Made in Houston

Oprah's Favorite Journals Come from Houston

Mica May's customizable journals and notebooks are one of Oprah's Favorite Things

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen November 6, 2014

May Designs notebooks have over 70,000 custom cover and monogram combinations.


That's how I imagine it sounded when Oprah called Mica May to tell her that May Design notebooks would be on the 2014 list of Oprah's Favorite Things.

Oprah Winfrey with students at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

Founded in Houston in 2008, May Designs started when Mica, a graphic designer, couldn't find unlined notebooks that suited her fancy—so she started making her own. Her clients saw them and asked for their own custom designs.

Six years later the company (now based in Austin) makes fully customizeable notebooks. Customers can choose from over 400 cover colors and patterns, 20-plus monogram styles, and contents that range from simple unlined paper to wedding diaries, calorie journals, and detailed calendars. There are also personalized notecards, stationary, holiday cards, and photo books.

May Designs made it onto Oprah's radar because the company has donated its custom monogrammed notebooks to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls or the past two years, allowing the students to pick their own cover pattern and including the school's motto, "Life 101," on each copy.

"As a small company, we all wear a lot of hats and have worked really hard to get the word out about our little company. This is a huge step forward for us and could not be more honored to be included in this year’s holiday gift guide!" said founder and CEO Mica May via press release.

Most importantly, while buying everything on Oprah's list this year will run you just over $13,000, the May Designs notebooks start at just $14.

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