I was recently at a outdoor antiques market when I saw this dazzling purse and couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. The purse is made of wood and has a whimsical bird pattern bejeweled with gold and brown translucent stones and gold coins. I could tell that the design was from either the 1960s or 70s. Flat 2-D bird images have been popular and I wondered if this is where it began. The lady who sold it to me asked if I knew Enid Collins. No, I’d never heard of her.
Once I got home, I started to research Enid Collins and what I found was an interesting lady. Enid and her husband, sculptor Fred Collins, moved to Medina, TX to ranch. After struggling at making a go of ranching, they had to turn to their talents. She had graduated with a fashion design degree, so it was only natural that she would design purses. Enid made unique, stylish purses using paint, charms, sequins, rhinestones, sculpted brass ornaments and leather trim. Collins of Texas was born in 1959 and at first sold her bags locally in gift shops and dude ranches. But then Neiman Marcus placed an order and Enid’s totes and box bag purses became the ‘must-have’ accessory. I find her story inspirational because she followed her bliss. It seems that a lot of us get caught in the money trap of having to rely on a day job when only we’d be so lucky to lose our jobs and then have to rely on our passions. I know it seems a little scary, but the payoff is huge, not only money but what you have the potential to create.
After poking around the internet, I’ve learned that the purse that I’ve acquired was made in the 1960s. This purse is in excellent shape, but for missing three small sequins – hardly noticeable. It has a mirror on the inside flap to allow for powdering one’s nose at any moment. The purse design is called “Money Tree”, so you’ll be rich if you carry this bag around. Well, you’ll look rich anyway. It’s like carrying a portable piece of studio folk art. I’ll be posting this one for sale soon . . . if it can be wrestled out of my hands. What a find! If you’d like to see more designs, check out Enid Collins Collection.
Update 3/3/11 – This purse has been sold!