We first met Barbara Pate at a local artisan event. Her handbag collection, with its bohemian styling and vintage feel, immediately caught our eye. Needless to say, I left carrying one of my favorites. Barbara took a moment with us to share a bit about herself and her inspirations.
What inspired you to begin making purses and jewelry?
I’ve always had a love for creating things. I was inspired to begin making jewelry and bags because I could never find any that I really liked. One day, I decided to make a bag and a few pieces of jewelry for myself. These were always getting compliments. People began asking me to make bags and jewelry for them when they learned I actually did the designs myself. People’s love for my designs grew and here I am!
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I think the best thing that I enjoy about my work is that I get to create and design satchels and jewelry that I love but also that everyone loves as well. I am able to create individual one-of-a– kind pieces that people can use in everyday living.
Tell us about the materials you use?
The materials that I use for the satchels are all “green”. The high grade upholstery material is all remnant fabric which has never been used and the straps and ties are repurposed leather.
The materials for the jewelry is are all repurposed leather and other various repurposed materials.
You are also a photographer. What is your favorite subject to photograph?
My favorite subject to photograph is probably landscapes. I love capturing the beauty of the land. And my favorite style is black and white photography.
Who is your favorite artist?
I really don’t have a favorite artist. My taste for art is varied from sculpture to architecture to paintings to jewelry and clothing designers.
What do you enjoy most about living in Austin?
I really enjoy the laid back feel that Austin radiates. Austin really supports its local artists, which is a great thing. There are also so many things to do here whether you are an outdoor person or not. There is something for everyone!
What are some of your favorite places in Austin?
Barton Springs and Zilker Park are among my favorites because I love to swim and be outdoors. I enjoy listening to music, so Moody Theater and the many music venues around the city are also favorites. South Congress is a great area. It offers amazing food, entertainment and great shops. I actually sell my products at one of the areas artisan markets. I would say Austin is just great all around!
I want to thank Barbara for taking the time to talk with us. See more of Barbara’s handbag and jewelry collection at blueZelia.