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Pray Frees The Innocent


Mary Boone

Melissa Wood ’82’s custom cards have attracted the attention of Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Oprah Winfrey. She is seen here with son Noel and daughters Corey (middle) and Hallie.

Melissa Wood ’82 didn’t know much about what her father did for a living.

“He was a banker, but I had no idea what he did,” she says. “I knew he wore a tie to work, but that was it.”

Wood’s children, on the other hand, are not only involved in her company—M. Wood Studio—they’re the impetus for it.

When her son was born in 1990, the formally trained interior designer created birth announcements so impressive that friends called with requests for custom cards. With two more children added to the household in 1992 and 1995, Wood became the queen of time management. She drew cards while the children napped and they accompanied her to the printer when they awoke.

Now that the children are older, they take phone orders, create invoices, address mailing labels, and count cards for packaging.

Initially, Wood’s cards were sold through bazaars and to neighbors who knew about her talent. Soon, she began selling them through specialty shops around the country. In 1996, she produced her own catalog and began landing deals with national retailers including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. The cards have been featured in Town & Country and InStyle magazines and on the “The Oprah Show.”

Now, 11 years after that first birth announcement, M. Wood Studio does business internationally and has annual sales of about $150,000.

“It’s undeniably cool to be able to do what I love and be with my family,” Wood says. “I’m happy and my kids love it. They’ve made me swear never to sell my business.”

To learn more about M. Wood Studio, visit

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