Immigration Story

By: Eileen LeValley

Meet John Chisholm. John Immigrated to the United States from Shrewsbury England, in 1979. Shrewsbury England is in the County of Shaophire, and it boarders Wales. In England, John was an officer in the Army, a major qualification. John studied at the Royal Military Acadamy, Sandhurst, and attended Shrewsbury Schools. John was in boarding school from age eight to eighteen years old. John speaks five different languages. Pigeon, French, Spanish, Arabic and English. John currently lives in Clawson, Michigan.

At age twenty-six, John was promoted to High Captain in the Army, but was discharged for high tone deafness. He then worked for a tin can factory. After he left there, he worked at an Automotive After Market Distribution company in Zanzibar. Africa and the United States were his territories. The owner of the company asked him to run a small automotive business in the United States, and John said yes. He then moved to the United States permanently.

John rented an apartment in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and that is where he met his wife Kathy. They were married in 1988, in Jamaica. John and Kathy have two grown children now. When the children were born, in 1989, John became a stay at home dad. Kathy worked as a legal secretary.

While at home, John started writing. He came across an advertisement to make extra money at home making bunk beds. John set up a wood shop in his garage, and his bunk bed company took off, becoming very lucrative. He rented a warehouse with work space, and the business became a financial disaster from overhead costs.

His wife asked him if he could make a cage to put all of the stuffed animals in, that she accumulated from when the kids were little. John made the cage, and that is when his creation, “The Zoo” was developed. (See Picture Below)

John could not keep up with the high demand of his new product. Making at least fifteen a day in his small workshop in his garage. He flew to Hong Kong, and hired a production company at a factory to make his product. That was in 2003, and today “The Zoo” is still selling, and in high demand.

John also works with The David Shepard Wildlife Foundation, in the United Kingdom. John set up his own foundation called, “Little Zoo Keepers.” Both foundations work together. Now called, “Endangered Species Fund”, He supports “Game Changers International” in Zambia.

Johns next step is to create a foundation where he can go work out in the field. Making and showing videos, for his Endangered Species Fund. One example he told me about was the drought in Zambia. He would like to build an organization to help raise funds, and to show people who are donating their money the videos he produces, so they know where their money is being spent.

John and Kathy Chisholm at their home in Clawson, Michigan, Sunday, October 13, 2019
John Chisholm in his workshop in Clawson Michigan, October 13, 2019
John Chisholm holding a boxed up “The Zoo”, ready to ship. Clawson, Michigan, October 13, 2019
John Chisholm holding the fighter plane made out of the metal from the actual fighter plane his pilot father was shot down in and killed in during the war, and a picture of John when he was in the Army in England. Clawson, Michigan. October 13, 2019
John and Kathy Chisholm at their home in Clawson, Michigan folding up the flags from different countries after their annual “Diversity Party.”
“The Zoo” created by John Chisholm, photo courtesy of John Chisholm

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