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Remembering Dolph Zahid

It is with much sadness that LicensingSource.net reports the passing of Dolph Zahid, owner of the WITHIT brand.

Dolph (aged 62), passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday 11 June. He had been struggling with heart issues complicated by his past battle with cancer. He was in his favourite place, overlooking the sea in Brighton, surrounded by friends and family.

Dolph’s business partner, Brad Caines has written the following tribute:

“Dolph became a big part of the licensing industry. The brand WITH IT was a constant for over a decade at the shows in London and Vegas. He was a distinctive and larger than life character. Dolph and I attended our first show in 2001. Dolph was called a day before the show as there were a couple of small stand spaces available due to late cancellations. Not really knowing much about what licensing even was, he took the plunge and signed up! We set the stand up early in the morning on the day of the show, just in time for the first retailer to walk on and ask to take a licence! It was WHSmith. The rest, as they too often say, is history.

“Millions of items sold around the world of the fun picture word animal characters such as Cheeky Monkey, Glamour Puss and Mad Cow. Sold in over 20 countries, working with major retailers in Europe the USA and Australia, WITH IT was a hugely successful art based brand.

“Dolph had an infectious smile and was able to strike up a conversation with anyone. But what stood him apart was his constant determination to keep driving forward, to never give up. The odds were stacked against him, no big movie or TV show to drive his brand, his was built on the humble t-shirt.

“Yes, Dolph had started with his first retail shop called WITH IT in 1991 in Brighton. Run with his father and brother, Sam, he ended up with seven shops in total, as far flung as Leeds and Cardiff. In 1996 we joined forces and together created new characters such as Glamour Puss, Mad Cow and Cheeky Monkey. The t-shirts sold so well we began supplying other retailers before moving into licensing in 2001.”

Dolphandlicensinggroup

“Dolph’s charm and charisma enabled him to talk to some of the biggest names around. He never took no for answer, but might settle for a maybe, until the next show! Generous to newcomers in the industry with advice, he was a well loved and respected man in both licensing and retail worlds.

“Later he would fight his biggest battle ever, with cancer. Diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma he was hospitalised and endured extensive chemo that permanently damaged his body, meaning he would always need a stick to walk. Yet he still attended trade shows, at the disbelief of his doctors, driving forward the many varied brands that they developed over time. He was tenacious and unbeatable in everything he put his mind too.

“Dolph was much loved and will be much missed by all. His funeral has taken place.”

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