Why this fashion designer moved to Tulsa

Moving to Oklahoma turned Tulsa into this entrepreneur’s personal fashion show.

Laura Landers is a fashion designer and entrepreneur who lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After 10 years in Los Angeles, Laura stumbled upon Tulsa Remote, an incentivized relocation program helping remote workers make the move to Oklahoma’s second largest city with a $10,000 grant. Here’s why she says Tulsa has been her launchpad to success and more.

Moving to Tulsa

I’m originally from Dallas, Texas, but I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, from Los Angeles after about ten years. I had no thought of moving to Tulsa ever, but when the pandemic hit, we didn’t want to live in L.A. anymore. I Google searched “where to live,” and I saw that there were some incentivized programs for moving. Tulsa Remote was one of them.

Six months later, Tulsa kept going on the brain. So I thought, “Let’s just visit.” And when I did, it was like the perfect little creative city. It was everything I loved about L.A., but it made me feel like I wasn’t this tiny fish in a big pond. I’m really thankful, because immediately after I visited, we were like, “Let’s pack it up, let’s move, let’s go buy a house!” And that’s what we did.

Buying a House

Buying a house was the goal. I was done with apartment living. I had been doing that for almost two decades. I was exhausted. My husband and I decided that buying a home was the first thing we were going to do when we moved to Oklahoma. We have some friends in L.A. who have a condo, which is essentially like living in a glorified apartment. You’re still sharing walls, and that is something that I did not want to do. I wanted my own safe haven. I wanted to be able to sing and yell and not be worried that I’m disrupting my neighbors.

It only took us one day to find the house that we wanted. We looked at around nine houses, and the one we bought was the very first one that we saw. It was only five minutes away from downtown, but still in a neighborhood that wasn’t too close to all the hub-bub. It was just the perfect balance, because we’re city people. We wanted to still feel like we were in the city, but live in a single-family home house. And the fact that it was literally 10% cost of what an L.A. home was mind-blowing.

Tulsa’s Creative Industry

I started my own fashion brand in Tulsa, and I’m really excited about it. It’s called Engulf the Label.

Photo by Henry Ninde

The fashion scene in Tulsa wasn’t even really here when I moved, but after about a year, there was an organization called Oklahoma Fashion Alliance that was just starting. I knew that if I did not join in on that, I would be remiss. Now, we’re thriving. We have runway shows multiple times a year. Having those opportunities in Tulsa just makes me feel like this city is actually a place where you can come in and reside and stay here for a really long time. 

It’s nice confirmation day after day to see the creative industry – the fashion industry – continuing to blossom.

Improved Mental Health

Since moving here, even from day one, I’ve felt mentally healthy. I wished I would have known that would happen. Maybe I wouldn’t have spent as long in L.A., and I could have started my life here sooner. I could have bought the home sooner. I could have started my business sooner.

While everything happened in the right time, it’s still something that I’m able to feel proud of. I feel successful. I am successful. I’m thriving, not just surviving anymore. Tulsa is the kind of place where you can make your dreams happen and it doesn’t feel like you’re taking the chance. It feels like you’re able to live your life by design.

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