Hattie Bags: How One Woman is Making Her Own Texas Hill Country Magic

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Tony Maples Photography


For nearly a decade, Barbara Collins has been bringing smiles to peoples’ faces with her company Hattie Bags. It’s her own brand of magic she’s been weaving since moving to Kerrville. How she embarked on this journey can inspire anyone looking to fulfill their own dreams.

What is Hattie Bags?

Several Hattie Bags purses

Photo: Facebook/Hattie Bags

Hattie Bags are purses and handbags that started life as hats from previous decades. Not just any hat will suffice to become one of the creations. It must be a vintage hat with a distinctive style that Barbara Collins can transform into an embellished purse. No two hats have the same design, which makes looking at this collection of purses an adventure in viewing artistry.

How Hattie Bags was Born

Making Hattie Bags

Photo: Facebook/Hattie Bags

Hattie Bags came about from serendipity. The founder, Barbara Collins, was rummaging in her closet one day, and picked up a hat she kept jewelry in, but her hand wrapped around it the same way a woman picks up a clutch. She thought how close it felt to a purse and got the notion to transform vintage hats into handbags.

The Creator of Hattie Bags

A selection of Hattie Bags

Photo: Facebook/Hattie Bags

The creator of Hattie Bags is also a family-woman. Born and raised in Houston, Barbara Collins moved to Colorado before finally settling in the Texas Hill Country. She has been married for 35 years to her husband, William. Together, they have six daughters, three grandchildren, and four sons-in-law. Today, she lives and works in Kerrville, Texas, where her business is based.

The Joy of Creation

An embellished Hattie Bag

Photo: Facebook/Hattie Bags

Barbara Collins’ creations are each unique. Rarely does she ever find vintage hats that have the same design, so each of her purses has a distinctive design. She’s even created gifts for her daughters’ weddings. Those were her favorite purses, but those are not the only bags she enjoyed making. In fact, the entire process of crafting the purses thrills Collins: the excitement of seeking out vintage hats and making the final product.

Discover Your Own Creation

If you’d like to see these creations yourself, check out Instagram or Facebook to view a selection. Barbara Collins often appears at various market days in the area. You’ll get to experience just a small sampling of Texas Hill Country magic by seeing the transformations of hats into unique purses. And, if you find a bag you like, you can be assured that no one else will have the same purse.