Zara Zota

C Fi 9824

Early (1700's) Spanish maps of Sarasota, FL indicate the name Zara Zota. originally as two words. Zota or Sota in native languages refers to sky-blue or blue waters. Zara is a name of Arabic origin and means radiance. With considerable early Arabic influence in Spain the early Spaniards would have been familiar with this Arabic name. The meaning of the present-day word "Sarasota" is likely "Radiant Blue Water".


Christine Lasiewicki

Born and raised in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Christine (Dawood) Lasiewicki, also known as “Chrisy” to friends and family, always enjoyed creating art. Throughout grade school Chrisy would win art awards every year using all forms of medium (pre-computers). During Chrisy’s high school years her counselors told her “You’ll never make any money being an artist.” So, in her last years of high school she went into the Building Trades program learning what it takes to build a house and planned to go to college for architecture.

1996, Chrisy attended Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. After 2 weeks of watching her roommate Stephanie create amazing art projects, Chrisy realized art was a passion and switched from the Architecture program to the Visual Communication program. Loving the roller coaster ride of being in the Visual Communication program, Chrisy learned the fundamentals of marketing her art and thinking beyond just creating something artsy. She became involved with “Students in Design” as the secretary her first year and vice president her second year. Chrisy also interned at a commercial real estate company in between class time.

One month after graduating, Chrisy was excited to land her first “grown up job” with Ameritech/SBC/AT&T Midwest Graphic Center as a Production Artist, creating logos and ads for the yellowpages phonebook (yes, the phone book). During her years here, she learned to crank out work and ideas with a quick turnaround time. This is also a reason why she loves to freelance logos of any type. After her time at AT&T, Chrisy’s next career was at Oakland Community College as a Graphic/Multimedia Designer. Enjoying promoting the college artistically. Some of her favorite departments to create for was Student Life, Athletics, The Raider One Card, and Construction Management. While working at the college Chrisy found a new passion for fitness and became a Zumba® and Spinning® Instructor (Zumba® Chris). She didn’t realize she was known statewide until she attended a Zumba Step Training and multiple people said “I know you… You’re the Whoop Whoop girl.”

February 2016, Chrisy’s husband who also worked with her at the Graphic Center, called her at work. He said: “Great News! I got a new job. But it’s in Florida.” Chrisy replied: “We’ll I guess we’re moving to Florida.” Excited with her new chapter in life, Chrisy has met a lot of networking groups, worked several jobs, and is now the Graphic/Multimedia Designer for Aldes North America while teaching fun art at Painting with a Twist. In her spare time, Chrisy creates murals, painting furniture with “coastal flare”, freelancing, cleaning homes, and more…

Chrisy's website is here.