From Nanny to President

We started The ZigZag Stripe nearly nine years ago. When we started in our little 10x10 spare room at home, I never thought that one day I’d have a business doing tens of millions of dollars a year. I thought that I’d have this little “mom and pop” boutique that helped pay bills, and we’d live happily ever after. Little did I know that we’d grow our own little empire and start making a name for ourselves in the e-commerce world. As we started growing, we realized we needed to structure things in our business a little differently for the so-called “long haul.” We daydreamed of the day we’d call ourselves CEO … 

We never know what our lives will entail. But God does. And five years ago, God brought Melanie Rubalcaba into our lives. 

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Mel started as our nanny for our three boys. She was terrific with them. The kids LOVED her. She immediately became a part of our family; she even had a stocking at Christmas. Do you ever have that feeling when you just know something is right? We had that feeling with her. Her being in our life was just right.


Mel and I really got to know each other through this time, and our friendship just developed naturally. I have never known someone in my life that is so much like me. Over the years, our boys got older, and having a nanny wasn’t something they needed anymore. At that time, Mel was in grad school and transitioned to working at the warehouse for ZZS. She literally started doing whatever needed to be done. Pulling orders, receiving new inventory, shipping orders … even a few photo shoots here and there. She learned the business from all angles. This is when she fell in love with ZZS. She slowly transitioned into buying with me and flourished! She’s always been into fashion, and this position was made for her. Over the past 8.5 years, I’ve never had someone on our team that saw the same vision I see for ZZS, until Mel came along. She sees the big picture. She sees that it’s not about putting money in our pockets; it’s about creating jobs for other families and making a difference in the world with what we do, no matter how small it might be. It’s ultimately about building something bigger than us. 



“You will need to appoint competent leaders who respect God and are trustworthy and honest. Then put them over groups of 10, 50, 100 and 1,000.” Exodus 18:21

We’ve watched her grow from a college graduate, to a wife, to a mother and now … to the President of The ZigZag Stripe. We are so excited to expand our executive team. Successful people always say, “Don’t try to do it all. Find capable people of integrity to empower and delegate to then get out of their way and let them lead.” Mel will one day lead our team when me and Joel retire off into the sunset of Hawaii. (Many, many years down the road!) She brings a fresh perspective to our growing business and is the definition of a boss babe. 

Welcome to our new chapter!


Mel with Our Boys - Christmas 2021


  • Guinn SMITH

    Congrats Mel and ZZS! Good help is hard to find and y’all have found a true gem!

  • Cheryl Shadburn

    Love your company and what it stands for! With God on your side you can’t go wrong! Congrats to Mel!! I always get compliments when wearing your clothes so prayers for many more prosperous years!! ❤

  • Debbie Costello

    Congratulations Mel, job well done!!! A couple of years ago, I clicked on ZZS on FB and took a look around. I ordered a top, and now there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t check out what’s new and possibly order something fabulous. Customer service is so great, free shipping is wonderful, and love the fashions. Best of luck to all in the future.

  • Molly Nixon

    Leslie and Mel,
    I love your frickin’ store so much! After I lost 40 pounds, I started buying every week, now a few times a week from you for at least the last year!~ Les, I love your spunk and style! Vanessa is the cutest thing EVER! I love your clothes, jewelry, shoes, boots, sandals, EVERYTHING!!!! So glad your company is growing and become such the SUCCESS!!! XOXO! Muah! Ya’ll deserve it!!!! WOOP!

  • Amy

    Congratulations to Mel and ZigZagStripe.

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