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A Family Affair: Mother / Daughter Co-Creation on Parallel Paths

When it comes to Marci and Jade Zaroff, the organic apple doesn't fall far from the tree. As you know, Marci is an ECOlifestyle pioneer and the founder of YES AND and the rest of the ECOfashion Corp "GreenHouse" of brands. Jade is the founder of Entertainment For Change, an organization that provides a platform that educates and empowers a community of young Impact Artists™, informed by the United Nations’ SDGs.

We've interviewed this dynamic change-making duo to get a sweet and inspiring peek into their co-creative relationship!

What was it like raising a child / growing up “green”? Did anyone question you and how did you cope with that?

MZ: Everyone thought I was crazy and constantly told me that my kids were going to rebel as soon as they were old enough. Instead, they actually felt empowered and excited to be at the forefront of a movement that all their friends are now adopting. Their school lunchboxes were packed with organic tofu, nori, kale, and soy pizza-- their friend were like "eew!" As a parent, I had ongoing conversations with them. Of course there were moments when they had questions of their own and pressure from their peers. I think it helped that I'm not a hypocrite-- I always modeled living an ECOlifestyle and "walked the talk."

JZ: Being the only vegan in Boca Raton, FL in the late 90s/early 2000’s, I was absolutely questioned! Essentially, I was the “weird girl eating weird food.” I coped by fully embracing my uniqueness and learning the "WHY" behind my mother’s choices to raise me the way that she did.

How has a shared commitment to sustainability impacted your relationship?

MZ: It's been very bonding. I love that we are co-creating now. Jade has found her specific passion point, like I did. She found her way into the movement through the power of the performing arts. Her generation is seeking purpose in their lives and careers and Jade is really a leader in that aspect. We both share the commitment, passion and love that we have, only through different vehicles. We're super "in sync" with one another. Our worlds are colliding in ways that are a win-win for both of us. We speak the same language-- it's very rewarding.

JZ: My mom and I are heart and soul connected… literally. Our shared sustainability has had an impact on my life because having observed her as a kid, I found my purpose (which is just passion that serves others) at such a young age. The deep love I have for Mother Earth is equivalent to the unconditional love I have for my own mother.

What do you love most about one another? 

MZ: Jade is one of the kindest, most heart-centered, loving and generous human beings I’ve ever met. She's always open to ideas and growth and is an excellent listener and problem solver. She's amazing and beautiful on every level. Having been raised by a single mom and entrepreneur, she's learned and knows that she's unstoppable. Can't forget to mention her laughter-- Jade is funny and has a sense of humor that surprises and delights!

JZ: What I love the most about my mom is how she is truly fearless. She commits to everything she does with 100% passion, authenticity, and love. She has never let external noise stop her from ALWAYS listening to her inner voice, following her gut, and trusting her heart.

How are you different?

MZ: I’m more A-type, with two feet off the ground. Jade is more sensitive. I’m a more business-y Sag. She’s a flowing creative Cancer. I'd say I'm 60% business and 40% creative and she's the opposite. We balance each other well.

JZ: I am… “softer.” As sensitive as my mom is, she is DEFINITELY a Sag and I am definitely a Cancer. She is fire and I am water. Which is great because as I have grown up, we’ve both become mindful of a healthy dynamic that has balanced each other out.

Besides yourselves, of course, who is your favorite mother / daughter duo?

MZ: I love Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson. And also the Gilmore Girls. The dynamic for both duos is that not only are they mother / daughter, but they are best friends. I treasure that in our relationship, too.

JZ: Lorelai and Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. They talk through everything together, with laughter and friendship at the core of their relationship. They always do what is best for one another — with mutual respect and love as the driving force for the profound bond that the entire show is centered around.

What's your proudest mother / daughter moment?

MZ: Jade dreamed up and organized the very first Green Gala at Emerson College, engaging all departments to be part of her inaugural Earth Day event that recurs annually.

JZ: I was the most proud of my mom when she went on QVC for the first time in 2019 and debuted Farm to Home because I had watched her my entire life work towards scaling awareness of sustainable fashion and I felt like the world was finally seeing her in action / life’s work.

Favorite funny memory or story from parenthood / childhood?

MZ: I homebirthed Jade on my own (with her dad), in my 37th floor apartment in New York City when my midwife didn't make it in time! Because of our shared commitment to human and planetary sustainability, I like to joke that I "birthed the Earth"-- especially when Jade wears her Earth costume. ;)

JZ: When I was younger, I asked my mom why she wasn’t part of the “PTA” (the Parent Teacher Association). All of my friends' parents were involved. Her answer was because she was part of the “OTA” instead (Organic Trade Association). Enough said.

We hope you enjoyed this interview! Let us know what you think or what else you might want to read about on the YES AND blog:


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