Let me tell ya, we love the ladies of Laurel and Marie. Not only because they are our friends, but because they produce amazing work. This Tulsa-based stationery and calligraphy studio consists of two best friends, Ruby Murry and Whitney Wade. With Ruby's graphic design expertise and Whitney's calligraphy and illustrating skills, they create beautiful, custom stationery and design. We are proud to offer their simple, friendly greeting cards for customers to pair with gifts from our shop. Enjoy this question and answer session with them below.
Where are you from? We were both raised in good old Tulsa! In fact, we met in the cafeteria line during our first week of high school. (We were both wearing the same Pink Panther shirt—it was fate.)
How long have you been drawing/designing? What is your history with these skills? Ruby was constantly creating collages to satisfy her creative itch as a pre-teen, and then studied graphic design in college. She has been designing, kerning, and poring over Pantone swatches ever since. Whitney is a serial doodler and has been playing with fancy pens and handwriting since she can remember. Calligraphy and envelope design have even given her a chance to bust out her definitely-not-nerdy middle school stamp collection. We love that our work gives us the chance to collaborate with each other.
Why is this your medium? We love imagining our invitations flying across state lines, our cards being dropped in mailboxes, and our gift tags being lovingly tied onto the perfect gift. Unless you're a stationery hoarder like us (no shame), our items are made for you to buy and then give away — kind of poetic, no?
What inspires you? We love love love custom work, so our favorite thing to do is to grab a cup of coffee with someone planning an event and find out exactly what they want and how they want to portray that feeling for their guests. It's so gratifying to help capture the look and feel of a celebration, especially when we can add special details that make our clients smile. We hid a tiny gold sloth on a recent bride's wedding invitations and were really proud of that one.
Why is art important in a home/life? Having art in your home is like getting a wink or a flirty smile from your home every day. A difficult feeling to describe when your house flirts with you, but one that you'll never want to be rid of. Getting to showcase your (awesome) personality to every guest that visits your home is a bonus!
What do you enjoy about collaborating with our shop? Oh, Retro Den. The origin of so many items in our own homes, plus a place where we can always find one or both of our favorite Ashleys! We love Retro Den because, like us, it gets to send beautiful things out into the world to happy new homes. We feel like their customers get us — they love well-made, well-designed, and unique things.
Why do you love Tulsa right now? Tulsa's small business scene is booming right now and we are SO. HAPPY about it! We love that Tulsa people just like us are the ones making our gifts, cutting our hair, dressing our babies and (and baby friends), brewing our beer, making our dinners, and filling our homes with beautiful objects and art. It feels so friendly and connected to be a Tulsa maker these days!
What is your favorite decorative item in your home right now? Whitney's stack of handmade and heirloom quilts have been seeing a lot of use these days. Stick a quilt on the floor, a baby on the quilt, and voila, instant conversation piece! Knowing that a friend, grandma, or auntie was the one to pick out the fabrics and stitch the pieces together makes it even more special. Ruby currently loves her hallway art wall, which is a single wall adorned with almost 20 drawings, prints, paintings, and photographs made by people she knows and loves. Walking past this colorful wall every night on the way to bed puts a smile on her face.
Do you have a favorite Retro Den piece? Ruby's favorite is her sunshine yellow office chair! It makes her butt very happy every time she sits down to design something pretty. Whitney is all about the air plants and succulents, because even her black thumb has managed to keep them alive for multiple months in a row.
Follow along with Laurel and Marie!