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The Story 2024


Meet Matt     Meet Jen

WHAT IS LAUGHING FROG STUDIO? For 14 years, Laughing Frog Studio has been making "lemonade out of lemons" or "trash into treasure.” Everything is HANDmade from upcycled vintage items. The primary medium is silverplate silverware, but at times they work with stainless steel, costume jewelry, bottle caps, beads, buttons, etc. The goal is to make something wonderful out of a castaway item!

WHO IS LAUGHING FROG? Laughing Frog Studio (LFS) is a husband-and-wife team that gives vintage items a new life. LFS started as an idea to make some extra cash to subsidize their daughter’s ice hockey dreams. But it turned out to be a wonderful vehicle for Matt to pursue his artistic dreams while still holding down a day job and for Jen to satisfy the “Fred Sanford” (Sanford & Son,1970s) in her heart.

By day, Matt is a Marketing and Database Executive - but the core of his being is in creating, be it food, art or computer programs. Matt has a B.S.S. from Cornell College in Computer Science, Economics and Art, but over the years he has dabbled in pen and pencil sketches, stylized doodles, oil pastels, and sculptural art. It isn’t uncommon for Matt to pick up a piece of “found” paper or wire and create something out of it. He once surprised Jen by giving her a dozen flowers – all handmade out of candy and gum wrappers, napkins, and wires & beads.

Jen stayed at home with their two kids for many years and wore many hats: chauffeur, tutor, cook, nurse, cleaning lady, secretary, etc. Her passion has always been antiques and she has a difficult time throwing things out; to her everything has value. She earned a B.A. in Psychology at Cornell College (yes, that’s where they met!) and a B.S. in Marketing & Communications at Bradley University. For the past twenty years, she has run an online antiques business called FineLine Antiques. In keeping with the “Fred Sanford” in her heart, she has trouble passing by good curbside “trash.” As a child she was often scolded when emptying the trash as she would take out all the “good stuff” and re-use it.

Matt and Jen are now full-time empty nesters living on a Black Angus cattle ranch in rural Texas "living the good life", making HANDmade creations and running Laughing Frog Studio.

WHY THE NAME LAUGHING FROG? Well.... “Laughter” is THE best medicine, right? Jen loves to laugh and all her life has been known for her distinct guffaw. “Frog” is personally symbolic for Matt and represents whimsy and connections with deceased loved ones. Combined, the words represent both of parts of the team. Plus, it just sounds cool!

WHAT DOES UPCYCLING MEAN? Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials, useless products or castaway items into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. Basically it means taking trash and turning it into a treasure.