Before she had a brand name, and before it was even a puzzle company, Kristy O’Kane knew she was building a female-centric team. The ethos of supporting, uplifting and working alongside other women was going to be the key to her business model.
The name Okay Lady seemed obvious, neatly referencing her own surname and summing up the philosophy of the brand; letting women everywhere know ‘it’s Okay to need your downtime too Lady’.
Brought about by her own journey, Kristy learned at the age of 38 how to say no to the social engagements that were depleting her and became unapologetic about taking time out for herself and embrace her need for solitude. No mean feat for a woman who is married to a social whirlwind!
Jigsaws had long been a secret pleasure of Kristy’s and they became the perfect fit for the brand; puzzles can be assembled alone, they provide mental stimulation without being too taxing and the user feels like a relaxed genius when they’ve completed one.
Without being unkind, the artwork on most puzzles in the current the market place is drab and dreary. So, Kristy set out to find some like-minded creatives to help bring about her vision of a more aesthetically pleasing - and therefore a more enjoyable to complete – jigsaw; one that was thoughtfully designed, beautiful to look at and aimed specifically at women.
Kristy is the first to admit she’s no artist, so she reached out to collaborate with wonderfully talented women who are.
By forging these partnerships, Kristy is able to not only feature stunning, original artworks on her products, but to support the work, both financially and via promotion, of incredible Aussie female illustrators.
Artworks were chosen purely by gut feel (‘cause who can argue with that, right?) and so far Kristy has licensed works by Alice Lindstrom, Sophie Beer, Jess Cruickshank, Jess Meyrick and Tonia Composto.
Alongside graphic designer, the epically talented Maria Harran, Kristy began work on product and packaging, colours and branding, and bringing to life what was now a clear vision.
She sourced a manufacturer, went through countless rounds of samples, sent and read approximately 7 million emails and voila – her unique, original, 400 piece jigsaw puzzles are here!