Fade to Black

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By Roxanne Avery | Photography by Emily Brashier

On a recent cold, drizzly Saturday afternoon, newlyweds Jessi and Kris Murray hosted a party at their ultra-modern loft in Midtown as their adorable teacup Chihuahua, Zara, barked a tiny greeting to each guest.

With a beautiful offering of snacks and mimosas, Lady Gaga played in the background as friends mingled and explored several racks of clothing, trays of accessories and stands of footwear carefully prepared for sale.

“We prefer to keep things simple, so we can avoid clutter!” Jessi said. “We organized our closet for the SPLURGE! photo shoot earlier this week, and this is what we decided to purge.” A lifestyle and wedding photographer, Jessi is no stranger to selling gently worn clothing and uses Instagram (@ClosetXspaceX) where she has sold over 400 pieces.

The loft was formerly a commercial property that was renovated into a residential living space before Jessi and Kris moved in. And the interior decorating credit goes to Kris. “I went to get groceries, and by the time I came back from the store, he had cleaned and decorated everything,” laughs Jessi.

“Monochromatic,” a color scheme derived from a single base hue, is the word Jessi and Kris use a lot when describing their clothing style. The tints are achieved by adding white. Shades and tones are achieved by adding a darker color, gray or black. “Kris used to wear bright colors that were hard to match and that he couldn’t wear more than once because they were such statement pieces,” Jessi said. “We would look so funny going out together because he looked like an Easter egg and I would be in head-to-toe black. I prefer to only purchase monochromatic items where everything matches, and it takes the stress out of getting ready in the morning.”

“Before I met Jessi, I liked the county club pastels but realized it was a hard look to keep up with,” laughs Kris. “I thought you just to go to the Ralph Lauren store and buy the same thing in every color.” Now, Jessi and Kris shop for better quality and make fewer purchases.  “I love Bad Granny’s and Stone + Harper, a local, ethically made clothing store,” said Jessi.

Ty Hirtzel tops Kris’s list of favorites because of their “made to measure” (formerly known as “custom”) shirts. “I used to collect stuff, especially shoes, and never get rid of anything,” he remembers. “When I found a good deal on shoes, I bought them. Now I spend more money on a good pair that will last a long time. I have less, but it really feels like more.”

Jessi’s good friend Maryam Amighi describes her as “the cutest person alive.”

“Jessi and I were friends at Edmond North High School where she was the prom queen,” Maryam remembers. “We were roommates when she met Kris on Tinder (his first and last Tinder date). At their engagement party, I came up with the hashtag #jessisgettingmurrayed.”

A “good black hat” is a favorite of Jessi’s in her closet as well as her orange suede heels from Zara, one of the largest international fashion companies on the planet. With stores across the country, the couple went to New York City for New Year’s Eve last year and again for their honeymoon. Jessi also likes anything with black tulle. “I love clothes and especially love shoes. I don’t have a lot of handbags, and the ones I do have, Kris purchased for me because I often forget about them and end up carrying the same one over and over.”

When asked what his favorites in his closet are, Kris said, “Most of the time I wear either black jeans or black or grey slacks with a button up shirt. I’m really not into accessories.” Kris said he used to be into fragrances but after reading an article about how people associate fragrances with memories, he bought a bottle of Curve and receives more compliments on that than any of his expensive fragrances. “A bottle costs about $20 but people always tell me they love it. They can’t quite place where they know it from and that’s because of their positive memories of Curve from back in the day.”

Utilizing every space of their loft, Jessi and Kris not only live there, but also work there together. Kris’s company, Spark Creative, was co-founded by Christopher Lloyd and operates as an outsourced marketing department. “We help companies with everything from video production to social media management,” Kris said. “We work best with companies that either have one marketing person or none at all. We do video work for the OKC Energy soccer team, web development for Hal Smith restaurants, stuff for the Oklahoma Spine Hospital, Lower Bricktown, Coca-Cola, Krispy Kreme, Cottonwood Salon, OU and Bank First. For around the monthly price of a full-time employee, we offer a wide range of services and value to the companies we serve. We feel like they save money and get a better product in the end by using us.”

Putting their hearts into their work, Kris said he and Jessi care a lot about the success of the people they do work for. “Their success is our success.”

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