Our Second Nature is running a design business and maintaining a friendship

By Unsold Studio

For Meaghan Barry (right) and Lilian Crum (left), best friends and co-owners of Detroit design firm Unsold Studio, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between work and play. Their vacations—like a recent long weekend in Louisville, Ky.—are as much inspiration as relaxation, and their work projects—like the colorful-but-clean look they just gave New Order Coffee Roasters—are as playful as they are professional. What’s the secret? The ladies’ deep friendship and aesthetic rapport, which are baked into everything they create.

The duo met at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2010. Graduation kept them apart at first, but they were soon collaborating. They made it official with the creation of Unsold in 2013, applying their timeless, minimalist style to events like Dlectricity and stores like Will Leather Goods. Their complementary skills and friendly vibes mean clients are always well-taken care of.

“We have crossover but we’re not the same,” Meaghan says. Lilian agrees: “We each have a ‘special touch’ that’s different.” And, just like any relationship, they prize trust. “If I’m on the fence but Meag is sure, I trust her opinion,” Lilian says.

Though maintaining both a business and a friendship takes work, they both say it comes naturally. “We got super lucky or something,” Meaghan says. “The stars aligned.”

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