Natives of Southern California, Byron Glaser and Sandra Higashi formed Higashi Glaser Design in 1986 in New York City’s SoHo district. The partnership combines years of experience in creating award-winning design for companies such as Crabtree & Evelyn, Cott, FAO Schwarz, Viacom, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Press, Scholastic and Abrams. Glaser previously worked with Marty Neumeier, "The New York Times Magazine" and Grey Advertising, while Higashi started with Saul Bass, Bright & Agate and Neumeier Design before joining Walker Group/CNI. After they launched the Zolo brand, Steven Heller called them “the new Geppettos” and early pioneers in the toy movement created by artists-cum-entrepreneurs. Notable industry recognition includes awards from "Communication Arts," AIGA, Los Angeles Animation Festival (for best PSA), Accent on Design (best new product), Oppenheim Toy Portfolio (for best toy), "Creative Child" (toy of the year) and "FamilyFun" (toy of the year).