Every company has a story about how it came to be - this is ours.

Before one widow existed, Matt (our designer) used to regularly visit a place called Inform - a contemporary furniture store in Gastown, Vancouver. Inform also sells architecture and design books in a specifically carved out nook. If you’ve never been, you’ll find it tucked away at the back, on the left, on the ground floor. For design nerds, who love losing themselves in books, it’s a hidden gem and definitely work seeking out. Both aspects of it were a huge draw for Matt but the books were his main reason for going. It was an oasis of inspiration for him.

So, on what felt like a typical Vancouver rainy day, Matt wound his way through the furniture to get to the back of the store. This was by now a familiar part of the trip. And, although it takes very little time to reach the back, the journey itself is a very important part of the whole experience. Definitely something to be savoured - The furniture being the perfect mix of visual and tactile treats to wet your appetite. So, when reaching the books, your primed, hungry and ready to dive straight in. And as usual, when it came to diving in, whatever caught Matt’s attention would be his entry point, his rabbit hole to take him elsewhere.

He can vividly remember pulling out the book that is essentially the catalyst for this whole story - a book on playing cards. It seemed so out-of-place among the others. Partly because of it’s shape and size - It was long book with a short spine and a hard back cover that was very thick. The other reason reason was it’s subject matter, playing cards. Now, this probably doesn’t sound that strange but, when you’re used to being in a space immersed by books that centre around architecture, living spaces and furniture, a book like this really stands out.

The book was so simple. Named PLAYING CARDS, it showed the back designs of playing cards from the 1930s to 1940s and that was it. And, that was all Matt needed to get his inspiration for one widow. His train of thought went something like this: “Wow, these designs are so beautiful… Why aren’t cards designed like this anymore?… And, why has no one really pushed the design of the face cards?”. And ‘that was that’, one widow playing cards was conceived right there and then. Well, the name came later of course.

So, what started in Inform’s bookstore, resulted in the launch of 3 playing card decks - The Hunted, Forever Diamond and Dark Hours - and a company, one widow playing cards, coming to life online at onewidow.com.

Our playing cards are currently available at Inform Interiors main showroom.

50 Water Street
Vancouver BC
Canada V6B 1A4

Store Hours
Monday - Saturday: 10am to 6pm
Closed: Statutory Holidays

Phone: +1 604 682 3868

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