We’re continuing our Meet the Makers Series with Nicole from Simply9 Designs. If you’ve ever dug around the bottom of your purse for a lipstick that you absolutely know is in there, you’ll love her Lil Bit Small Makeup Bags. And her range of slim wallets is perfect for days when you just need a driver’s license and a credit card. We can’t wait to introduce you to Nicole and learn more about her brand and the inspiration behind it.
Hi Nicole, thanks for sharing your story with us today! Can you please tell everyone a little about yourself?
I love to design stylish, functional & fun custom handmade handbags. I am also a single mother of a wonderful 6-year-old son that keeps me on my toes. I have been sewing since I was a little girl (so yes a long time, lol). My mom always had me doing something crafty, but sewing was still a passion. Having the ability to customize something unique just for me was not only fun but rewarding, so I figured why not share the love.
We’re so glad your mom instilled a passion in you for all things crafty! Who inspires you?
My son is my greatest motivation, and because of him, Simply9 Designs indeed came to life. The name was developed as an honor to my son.
“Simply” came from merely needing a stylish, functional & fun custom handmade handbag that I could take from day tonight. “9” is from my son and I both sharing our birthdays on the 9th. So in honor of him and the drive he provided, Simply9 Designs was born.
What a beautiful tribute to your son and the inspiration he provides! What are you most excited about for the future?
Continuing to grow my business, until I accomplish making it a household name.
We know Simply9 Designs will be a household name in no time! 2020 has been a tough year. Can you share something good that has come out of this time?
I have gotten to spend a lot of time with my son. I also learned how to pivot in my business and that if my business can survive this, getting bigger and better is around the corner.
What a great mindset! We hope bigger and better things are around the corner for all of us! What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
My sister always tells me to never second guess my designs. She always told me to just show my bag designs. So she always tells me “if you make it, post it, they will buy it”. LOL
Your sister sounds like a wise woman! We’d love to know a little more about your business. What do you make and how long have you been doing it?
I launched Simply9 Designs in May of 2016. In my collection, you will always find a great selection of large handbags, workbags, stylish totes, clutches, crossbody bags, wristlets, makeup bags, matching wallets, and more. They can be used to inspire your own design or purchase them as is.
I am 100% hands-on and carefully select all materials, such as cork, vegan leather, canvas fabrics, and hardware. I also design every style you see, cut all materials, sew the handbags, take photographs, and ensure items packaged with care. Every part of the process is handled with attention to detail, checked for quality, and if you are not 100% satisfied
We love your whole collection! Why did you get involved with MMC?
I was so happy that Katy had found me on Etsy. I love MMC and wish I had more time to do more with this beautiful network of women who create handmade products. Having a community that understands you is vital to any business.
We’re so glad you’re a part of this community! What is the most memorable response you’ve had to your work?
When I created my first memory bag for a customer. A memory bag is when I take military jackets and break them down then build them back up into a bag. I created a beautiful tote for a customer who had lost her father and wanted a way to remember him. She sent me his military jacket and I was able to give her a way to keep a part of him close every day. The letter she wrote to thank me, still brings me to tears.
Anytime I get a message from customers who watch their custom bags come to life, brings me so much joy to see them so happy.
That memory bag sounds so special. What a beautiful way to give your customer a piece of her dad to carry around with her forever. Last question: If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
That I could sew every bag with just my mind, no hands. LOL
That would be a very helpful superpower! Thanks so much for sharing the story of Simply9 Designs with us! We’re so glad to have you as part of the Mosaic Makers Collective!
Want to learn more about our makers or shop Simply9 Designs? Check out these additional resources: