Designer Profile: Sally Peek of Nana by Sally

Sally Peek of Nana by Sally

I had the pleasure of first meeting Sally Peek of Nana by Sally last year, and have since been inspired by her creative approach to designing one-of-a-kind accessories in the comfort of her lovely home studio in Columbia, South Carolina.  When I started researching designers to feature in’s new studio at Tapp’s Art Center, I came across Nana by Sally on Etsy, and knew that her “100% unique” handmade accessories would be a perfect fit.  While visiting Sally earlier in the week, we had a chance to catch up, and she allowed me to snap a few pics of her space and to learn more about where she finds inspiration.

HR: When did you first start designing bags, and how did you transition into doing it full time?

Sally: I first started designing bags nearly 5 years ago.  I was working full time when I began my business and it took me a couple of years to transition slowly into designing bags full time.  I took baby steps to get to where I am and I am glad for that.

HR: Shopping for fabric seems like a fun aspect of being a designer.  Walk us through your process of finding fabric for future collections. 

Sally:  Finding fabric is most definitely one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. I travel to fabric stores throughout the year to hand pick the most unique fabrics.  I also have a handful of online shops that I have used for years and I trust the quality of the fabrics they sell.  It is a process but I try not to over-think what I am buying.  It sounds a bit cheesy, but I do really just buy whatever fabrics speak to me.  So far, that approach has kept me honest to my vision!

HR:  We love that you offer a range of accessories, all of which are one-of-a-kind.  Where do you find inspiration when creating each piece?

Sally:  Sometimes my inspiration for a new design may come from a scrap of fabric someone gives me.  Perhaps it is an odd size and I have to find a way to turn it into something beautiful.  That is where my pattern drafting comes into play.  I may come across a delicate lace, for example.  Since I know this type of material would not hold up as an “everyday” handbag, I visualize it into becoming a lovely evening bag.  The inspiration really does come from the fabrics and trims I use.

HR:  As a successful entrepreneur and mother of two small children, can you offer any tips on managing time and finding balance?

Sally:  Managing my time as a mother and entrepreneur is a daily challenge.  However, I am a hard worker by nature and find that if I stay dedicated to my passion, success happens.  If one of my girls is sick and I know that I cannot work for a few days, I find peace in immersing myself in being a nurturer for her.  These days are usually balanced by those in which my husband is around and I can dive headfirst into my studio work.  And, there is always late night work!  It is all about taking it one day at a time.

HR:  What does the future hold for Nana by Sally?  Would you consider expanding your accessories collection?

Sally: I don’t know what the future holds for Nana by Sally.  To be honest, I am not sure that I want to know.  Like any business owner, I want my company to thrive and grow.  However, I try not to get bogged down in long-term planning of anything.  I do find that I set goals for myself each year, whether that is hiring sewing help so that I can dedicate more time to the design of my bags or reaching out to more retail stores.  I have met my yearly goals each year so far and I just have faith that I will continue to do so.  I am happy in what I do and, to me, this is the ultimate success.

It’s always encouraging to learn of others who turn their passion into a full time career.  Visit Nana by Sally on Facebook for updates and to check out the latest designs.


  1. […] now carries Nana by Sally accessories! I personally chose each piece, all of which are 100% unique, and made from vintage, vintage-inspired and designer fabrics.  Check out our fabulous new arrivals online or at our showroom at Tapp’s Art Center in Columbia, SC.  Read the exclusive designer interview with Sally Peek {here}. […]

  2. […] Seriously…read this article about her.  She’s awesome. […]

  3. […] Seriously…read this article about her.  She’s awesome. […]

  4. […] first featured Nana by Sally bags {here} and keep up with the incredibly talented Sally Peek via Facebook (go like the page!) where she […]

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