"Live your life so whenever you lose, you're ahead!"
~ Will Rogers
Obituary and services information for:
Died Saturday, Jun 25, 2011
Burial Monday, Jun 27, Oklahoma City
For Tulsa couple, love and art were intertwined
* The pair founded Mama Trizza's Pottery Shop
The art of love might have been key, but what sealed the deal for Leonard Krisman and Dottie Trizza was their love of art.
The couple, who grew up in the same midtown Tulsa neighborhood, had known each other since childhood; Trizza, six years younger, was a friend of Krisman's sister.
But their romance didn't follow until much later in life. It happened as the two were transitioning out of long careers and found its perfect expression in a shared enterprise.
In 1997, Krisman and Trizza, or "Papa" and "Mama" as they became known, founded Mama Trizza's Pottery Shop in Tulsa. Focusing on handcrafted art for the home and garden, they started small, featuring the works of just six artisans.
Mama Trizza's now boasts works for sale from more than 60 artisans across the country.
Earlier this year, Krisman and Grizza sold the business, which is continuing under the same name.
"We decided the time was right," Trizza said. "It's a great tribute to Leonard that somebody wanted to buy it. He had put so much of himself into it."
"To start as simply as we did, build it up together - everything worked out just perfectly."
Leonard N. Krisman died Saturday. He was 72. A graveside service was held Monday in Oklahoma City under the direction of Fitzgerald Ive Funeral Home.
Krisman, a Tulsa native and Rogers High School graduate, worked in the women's apparel business for 40 years, the last several of which required heavy travel.
Although he had a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma, he developed a mind for business and at one time owned the Sweet Tooth Candy Co. and an adjoining Baskin Robbins ice cream shop in Tulsa.
He had no grand business designs in mind when Mama Trizza's started, however.
He and Trizza, a former surgical nurse who had begun creating pottery, started out at the Tulsa Flea Market in 1996. Because of their inability to expand there, the couple began looking for their own place, and they fond it in a former garage.
The building, at 15th Street and Delaware Avenue, had been built in 1928, and Krisman remembered walking by it every day on his way to school.
Their new shop up and running, Trizza soon turned the day-to-day operations over to Krisman and spent more time at her in-home art studio.
The couple traveled far and wide to find their artisans. But soon, the artists started coming to them.
Under Krisman's guidance, the shop later expanded.
Although no artist himself, "it makes me feel good to let an artist come in the store, let them become part of what we've done here, and see them grow," he once told the Tulsa World.
From the Tulsa World, July 1, 2011
Please direct all questions to:
Sally (Lofton) Olah
PO Box 52443
Tulsa, OK 74152-0443