Monday, January 26


The brisk cold air was blowing and the snow was falling - a typical Chicago winter day - when we visited Marianne of Ms Matilda Designs at her in home studio. Greeted by her ever-eager pup Chester, we warmed up inside and spent the afternoon chatting about design, running one's own business, puppy love, and all things apartment living in the windy city. Ms Matilda Designs is a local paper goods and design studio that produces small batch social correspondence, note cards, modern greeting cards and prints that feature a mix of hand lettering and typography. Her simply clever one of a kind designs caught our eye last December at the winter Renegade Craft Fair here in Chicago and we instantly knew we wanted to learn more about this talented lady and invite her to be featured on our Behind the Brand series.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand Ms Matilda Designs.
I am a Chicago-based designer; I love the art of hand-lettering and typography, both of which play a huge part in my designs. I am constantly doodling and writing. I keep a small journal with me at all times (and many throughout the apartment) because you never know when an idea or inspired moment will arrive. The name is a family name, not only is it my middle name but also my grandmothers. I love it because I feel this vintage name represents the charm of handwritten letters. Our products also include small batch social correspondence, note cards, greeting cards and prints. I also worked over the last year on wedding invitations as well as branding and stationary for some local businesses.

What does a typical day look like for you? My days vary depending on the project load. I am always glued to my computer working mostly on web designs and branding projects. I like that not every day is exactly the same. I update the shop and fulfill orders throughout the week and on the weekends.

What is inspiring you right now?
There is so much to be inspired by these days, so many amazing makers out there and the accessibility to discover new artist is incredible. I can get lost on pinterest for hours and then look up and wonder where my day went. My journal is filled with doodles and funny thoughts. I will often thumb through these journals for inspirations for cards or just a good laugh. I like to take cues from real life and turn them into something to share with others and hopefully brighten someone’s day.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of Ms Matilda Designs?I spend so much time in front of a computer that if I’m not working I try to explore and take time to learn new things. I have recently rediscovered weaving, growing up I was surrounded by fabric and yarn, my mom has always been very crafty, you could say it’s in the genes. I love exploring this wonderful city, Chicago has so many great things to offer and it’s amazing to think I’ve lived here for 10 years and still have so much to see and do! Going to shows and music in the park during the summer with my boyfriend are a few of my favorite things. Nature is also very important to me; I have a collection of plant life that I treat as if they were pets. I love my plant babies, and of course then there is my fur baby, Chester, who I could snuggle with all day every day for the rest of my life.

What is your advice for artists and designers that are thinking of starting their own business?
It takes a lot of time and motivation. I have experienced highs and lows and moments of self-doubt, but that’s ok, it’s normal. Don’t be scared to get yourself out there.

What do you have in store for Ms Matilda Designs in the coming months and years?I am working on my new website which will include an e-commerce so that is very exciting. I want to grow Ms Matilda to a full design studio with additional services like branding and wedding invitations. I’m looking forward to summer, and participating in some street fests and shows throughout the city.

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and Ms Matilda Designs wants to make sure you're prepared! TWO lucky readers will each win three of Marianne's lovely cards just in time for the holiday. Send one to your bff, one to that special someone, and one to your favorite family member. Or hey, just send them to whoever you want!

Here's how to enter and win:
Step One // Follow Ms Matilda Designs on Instagram and "like" Ms Matilda Designs on Facebook.
Step Two // Visit Ms Matilda Designs shop and have a look around.
Step Three // Leave a comment below (with your name) telling us which card you'd love to send that someone special in your life.
Step Four // Cross your fingers!

The winners will be chosen at random on Sunday, February 1. Good luck and thanks Marianne for showing us around Ms Matilda Designs studio. We had a blast!


  1. I LOVE Ms Matilda Designs! The cards are lighthearted and fun, perfect for all occasions! My personal thank you card favorite is "Grassy Ass", it brings an instant smile and chuckle! They are fabulous, unique, made with love products, that I couldn't be more excited to share and use!!

  2. "Olive You" marimo!! ;) so proud of you! xoxo

  3. You Are My Anchor......the perfect Valentine's Day card for my husband, because, the words are so true ❤️! I know I will be visiting the Ms Matilda Designs shop for some of my up coming birthday card purchases.

  4. So creative and unique ~ very proud!!!

  5. Can't go wrong with a "Sorry For Being A Butt" card! Too cute. All Ms Matilda Design cards are super funny and adorable.


  6. My favorites are "Olive you" and "you are the bee's kness". I love the graphics on all of these delightful, well-made cards.

    1. Hi Katey, you were randomly selected as a winner of the Ms Matilda Design Valentine's Day Card giveaway! Please shoot us an email at so we can give you all the details. Congratulations!

  7. I'm sew proud of you for being you - intelligent, crafty, positive, but most of all for being my daughter.

  8. Would have to go with "Love the Sh*t Outta You" for my sister, because it's true! I just love her to the max! (OMG all of these cards are to die for though!)

  9. I would love to give the,"I love you to the moon and back" card to my 6 year old daughter for valentines day. I tell her this phrase each and every night after tucking her into bed. MsMatilda designs is doing great things and is going to make even bigger waves in the design world. Marianne is a true artist.

    - <3 -
    Shannon Topf

  10. Love love the foreva eva card the most, they're all simply amazing!


    1. Hi Blakely, you were randomly selected as a winner of the Ms Matilda Design Valentine's Day Card giveaway! Please shoot us an email at so we can give you all the details. Congratulations!