The Inspiration and Collaboration behind Yo, Bro!
I’m thrilled to introduce the two women behind Yo, Bro: Lindsay Zodrow and Hayley Owen pack a powerful punch, not only in personality, but in their shared mural and sign painting business. Incredible murals, hand-painted signs, windows and other work – these two bring joy to our city through their art and talents in formats large and small. Let’s get to know them a little.
405: What is the origin story of Yo, Bro?
Zodrow: We actually met while working for our dear friend Allison Fleck of Juniper Designs, a florist. We hit it off as we discovered the many friendships that we shared but, comically, I left our first meeting thinking she was too weird for me (which is saying something because I am pretty odd); she left our meeting to go home and tell her husband that she had this weird feeling that we were going to collaborate in the future. I am so glad she was right.
Our friendship began with Hayley sharing her love and experience with embroidery with me, and then slowly developed into mural and sign painting. We have both admired this art form from afar, but never imagined that we would be doing it for a career. We decided to call it Yo Bro as kind of a tongue- in-cheek nod to being two women in a heavily male-dominated industry.
405: What inspires you individually and as a company?
Owen: Definitely color. We challenge each other here because Lindsay opts for cleaner tones and I always choose muddier colors, but we find ways to blend those to where we are both in love with the palette. Florals make it into a lot of our work, as do our “signature colors” (rusty orange, mustard yellow, peaches and blushes, seafoam blues and greens), but we also love the challenge of making each piece reflective of the business or home we are designing it for — that keeps us always stretching ourselves artistically.
405: What do you love about working and living in OKC?
Zodrow: It is the people of Oklahoma that have rooted me to this place. For the most part, the kindness of strangers is genuine, and there seems to be a deep desire for people to succeed. At least, that has been my experience. As I have gotten older, I have watched a lot of my friends speak about a deep desire to live out in the country and have more land. My version of that is living downtown. Being able to live a full day without getting in my car, and instead walking to a meeting or to my local coffee shop, is a dream. There is something special to me about being so close to where so much happens in our city. I have always been inspired by the buildings downtown, the history they hold and the potential that they have. Getting to share that with my kids has been so incredible.
Owen: I love how supportive and encouraging the art community has been for us here in OKC. Rather than it feeling like a competition, it feels like a community that is willing to share tips, provide referrals and ask one another for help on large projects — that’s really awesome, and I don’t know that it is typical. I think that’s pretty unique to OKC.
405: Favorite OKC spot?
Zodrow: Whenever a friend is trying to meet people in a new city, I tell them to find a local coffee shop and start hanging out there. To me, a coffee shop is a community hub and an easy place to slowly be known. So, my favorite place or places in OKC are the coffee shops here. Each one – Elemental, Stitch, Clarity, Sincerely Coffee and Coffee Slingers – are different versions of an adult clubhouse tree fort. I rarely leave one without seeing someone I know. If I am honest, that is the main reason I go. It is my version of therapy. No matter what the day holds, by getting coffee, someone will say my name and know me, if only for a second.
Owen: We spend a lot of time at Porch Art Supply — it is kind of a hidden gem, and where we prefer to buy all of our supplies. I can spend a lot of time perusing aisles full of art supplies!
OKC also has so many great restaurants. Pre-pandemic, my family enjoyed breakfast every weekend at Syrup. I’m also a big fan of Cafe Antigua and Sheesh Mahal.