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  • Writer's pictureShirley Owens

Get What You Want by Building Confidence Through your Passions with Patricia Nash

“You've got to really, truly be passionate about (your dream). And you’ve got to truly believe in it. And that confidence sometimes gets built by just sharing it with more people.” -Patricia Nash

It’s amazing how a simple accessory like a handbag can carry more than your things; it can carry your stories for a lifetime. Today, Shirley chats with Patricia Nash of Patricia Nash Design. Patricia shares her inspiring story, from designing bags for others to launching her own brand. She also stresses the importance of having balance between family and business, while achieving success. What makes Patricia’s handbags special and unique is that they are crafted by the best, with quality materials and most importantly, with heart. Each bag has a story, full of adventure and is intended to capture the memories of its owner. Today’s takeaway can be summarized in just one word- passion. You don’t have to worry if you don’t have the confidence to achieve your goal just yet. As long as you’re passionate about it and continue to pursue that passion, your confidence will grow before you know it. So before you go shopping, don’t forget to tune in to today’s episode!


03:07 Inspired By A 50-Year-Old Bag

09:26 Family Engagements

16:46 Build Confidence Through Passion

20:41 Craftsmanship with a Heart

22:21 Don’t Fight to Have It All


Tune in as @SfbaldwinOwens talks with phenomenal handbag designer, @PatriciaNashBag on how to achieve the confidence to pursue your dreams. #getwhatyouwant #bagsandaccessories #craft #familyfirst #qualitytime #fashionpassion #memories #compromise #balance


  • 03:03 “Your brand is what other people say about you when you leave the room.” -Shirley Owens

  • 10:16 “It wasn't about the quantity of time you spend with a person, it's about the quality of time, especially your family.” -Patricia Nash

  • 15:26 “If you have a bad day, it’s great to reflect on something that is a happy time… It makes everything a lot easier to overcome.” -Patricia Nash

  • 16:50 “We all have to be objective enough to step back.” -Patricia Nash

  • 17:27 “You've got to really, truly be passionate about (your dream). And you got to truly believe in it. And that confidence sometimes gets built by just sharing it with more people.” -Patricia Nash

Connect With Patricia:

Patricia Nash. Courtesy Photo.

For 20 years, Patricia has been designing handbags for other brands. These years of experiences have sharpened her skills and watered her passion for fashion. Until finally, in 2010, she set out to launch her own brand, Patricia Nash Designs, inspired by a bag she found in her mother's closet. In just a few years, Patricia received an overwhelmingly positive response that her brand has extended to large department stores and even online with HSN. Patricia continues to be constantly inspired by her love for family, passion for travel, and memories she's gained along the way.


Shirley Owens: My guest today is Patricia Nash. Patricia has been designing handbags for other brands her entire career spanning over 20 years. During that time, she honed her expertise designing accessories for a wide range of global brands from Disney and Warner Bros. to Banana Republic, Express, and American Eagle, just to name a few. Finally inspired by a bag she found in her mother's closet, Patricia set out to launch Patricia Nash Designs in 2010. She was met with an overwhelmingly positive response, and in a just a few short years has extended her brand to large department stores like Macy's, Dillards, and Lord & Taylor, as well as selling live on TV and online at the highly regarded Home Shopping Network. Patricia continues to be constantly inspired by her love for family, passion for travel, and memories she's gained along the way. Patricia, I'm so honored to have you today. Thank you so much for being here.

Patricia Nash: Oh, thank you for having me.

Shirley Owens: So I wanted to tell you that I was very excited to meet you a few months ago. I'm on a board with Dignity Health called Power of the Purse, as you know, and each year we have a soiree at Dillard's to raise money for the charities that we donate to. And Patricia is kind enough to fly to Phoenix and show up at this soiree that we're having, and it was just so fun to meet you there, and to of course, have you signed my handbag, and I've just been a fan of you. I didn't realize you were as new as 2010, because I think the minute your bags came out, I knew who you are.

Patricia Nash: No, thank you. I know, 2010 it sounds so young, it was 10 years ago. So for me, it's been a top long love to develop the brand, but you're right, compared to all the other brands around me, I'm just a baby.

Shirley Owens: Yeah, it's crazy. But when you walk into a Dillard, that's where I get my bags, you're just everywhere,

Patricia Nash: They've been a fantastic partner. And the customers really like the DNA of the plant. They're very family oriented, fashionable. Lots of times, most women, I need really hard working women, whether they're working in the home or outside of their home, so it's really a great partnership.

Shirley Owens: Yeah, I bet. One thing that I know about you is that you're really big into branding. And I've always said that your brand is what other people say about you when you leave the room.

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you leave the room.” -Shirley Owens

Patricia Nash: Wow, that's great. I mean, it was really important to me being in this industry for a very long time, over 25 years now, designing for other people. Often the question would always be asked of me is, why are you doing it for all these other brands? Why don't you do your own brand?

