Paula Wood a Nationally-Known Designer

Contributing Writer

IMPRESSIVE SHOWING: Paula Wood, second from right, at a recent private showing of her jewelry to the members of the Assistance League of Tulsa executive board.

GTR Newspapers photo

For Tulsan Paula Wood, getting back to work means ditching her alarm clock and high heels.

After retiring from Tulsa Public Schools as the director of School and Community Relations last spring, it was hardly the time to slow down. In fact, it was actually her cue to focus once again on her design business, which she’s maintained all along, but now, she can devote more time to it. And today, it shows no signs of slowing down.

For more than 30 years, Wood has been creating jewelry and clothing that has dazzled customers across the country. In addition, Wood works as an interior designer, a personal wardrobe consultant and room designer. She’s also a portrait artist specializing in pets, inspired by her own Boston Terriers and French bulldog.

Wood was recently selected as the Philbrook Museum 2016 Festival of Trees collectable pin artist, marking the second time she has received this honor. Philbrook selected Wood in 2012 for this same juried honor. Wood will also participate as a designer in the Foundation for Tulsa Schools’ 2017 Designer Showcase home.
“The business all began as a natural transition from my intrinsic love of jewelry and design,” says Wood.

In the early years, Wood did what many would have thought to be impossible. She developed and maintained her design business while raising two children as a single mom. She sold her designs to major markets around the country as well as to locally owned businesses. She created more than just designs. She created a business that supported her and her children.

“My original customers included wholesalers throughout the country and local customers including Miss Jackson’s, which was probably the last of Tulsa’s high-end retailers,” she says. “I had trunk shows of my creations in their window displays. It was a great honor. But many of my local customers kept my business on a successful trajectory.”

Today, she has the street cred to underscore her demonstrated success. For more than 10 years, Wood hosted a live segment on the News at Noon on as the shopping expert with then-anchor Glenda Silvey. Her focus was to showcase small and unique shops around Tulsa and to inspire viewers.

Her own creations have garnered the greatest attention for Wood. She has designed clothing and fabric for a manufacturing company, Traditional Trading. In addition, Claudia Imel, a prestigious handbag manufacturer, also chose Wood to create and paint designs as part of its national collection.

“You must listen to trends to if you want to succeed,” she says. “I have always had a radar for trends and was determined to maximize this. I think less is more, but I never move past my own passion, which is glam and robust.”

She adds that when she’s designing jewelry, she uses materials that are unique and out of the box.

“My inspiration comes from some kind of internal and natural tendency. Plus, the world around me has an influence. I have more time now to explore with this relatively new freedom from scheduling and alarm clocks, if you don’t count my Boston Terriers and their time clocks,” she jokes. “I create best in isolation with doggies underfoot!”

Wood says that when she’s creating in “the zone,” all forms of designs can occur. The best part about her jewelry designs is that every piece has a name and is one-of-a-kind, never to be duplicated.

“It’s all about feeling amazing about yourself and your environment,” Wood says. “I want every client to feel empowered by a new design concept or confident about a new jewelry purchase.”

If you’re not sure what type of jewelry looks right on you, Wood can help with that, too. She offers fashion consulting and can also assist clients with selecting jewelry pieces that are right for them.

“Women who are skeptical of my designs are often persuaded after a personal consultation,” she says. “Fear keeps us from exploring new things. I try to dispel this. Jewelry is essential, I believe.”

Wood said that if you have a short neck, long earrings can make you look thinner. Your dress or shirt neckline will determine what length of necklace works best. Not sure whether to go with big, bulky jewelry or something simple? Wood says both can work on all body types – depending on the jewelry. Finding the right piece is a matter of trial and error – with assistance.

“If you wear a signature piece of jewelry every day, that’s really great, but I think you should explore possibilities.”

And for this designing woman, exploring possibilities is what Wood does every day as part of her creative process.

To see some samples of Wood’s creations, go to

Updated 12-06-2016

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