AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's an unbelievable mother and son bond, celebrated by constant embraces. It's a relationship that inspired Robyn Zimmer to create Jewelry by Embrace the Difference 10 years ago.
"Sam is an amazing person, and when he was born, he was born with special needs," Robyn said.
Sam calls them his special abilities, and his abilities have taught Robyn and her husband Jeff Zimmer, who's the president of Reeds Jenss, so much.
"You look at the world differently. You look at people differently. Sam has taught me about kindness, acceptance, inclusion to a level where I would never be where I am now if it wasn't for him," Robyn said.
"Sam has been our greatest teacher. Now people will see Sam, embrace Sam, most importantly they'll embrace people just like Sam," Jeff said.
That's why Robyn created Embrace the Difference. It started as jewelry, but has expanded to paintings and home decor. It's built around a central symbol: a circle made up of a series of smaller circles and one square. The square represents someone who is different. The circles are those who support them. Robyn said at some point in all lives people are the square or the circle.
"This is just a general message of kindness, acceptance, inclusion because we all need it," said Robyn.
Some customers have had the symbol engraved on their mother's tombstone, others have tattooed it on their body.
Sam's the 30-year-old fun-loving, goofball behind it.
"Everyday he says to me, 'Mom, what's going to happen when you go to heaven?' So really, it's my personal mission to leave this world a kinder place for Sam and for all of us because we all deserve kindness," Robyn said.
"It gives you that tickly feeling inside of your soul that you just want to hug everybody," Sam said.
Kindness is spread with every purchase. Each item comes with a donation card. Customers choose one of 125 charities Robyn will send a donation to.
"I'm sure she didn't tell you but in the last 10 years, she gave over $450,000 away to charity locally," Jeff said.
Robyn now has an opportunity to share her and Sam's message with the rest of the country.
"I'm going to be on QVC this Monday, February 24th at 1 o'clock," said Robyn, "On QVC there's a giveback as well. $10,000 is going back to Jewelers for Children which is a great children organization that helps lots of charities."