Shirley Owens: For sure.

Patricia Nash: And I would frequently say, if I could come up with that special something that, it could Patricia Nash bag then I would do it, and that's how this cannot pass with me was finding that bag in my mother's closet that she had in her closet 50 years, all packaged up, really neat that our father in law had given her, and it was a leather tooled, lace beautiful bag, and it aged so beautifully, that to me, it was more appealing and it's huge work. Then if I could only imagine how it looked when she got it, oh, my wheels started turning. And I was thinking, if I could make a bag look like this and be affordable, and have functionality to the bags that women today need, that would be special. So that's been in the back of my mind everyday that I design a bag.

Shirley Owens: Well, it's funny that you say that because I remember about eight years ago, I got in the car with one of my very best friends and she had one of your bags, and I was like: "Wait, how did you get a Patricia Nash bag?" And she said: "Someone just gave this to me, who's Patricia Nash." So I was just telling her: "Oh, my gosh, I love this bag. It's the one that has all the little stickers all over it from different countries."

Patricia Nash: Oh, yeah. As I travel.

Shirley Owens: Yeah. So she was introduced to your bag by someone giving it to her, and then it's like eight years later, I brought her to the [inaudible] so I'm like: "You're not gonna believe who's going to be here, come to this." And you signed her old bag and then she bought a new one. But you had got to see how well your bag aged, and I love the look of hers even better than the brand new one. I can't wait for mine to age a little bit, it's beautiful, as well, so much character.

Patricia Nash: Thank you for sharing that story.

Shirley Owens: And you had mentioned that there was a little story to that bag, right?

Patricia Nash: The vintage poster? Yes, actually, I was traveling in Milan with my husband, and I often drag him, or my daughter, whoever I can with me to one of these vintage stores. This one was a vintage store that was all about travel and just a really eclectic shop of all kinds of things but not handbag. And we found this old new piece of luggage, leather hard case. heavy piece of luggage that had all of these old travel coasters on it, and bought the bag, and my husband carried it everywhere from there because we went from there, we went to Venice, and we went to some other places, and everyone would stop him like [inaudible]. I took all those old posters, the stickers that people used to put on their luggage when they traveled and had to take an hour and then make kind of a montage or more, and then took it to a -- and had it done on leather. And it was magical because those are all authentic stories of people's lives and traveling back in the day would be hard -- now with all wheeled luggage, right?

Shirley Owens: Right. Although I would love to have stickers on them everywhere that I go.

Patricia Nash: Yeah, It would be great for someone to bring back the really old school sticker for travel, because they look at him, and you have all these memories, or you can just imagine you dream about how it must have been.

Shirley Owens: Wow. Yeah, that was exciting. So that was really cool and special to her to get to hear your personal story of this bag that she's had for all these years.

Patricia Nash: That's great that and that's what keeps me motivated and passionate to find that next thing, because there is a little story about when you hear from other women along the way. The things that motivated us that make us feel good are the things that we want to share or developed with our own family or friends. They're all little important tidbits.

Shirley Owens: So I noticed that you have a new one, and I'm very partial to hummingbirds, I love them, I always have hummingbird feeders in my backyard, and we just moved houses, and I was telling my husband before we even get the landscaping, and I need to set up my hummingbird feeders. And so I noticed that you have a new bag and it's the same signature matt bag that I have, but it has a design over top of it that's spring flowers and hummingbirds.

Patricia Nash: Right, and it's only been out a few weeks, and it is so popular. So I'm really, really happy to see that I know the map, it's become like our signature prints.

Shirley Owens: Yes.

Patricia Nash: How can I just [inaudible] up a little bit. And I thought it'd be nice to put a little print of the season of the colors that we're doing. And the hummingbirds come back, the season's over do a little hanging off with the hummingbirds that we also are doing the hummingbird network. And I just thought, yeah, you'll have to look on the website for that since you're such a hummingbird girl.

Shirley Owens: Did I see that, there were maybe shoes also.

Patricia Nash: Yeah. We have shoes and have little print on them too.

Shirley Owens: Oh, my gosh, yeah, I might need to go shopping after this. That's so fun. The other thing that I do know about you is how important love for your family is and making memories, and this business isn't just about you creating something to make money, you've told us that their stories for each piece, and that you really worked hard to create a brand. Tell me a little bit about who you are as a person because I love this part where love for your family, and the memories that you create are really unbalanced with also being this phenomenal handbag designer that is international now.

Patricia Nash: Well, being successful in balancing your life is probably the biggest challenge that we all have. And I always tell my kids, I have children, and they have seven children between them. And then my husband has three sons and two grandchildren. So together collectively we have five children and nine grandkids.

Shirley Owens: I love that.

