What started as a hobby for advertising graduate Olga Martinez has turned into a small business that has captured the hearts of children and parents all over Miami.
As a favor in 2009, Martinez was asked to draw a cartoon resembling her cousin so she could have stickers to decorate birthday gifts. Before Martinez knew it, the stickers had become so popular that people began asking for their own designs.
As a result, Martinez founded O.riginals: Design and Stationery, an online boutique that specializes in personalized gifts that feature an “o.riginal illustration.” O.riginals: Design and Stationery has gone from selling only folders and stickers to selling a variety of items, including personalized backpacks, sticky notes, hair bows and school supplies. To these products, she adds a name and an illustration that is custom-made to look like the person receiving them.
Martinez has created six characters for the illustrations: Cecilia, Pia, Olgui, Alexandra, Jake and Justin. She can change the hair and skin color and, for girls, often adds a hairband or hair bow. The characters can be dressed in casual clothes, a school uniform, an activity outfit – for ballet, baseball, soccer and yoga – or a professional ensemble.
Martinez launched the website for the boutique last summer; some local stores carry some of her products as well.
In addition to running O.riginals, Martinez works at both of her alma maters, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and the University of Miami. At Our Lady of Lourdes, Martinez is the director of admissions and marketing and communications, in charge of the entire admissions process, from “inquiry to registration,” and does all of the marketing for the school. At the School of Communication, she teaches a graphic design for advertising class.
Martinez graduated in 2003 with a double major in advertising and graphic design. She received a master’s degree in communication studies in 2005.
“I enjoy the interaction with the students, since I lost that at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy after going into administration,” Martinez said. While working a full-time job and teaching a class at UM is time consuming, Martinez says that she doesn’t view O.riginals as work. “It gives me an outlet to be creative,” Martinez said. O.riginals: Design and Stationery will soon be selling products with a different kind of personalization, Martinez said. She’ll be using photographs in addition to illustrations.
For more information and to check out Martinez’s work, visit originalsds.com.