Ashley Murphy is dedicated to the profession of true love. It may not have been her initial focus when obtaining her juris doctorate, but her education and her passion have evolved into a beautiful marriage of love and legality.
It started with a simple project.
“A good friend of mine is a graphic designer, and she and I were planning our weddings around the same time,” says Murphy. “Neither of us was originally from Oklahoma, but we were both getting married in Oklahoma. At that time, we couldn’t find a great resource in the marketplace to help us identify who were the best vendors.”
They decided to start a magazine. For Murphy, she believed it would be a side project… a hobby. An extracurricular activity beyond her new law career with Hall Estill.
It didn’t work out exactly like that.
Soon, Murphy, still a young associate at the law firm, was coming into work at 5 am in order to leave by 6 pm. She would then head straight to her friend’s house to work on the magazine until midnight.
“We joke about it now,” says Murphy, referring to her and her business partner, Kami Huddleston. “We must have thought magazines magically appear on shelves. But law school prepares you for anything and I wasn’t afraid to enter the world of publishing, a world I knew nothing about.”
After a year of diligent work, Brides of Oklahoma published its first edition and the reviews were in. Everyone loved it.
“The phone started ringing. People wanted to advertise and announce their weddings in the magazine,” says Murphy. “We now have one hundred-plus pages of wedding announcements in every issue from people all over the state. It became something bigger than we ever anticipated.”
With the success of the magazine (and the incredible amount of work it required), Murphy had to make a decision. Let go of her hobby and stay in the legal profession – or take the skills she learned as a lawyer into her new grand adventure. In January 2017, Murphy and her “hobby” celebrated their 10-year anniversary. Brides of Oklahoma is now a 500-page magazine and multimedia source for all things wedding.
“Many successful entrepreneurs don’t have a law background. For me, it was such an advantage,” says Murphy. “They say when you leave law school you will never think the same. You learn to analyze, think through problems, and contemplate the repercussions of every decision you make, and that makes you better in business.”
For Murphy, she’s continued to keep her bar membership active, while using her business knowledge, marketing mind and legal education to run the business side of Brides of Oklahoma.
“There was a time when I thought only a certain type of person goes to law school,” she says. “But now I know it’s a path anyone should consider taking if you want to be successful in life and your career.”