Moms to See in the 803 :: Sally Peek


Sally Peek, of Nana by Sally, has been in business for fifteen years. Sally makes beautiful bags from leather remnants and fabrics, that are often vintage inspired.

Recently, Sally sat down with Columbia Mom to tell us all about her business. We thought we connected with her gorgeous products, which typically sell out within days of her Instagram postings. But, then we listened to her wisdom and her heart. 

We think you’ll love this interview with one of Columbia’s creative entrepreneur moms.

Sally, how did this all begin? 

I really came about this sort of accidentally. I have two daughters, and this business began when my oldest was just one year old. I was working full-time at a law firm and was looking for a creative outlet. The Columbia Museum of Art, where my husband was working at the time, advertised a day class. I signed up, bought a sewing machine, took it with me, and came home with one finished bag.

I love that you were all in enough that you bought a machine to take to class. I happen to know that your husband is also a creative…

Yes! He was selling his art before I was making bags. He’s a full-time high school art teacher now. And, we both have home studios. I think he has empathy for, and patience with, me because he’s a creative, too. And, he’d already experienced some of the business side of things.

How fast did your business grow?

Well, after that one class at the museum, I made a lot of bags in a couple of weeks. I sent out emails to my family and friends, and they were supportive. Then I became self-conscious that I was using a store-bought pattern. That’s when I worked towards making my own patterns.

I got a business license to legitimize the money coming in and chose the name Nana after my grandmother, but that name was already taken. So, I ended up with Nana by Sally.

When did Nana by Sally become full-time for you?

I continued to work for two years and then gradually went part-time. In 2010, when our second daughter was born, I was home full-time and hired an assistant to keep things afloat. 

There were the years when I worked while the girls were in preschool, and during nap times. Now they are 11 and 16 and have lived in the studio with me their whole life, seeing it all – me working, hosting open houses, and interacting with customers. I think the experience for them has been valuable.

Tell us what your daughters have learned from you, a business owner mom.

I think they have their own innate entrepreneurial spirits. They have shown me a lot of grace and generosity. They’ve shared our home with lots of people, and seen me with others. I think they’ve learned hostess skills. And I think they’ve learned that you can’t wear all the hats and be perfect all the time.

What about us? What would you want us to know – that can’t be said on social media?

We need to be supporting people and causes that are real, not things manufactured on Tik Tok. Idealistic lives. Pretty home pages. Consistent photography. That’s a plastic world we live in there.

We need to remember we are all a little flawed and messy, yet we still can live a great life and have great interactions with people. It’s easy to lose sight of that as we keep up with the next trend and consume, consume, consume.

Look inward. Find happiness in other places. Connections with people. Tangible connections. Connections that are not just throwing a heart on a post.

Wow. That’s a lot more than beautiful bags you’re sharing! Thank you, Sally.

You can follow Sally, and support her business by visiting her website and Instagram account

Moms to See in the 803 is a series highlighting local moms who are making a difference in our community or in business. Want to tell us about an inspiring mom who is doing something great? Send us an email!


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