1. My Mother Enid Collins

By Jeep Collins

My mother, the famous handbag designer of the 1960’s would be 98 years old today. Her colorful jeweled totes and box bags were in every major department store in the country.  She was my art teacher and inspiration in my own work, and it was her faith and the way she lived her life that led me to a deeper understanding of God.  For years I have wanted to tell the story of my mom and dad, Frederic and Enid Collins coming back to Texas after WWII to ranch and then making ladies handbags. Most of the people who knew them are gone now including my sister Cynthia; how I wish I had her to help me recollect the memories. Over the next few months I will post some of the stories of those early years ranching, and the start of their handbag business known as Collins of Texas. 

 Photo:  Enid on Klondike, late 1940's 

  • jeep collins - September 05, 2016

    I have been out of town for the last few days and away from my computer. Thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments. If you want to see the most comprehensive collection of Enid Collins designs visit www.enidcollins.com I will have a post from her journal later this week.

  • Cindy - September 02, 2016

    Post pictures of some of the bags

  • LeAnn Garrison Sharp - September 02, 2016

    My mother Lora B. Davis Garrison grew up on the Davis Ranch west of Utopia near Garner State Park. My parents traveled the world for 30 years with the USAF, until dad retired in 1971. My mom was an artist & soon made friends with your mother, she cherished the jeweled handbags she owned. Your parents like mine, were special & touched many lives.

  • Lisa Grimm - September 01, 2016

    I remember the portrait quilts she made .Her work inspired me to make quilts.

  • Emma - September 01, 2016

    I’m 28 and started collecting your mother’s wonderful bags when I was 12 or 13…. Now I probably have 20 or 30 of them. Would love to read more about your parents!!

  • Sherry - September 01, 2016

    I look forward to reading your writings. Thank you for sharing.

  • Lana Seale - September 01, 2016

    I had no idea where (or from whom) the Collins bags came from. Love learning this!

  • Tracy Holroyd-Smith - September 01, 2016

    I’ve also collected some of your Mum’s handbags. I really love them. Looking forward to hearing more about their story.

  • Merri Coots - September 01, 2016

    Thank you for these stories. Love them.

  • Sherry Matthews Fisher - September 01, 2016

    I remember my first Collins bag. It was a box purse with an owl on it. I was in elementary school and carried that beautiful box bag for years!

  • Tobey - September 01, 2016

    I am so happy that you will be sharing Enid’s life story with us! I adore and collect her works of art. She’s been a mystery to me. Now I get to learn about this amazing woman! Thank you!

  • Amanda Blackwelder - September 01, 2016

    My best friend and I have been collecting your mother’s bags since high school (that’s circa 1986). Both of us still cherish our collections and I STILL search vintage stores and estate sales to find a good deal. As a matter of fact, I purchased a bag from an estate sale just 2 weeks ago. I believe it’s my 10th, now.

    I’m eagerly looking forward your your posts…and intend on forwarding them to my best friend!

    All the best to you!!

  • Susie Prince - September 01, 2016

    ..I bought my first Enid Collins bag 25 years ago..it was the small flat wooden box called ‘Glitterbug’ and I have been collecting them ever since..I absolutely love my bags and would never part with any of them. I am so looking forward to finding out more about Enid and Frederic..thank you so much for sharing their story with us xx

  • Julie Willis - September 01, 2016

    I literally walked in the door from giving a presentation on your mom. I checked my phone and this post popped up on my feed. Amazing! What a legacy she has left!

  • Lisa - September 01, 2016

    I love your Mom’s work.

  • Rosalind Cook - September 01, 2016

    I believe your mother was an art student at TWU around the same time my mother was there. My mother was LaMerle Quillian Koehl who became an art teacher as well and a water color artist. When the Collins bags came out, Mother mentioned that she knew of Enid at TWU. In the 60’s I was too young for one of the purses, but my older sisters each had one. A couple of years ago, I found one at an antique store and purchased it. It was in pristine condition and I treasure it. I only use it for special occasions. God blessed both our mothers, who are in heaven now, with creativity. Good luck with your endeavor in writing about your parents.

  • Sandie smallwood - September 01, 2016

    Thank you for sharing. She was a special friend of ours when we all went to St Barnabas

  • Loretta Schmidt - September 01, 2016

    So happy you are doing this. What a gift for you children and their children — and for Tina& David and their families! Look forward to reading more!

  • Dawn Donalson - August 31, 2016

    Enid Collins was an inspiration to me when I was a young woman. She was probably my first female business role model. But she was so much more than that. She was spiritual and earthy and classy and funny. I carried one of her purses in eighth grade when the South Texas kids went to San Antonio for the world’s fair and rode the elevator in the tower. Her beautiful needlework was in the Fredericksburg Episcopal Church on the altar, a sign of her community service heart. She saw into people and then flashed that big, beautiful smile that made everyone feel so special. She was kind. Thanks for sharing, Jeep. She lives in the memories of the Hill Country people she gave joy.

  • Josie Lang - August 31, 2016

    i loved those purses, Still have one put away. Waiting to read more on your parents.

  • Sarah Barcenes - August 31, 2016

    What a beautiful photo of your mom . RIP .Very much looking forward to your biography on your parents and growing up on the ranch .Thank you for sharing it with us . Very much looking forward to it . God bless you .

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