zuker of My-Storytellers in Natick

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonathan Zuker.

Jonathan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Our story begins 14 years ago, when my Dad was diagnosed with late stage cancer. When he broke the news to us, he said that no matter what happens to him, know that he led a blessed life. My Mom said, ‘Michael, your 53, you’re not gonna die.’ He repeated it again. ‘I just need you to know that no matter what happens to me, know that I’ve led a blessed life.’ Four months later, we knew how much he meant it as we all gave him one last kiss goodbye. So my Mom (Susan), my Brother (Matt), and Myself (Jonathan) started on our journey to create the non-profit Conquer Cancer Coalition to help other families in the fight against cancer. We’re proud to say we’ve raised and given away over $900,000, established the Massachusetts ‘Conquer Cancer’ license plate, and designed, built and maintain the ‘Cancer Garden of Hope’ on Boston City Hall Plaza. We’ve always worked great as a team, and through it all we have heard some of the most amazing stories, and met some of the most inspirational people. We started My-Storytellers because sometimes it only takes a few words to remind us of who and what is important in our life.

After we got the ‘Conquer Cancer’ license plates on the road, My Mom and I were talking about how there is a story behind each plate, and how something as simple as a license plate can be a catalyst for something positive, whether it’s thinking of someone we love, remembering a story, or raising money to help others. Sometimes the simplest things in life can be the most profound. What if there was something that we could keep with us to bookmark some of those moments and people in our lives. We have a meaningful license plate, we thought, why not take it a step further and create a meaningful keychain, and charms, so we can always be reminded of those stories. After a year of research, development, testing, and relentless crafting, we are very proud of our result and excited to introduce our lineup of Keyloops and Keycharms to our friends, our family, and to you.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We know how busy everything can get with life, and how overwhelming and consuming technology can be at times. One thing we learned along the cancer journey, thanks to my Dad, was to stop and enjoy some of the everyday moments that make life so special. Our Keycharms will never need batteries or a wifi connection or a micro SD card. Our Keyloops will never measure your heart rate, how many steps you take, or how much sleep you get. But they will make you feel good and make you think of someone, or something special. Plus, you can count on it to turn on, out of the box, every time. And since we are a family and company founded on helping the cancer community, with a fourteen-year track record, you can feel good knowing that our profits will continue to help make a difference for other families traveling the cancer journey.

We have been producing our Keycharms and Keyloops for retail sales for over a year now, and have fine-tuned our process and techniques. While we handcraft the finished product, the materials come to us from a variety of sources and it can be hard to predict disruptions in the supply chain of other companies. What we have done is created a redundancy in our material vendors so that we can always have enough material for production, as well as back stock inventory to meet any surges in demand without interruption. We know there will be surprises and unforeseen circumstances. They’re stepping stones or stumbling blocks, and it’s all a matter of perspective. For the last fourteen we’ve been running the Conquer Cancer Coalition – And it has been one big challenge…but hearing the stories we’ve heard, the love we’ve had, and the survivors we’ve met…there is no challenge we won’t overcome if we have our health.

My-Storytellers – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We take pewter (lead-free of course) and squeeze together some positive energy with meaningful sentiments and traditional techniques in a custom, state of the art studio. What results are small, handcrafted works of art that help bring out the Storyteller in all of us.

We use a combination of braided leather with a secure stainless steel clasp to blend form and function in a way that – let’s just say a keychain never looked this good. We handcraft each Keyloop, and designed it to be the prefect place to collect and display your Keycharms.

Making Keycharms and Keyloops is something we’ve become fluent in. Let’s just say it’s some combination of an art and a science and a family recipe. We’ve spent a while fine tuning our process, design, and production capabilities.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
We have our products offered through a wide range of retailers from coast to coast: from the Grommet to boutique retailers, to hospital gift shops. We are proud of the positive feedback we’ve received, the stories we’ve hear, and the good we know is possible when you set out to do something positive in the world and give back. But we are most proud to get to work together as a family, whether it’s raising money to help the cancer community, or designing the next generation of Keyloops and Keycharms. It’s all about working together to try to make the world a better place, and we get to do it as a family!

Pricing:

  • Keycharms Retail for $9.95 each
  • Keyloop box set retails at $39.95 including a custom display box
  • Lucky Penny Keycharm retails for $9.95

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Jonathan Zuker
My-Storytellers

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