Patricia Nash: And when my kids were little, I worked just as hard as I do today. And then when I go to school, or my son plays baseball, my daughter plays softball and basketball, and when I got past the, oh, my gosh, you're always working. How do you do it? You have such a good relationship with your kids. And I used to always tell people, it wasn't about the quantity of time you spend with a person, it's about the quality of time. And especially your family, sometimes you don't see him for a long time, but that the quality of time that you spend with them, and I used to observe, like some of these functions at the baseball park, or something where the mothers might be talking and the kids are off around playing and that you're not even really a part of what's going on. You know what I mean?

“It wasn't about the quantity of time you spend with a person, it's about the quality of time, especially your family.” -Patricia Nash

Shirley Owens: I do know what you mean.

Patricia Nash: I don't know the rest of their lives so I'm not trying to be critical. For me, every moment that I had with my kids, I know I had to be engaging whether it was cheering them, watching every play, watching their reaction, the dugout when they disappointed, or when I look, I did, but it was just really being and family, and people know that. Sometimes you might be in a conversation with the planning, they're not always the same with your husband or your child. And I've always been really passionate about making sure that we really are engaging with that time we have, and it sounds so basic. I just took a look around and some people sometimes just don't see that connection.

Shirley Owens: I agree. I have seven kids collectively with my husband and--

Patricia Nash: Wow.

Shirley Owens: I have a daughter, she's college gymnast, and my son played college basketball, and there were a lot of busy games, and still are, and I have two grandbabies. And I've actually got to a point where I have to schedule my time, like, Wednesday's is always girls day. I never do interviews or any kind of work on that day. So even if it's just one day a week, I really tried to just set that whole day aside to spend with my girls and my grandbabies. And then Friday mornings we have littles, again, and we have basketball, volleyball, and baseball games. And so Saturdays and Wednesdays are really kid days. And then dinnertime, I really tried to be present at dinnertime, and I do believe that it is one of the secret sauces to success. And I think that maybe you can agree with this, when I'm doing both, when I'm successful in my business and I'm successful at home, there's not a lot, I don't have daily regrets. I feel really positive and happy all the time about how everything is going, some days you might have an off day with the family or you may have an off day with business, but knowing that you can separate and be present with each of those, I think really is a secret sauce like you say to success.

Patricia Nash: Yeah, absolutely. And sharing my variances with our family, my mother was a great cook, my grandmother was a great cook, and my son is a chef. And we all pitches basically that the nucleus of the house, and we're all part of it, and while preparing, and every holiday or every opportunity to get together, it's about everybody being a part of that, and it's just savs experiences that, just like when I was a child and I remember being in that kitchen with my grandmother who could barely speak English, and making bread with her, it goes with you for your entire lifetime. And so all those added on little bit for my kids and now I see them with this again, same thing. It just warms my heart. And to your point, if you have a bad day or you don't -- as much as you want to, you could smile because my daughter or my son will call me, guess what I did with all of her today, and we make bread today. Oh, my god, how does it turn out. So I could just visualize and see them just making a mess in the kitchen, and then laughing and making bread.

“If you have a bad day, it’s great to reflect on something that is a happy time… It makes everything a lot easier to overcome.” -Patricia Nash

Shirley Owens: When my son went off to college, he would send me pictures of meals that he made. I probably have 200 pictures, he was just so proud because food has been a big for our family too. So you can probably relate. Why are you getting a picture of food?

Patricia Nash: Awesome.

Shirley Owens: Yeah, just the fact I think that your son calls you to share that with you, says so much for you as a mom.

Patricia Nash: I think it was all about, when you work hard, you have a bad day. Sometimes it's great conflict on something that is a happy time. And so when you have lots of gold in your head, it just makes everything a lot easier to overcome.

Shirley Owens: Yeah, I love that. So obviously my podcast is Get What You Want podcasts, and one of the reasons I was so excited to interview you is because of this, I didn't know much, and I wanted to wait until I interview you to learn more about you. But when I met you in person, I could tell what a kind and loving person you are, and that you didn't seem caught up in that world of just buying my bags. So I thought it would be really great for you to just give some advice to our listeners about creating a dream, and how that went for you. Like, while you were working for other people, and talk a little bit about it, you saw a handbag in your mother's closet and you wanted to create that, you had the experience. But there's something else that comes with creating something I know, there's a lot of sweat, and tears, and work that comes with that. And what would you share with others who said, I have this dream, I just don't quite know, I don't know if I have what it takes, or I don't quite know what the next step is to really pursue it and to stick with it. And I mean, 10 years later, look where you are now. I love it.

