Columbia native Sally Peek started her own handbag business in the capital city in 2007 after a four-hour sewing class and several months of nonstop experimentation.
From the start, she gravitated toward vintage-inspired fabrics and trims that inspired her to name her business after her great-grandmother, Nana.
“The bag styles I design and create are named after the different influential and empowering women in my life,” Peek said.
Since each Nana by Sally bag is a one-of-a-kind fabric combination, Peek only buys small quantities of fabrics and leathers and makes unique commissioned products for customers.
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“Many people bring me fabrics that have been hiding in attics for years hoping I can use them in some way, sometimes for the finder as an object with family history,” Peek said. “These are the most thrilling endeavors, because as much as I love to personally pick my fabrics, I like the process of being challenged to turn these meaningful textiles into a genuine Nana product.”
While Nana by Sally handbags and accessories can be purchased through the company’s Etsy shop, Columbians may be most familiar with the business thanks to Peek’s weekly booth at Main Street’s Soda City Market.
“I enjoy the face-to-face interaction with my customers,” Peek said. “Nana herself was a people person. I hope my customers see her spirit in me.”
On Aug. 9, Nana by Sally will celebrate its 10th year with a special anniversary event from 6-8 p.m. at Nana Studio in Forest Acres (see www.facebook.com/events/277707966043551 for details).
Peek lives in Forest Acres with her husband, Scotty, also an artist, and their two daughters.
The Columbia food scene is on fire right now, and I love exploring all the new spots and continuing to support my old favorites. I think The War Mouth is the best new spot in town. Everything I’ve sampled there, from the pickle plate to the seasonal purloo dishes, has exceeded my expectations. The vibe there is comfortable, energetic and edgy – the perfect feel for present-day Columbia. I also love Blue Cactus Cafe in Five Points. My husband and I have been going there for years and the bibimbap they make is my favorite meal ever. Plus, my sweet tooth is always satisfied via cookies from Ally and Eloise, cinnamon rolls made by From Scratch Baked Goods and homemade ice cream from Sweet Cream Co. on Main Street.
I love to go to Bourbon, sit at the bar and try new cocktails. I’m also a sucker for a good craft beer, so the Hunter-Gatherer and The Whig are always top on my list when I go to meet friends for an evening adult beverage. My husband and I love to take our kids to the River Rat as well. They have the most family-friendly setup – comfortable picnic tables, great service and plenty of cornhole for the little ones.
Those Lavender Whales are a phenomenal local band. And our supporting music entrepreneurs are inspirational: Jay Matheson of Jam Room Recording Studio, FatRat da Czar of Boom Room Studio and Philippe Herndon of Caroline Guitar Company are all working hard to influence and grow the music scene locally and beyond.
There is so much to do in Columbia on any given day that it is not unusual to have to choose between various exciting events. I participate as a vendor in our local Saturday market, Soda City, on Main Street most weekends. It is such a bustling event! People of all ages come out to eat, drink and support local artists. I am amazed at how much Soda City Market has grown through the years. It’s incredibly inspiring and beautiful to see so much support for local business right on Main Street and having a front seat to observing this every Saturday is very rewarding. My kids and I love to take nature walks, and whether it’s a day on the Riverwalk trail or a long hike at Harbison State Forest, we have endless outdoor opportunities. The weekly Thursday market at City Roots is another fun activity. Plus, all the special events City Roots hosts throughout the year – like The Tasty Tomato Festival and the Mardi Gras Festival – are amazing.
We love going to see movies at the Nickelodeon Theatre. We also enjoy regular visits the South Carolina State Museum and the Columbia Museum of Art. The Columbia Marionette Theatre is another favorite of ours.