Interview: Wendy Nichol

Interview by Brittani Lepley

 

You are incredibly inspirational. How did Wendy Nichol come to be? In 2007, I was living in Brooklyn with my family. I started making jewelry around this time while I was at home with my daughter. Soon leather found its way into my work, and this material was magic to me. From there I was making the first iterations of my handbags on my kitchen table.

What has been your favorite part of owning your own business so far?

All of the fabulous people I’ve met, and friends that I’ve made. Some of my greatest collaborations and most powerful friendships have come from somebody randomly walking into the store.

Craftsmanship is extremely important to the brand. Tell me a little bit about your process in making the bags.
The bags are made in an atelier, 90% by hand without machinery. We’ve been able to continue to release iconic bags that we released in 2009 a decade later and they’re still relevant because of their timelessness and originality. For people who are interested in luxury craft it’s a valuable investment.

Who are you favorite writers?
Patti Smith, and Alejandro Jodorowsky

How would you describe your personal aesthetic and how do you feel it spills into your brand?
I would describe my aesthetic as Modern Witch. I think the way all of our things are made have an element of magic that goes into them. Keeping magic alive is really important.

If you could tell your 13-year-old self anything, what would it be?
Trust your intuition, be confident, the body has infinite wisdom.

Your space is gorgeous. Are there certain things you surround yourself with to keep your creativity flowing and vibration high?
Because it’s an atelier environment, all of the ingredients that go into our leather goods and our jewelry surround us, so that as a team we can continuously evolve our collections and draw from the raw materials that are placed, gallery style, throughout the store.

What scent are you wearing?
That would be my fragrance, Potion No. 1.

What is the story behind the middle finger motif?
I thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny if you opened your wallet and you were flipping someone the bird with the hardware?” The first version of the middle finger was on a wallet. When I actually saw the hardware on the wallet, I thought it would be funny to wear it on your hand, too.

What is your biggest vice?
An epic amount of coffee.

Who and what inspires you nowadays?
Getting away from the every day is inspiring. Removing yourself from your surroundings that you’re used to, like your work and your home. Traveling even an hour away can change your brain chemistry in a way that sharpens your axe and then can you cut through faster and more accurately at what you want to achieve creatively.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
You decide who and what takes up real estate in your brain.