Patricia Nash: Wow. First of all, I mean, we all have to be objective enough to step back and make sure we want to talk to, and have the right mentors or friends that we could talk about our dreams. Sometimes man has been completely unachievable. So it sounds like this is the first shot at me. I did have something that I was passionate about, sometimes it's timing, sometimes it's the wrong product, even though we may love it, and I'm passionate about it. So you really have to do your homework, research it, and work hard to figure out all those things you don't know. But to start with, you've got to really, truly be passionate about it. And you got to truly believe in that. And that competence sometimes gets built by just sharing it with more people and seeing what their reaction is, which is what I do with the bag. When I first made a few bags, I showed it to people in the industry that I kind of expected, showed it to friends and family. I talked about it to a number of people and got their reaction. And some of it wasn't favorable, but for the most part it was. So that gave me the column to take it to the next level.

“We all have to be objective enough to step back.” -Patricia Nash
“You've got to really, truly be passionate about (your dream). And you got to truly believe in it. And that confidence sometimes gets built by just sharing it with more people.” -Patricia Nash

Shirley Owens: I love that. That's such good advice. And I feel like you're just so inspiring with creating memories, loving your family, living your dream, but also you have a really good head on your shoulders as far as business, it sounds that you were able to know who to get advice from, and then know who to go to as far as a mentor. So my podcast is in 15 different countries and I know that your purses are international too. Can you tell me what your favorite places are that your purses are in? Favorite countries, and do you travel there?

Patricia Nash: I do sometimes. I have been to Australia and have good business there. And we also have different current lines, that is how different parts of the world. Canada, we're on the shopping channel there in Montreal. Toronto, there's a really interesting group of women in that area of the world. And then in England where that for my husband is from a group, they're all fine until we got married about 15 years ago. And he came to the US to be with me. We visit there often, I just came back from there last week, so that the fellows coming home for him in a way I was lucky to come here in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Shirley Owens: I love Tennessee, and that's great. I I went to England last year and it's definitely a place for fashion, for sure.

Patricia Nash: Yeah, everybody does their own thing there, all over the place. Honestly, when you look at, I just read a statement that Giorgio Armani made last week at basketball talking about trends, that happy call wanna say, oh, that is the trend of the 90's, or sisters of the fatness. And he said: "I'm really tired of some of that, and I hate to sound this way but I just want to design for women, what makes them comfortable, what makes them feel good, nice materials, beautiful colors." That was just so real, and I thought, wow, that was something we didn't have to speak but I thought it was a powerful message.

Shirley Owens: Oh, for sure. And it sounds like that's how you want your handbags to be too, you want them to wear well, and be fun, and tell stories, and at the same time be functional.

Patricia Nash: And the craftsmanship to me, and when I see how many brands out there that don't even use 100% leather in their handbags, to say that a bag is made with leather and can see 51% leather, a lot of people do a lot of things to the bag. And a lot of the leathers that they use is really overly processed and it just has that even a fake grain put on the top of the leather. So I've really been so proud of the fact that I'm really taking vegetable turn leather, or truly hand cut leather, or hand burned, and really create it, it's an artist's work, it's not something that you can produce robotic processes, or a factory that people don't really care about what they're doing. They're just trying to get through the day. Really, a group of people that I work with are as passionate as I am about making the bag.

Shirley Owens: That's wonderful. I recommend to anybody who doesn't yet know about Patricia Nash bags to go to Macy's, or Dillard's, or Lauren Taylor and look at those bags. They're ridiculously beautiful. And you have so many clients, so just anyway, I don't even know where to start with my next one. I've been loving this one so much. Something that I asked on all of my shows is, do you have any regrets or something you would do over in your life?

Patricia Nash: I don't know that I would say it's a regret. I would just say that it's always more difficult than you think, being naive to believe that I could have it all. There are some compromises to make in your life. Do you have to make some compromise with your family or your spouse, and have to make a compromise in your work? And so those are the things that I really fought with for a long time until I accepted the balance that I was able to achieve and felt good about it. But That probably was the hardest lesson for this whole process.

Shirley Owens: Wow. Yeah, I once heard someone say: "You can have anything you want in life, but you can't have everything you want." And it took me a little bit today. But yeah, it really does make sense. Well, I'm so grateful that you took the time, I know you're super busy, especially right now with all these new products coming out, and I feel really honored that you take the time to spend with me today. Will you tell us how we can get in touch with you, tell me your website, and any other information you want to leave?

Patricia Nash: Yeah, I mean, is our website. And then they also have a customer service link. Anyone ever wants to get a personal message for me, that is monitored internally in our office. So I do get, yeah, you get information, send them with our customer services, actually inside our building, and then there's just lots of links and information on the website to learn more about the brand.

Shirley Owens: And I will put your website on my shownotes too so that if being with me, you are inspiring.

Patricia Nash: Well, for you, I mean, we need more people like yourself to share all these stories. So congratulations on your podcast.

Shirley Owens: Thank you so much. Have an amazing day.

Patricia Nash: Take care. Bye Bye.

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