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Community Feature: Donna and Erica

donna and Erica with us bags

Welcome to our new series! We’re featuring women from all walks of life who carry Urban Southern bags in their day to day lives.

 

Meet Donna Rhodes and her daughter Erica Hayden

 

donna and Erica with us bags

Donna and her daughter Erica both carry Urban Southern leather bags and love them. We’re so honored to feature them as they share a little bit about their lives as well as the bags they carry in their everyday.

 

Meet Erica, Donna’s daughter

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

What she does: Associate Professor of History at Trevecca Nazarene University

 

01. How would you describe your style?

Generally, I’d describe my style as unfussy but classic, especially when it comes to work clothes.

 

02. How did you hear or learn about Urban Southern?

I initially saw an advertisement in a magazine, and then when my mother got her first bag, and I saw it in person, I was impressed by the quality and style!

 

03. Which Urban Southern bag do you carry? And what do you like about it?

I carry the Mini Market Tote on a daily basis and have a Market Tote for longer trips or when I need more space. I love the simplicity of the style, but the sturdy functionality of it. And, the smell of leather is always a plus!

 

04. Have you made any friendships or connections through carrying Urban Southern that you would like to share with us?

I’ve had several people ask me about the bag, and I like being able to mention that it is made right here in Tennessee, especially when it is so important to support local businesses and artisans.

 

05. What is your best style tip?

Find pieces that are versatile. I like tops or blouses that can be casually worn with jeans or dressed up for a professional function.

 

06. What prepared you the most for what you’re doing with your life today?

I’m a college professor, so I think my desire to learn and to always put forth my best work is a major part of how I got to where I am today, but I also credit the mentorship of other educators in my life who paved the way and shared advice and criticism when necessary.

 

07. What is your greatest strength?

I feel like over the years, one of my biggest strengths is having grit. There are times when things aren’t going your way, and grit helps you to overcome these obstacles, power through the tough times, and become a stronger person as a result.

 

08. What is your biggest inspiration in life?

My family!

 

09. Tell us, what is your favorite quote that you live by?

It’s not really a quote, but someone once told me that “should” is not always a helpful word and to try to eliminate it because it causes stress and puts too much pressure on you. I tend towards trying to be perfect and thinking I “should” do this or “should” do that isn’t always healthy. It’s good advice, but hard to achieve!

 

10. Which area of your life would you like to be more balanced in and why?

I think it is always a struggle for me in the work-life balance area. I always feel like I need to be doing more in one of those two places.

 

11. What is the most fun adventure you have ever had?

I had the opportunity to study abroad in England for a semester when I was in college, and with all of the new friendships I made and the places I saw as I traveled around England and Europe, it was an adventure that I’ll never forget!

 

 

Meet Donna, Erica’s Mother

Donna Rhodes with black market tote

The picture was taken on the Isle of Iona on the western coast of Scotland during Donna’s recent trip through Germany and Scotland.

 

 Location: Huntingdon, PA

What she does: works in ministry education

 

01. How would you describe your style?

I describe my style as casual. I grew up on a dairy farm in Central PA, so I was never very fancy! Yet, I do have my share of professional clothes for my work. I love a classic denim skirt, black pants, or black skirt. I enjoy spicing up the look with a colorful scarf or a pretty necklace.

 

02. How did you hear about Urban Southern?

I was visiting my daughter in Nashville and saw an ad in a magazine. (Either Magnolia or Southern Living; I’m not sure!) The ad made me remember visiting Amish leather shops with my Dad when I was a child; I loved the smell! As soon as I saw the ad, I knew I wanted to order a bag.

 

03. Which Urban Southern bag do you carry? And what do you like about it?

My favorite is the Urban Tote. It is the perfect bag for a professional look: just the right size, functional, and nice interior pocket. I also splurged on the Market Tote prior a trip to Europe which I used it as my carry on with a colorful scarf tied through the handle.

 

04. Have you made any friendships or connections through carrying Urban Southern that you would like to share with us?

I’ve enjoyed sharing the enjoyment of US bags with my daughter. We were together at an event when someone commented on our similar bags. We enjoyed telling about our common love of US.

 

05. What is your best style tip?

Let your inner goodness and light shine through. More important than clothing style, I believe, is good self-care and the ability to let kindness and gentle strength radiate. As we feel good about ourselves, we can more fully extend the goodness. However, enjoying your clothing style and having favorites pieces certainly help us feel confident about our appearance.

 

06. What has prepared you the most for what you are doing with your life today?

My family instilled a good work ethic. Growing up on a dairy farm taught me the importance of solid and honest work. I also learned an appreciation of our beautiful world, the importance of faithful environmental care, and a deep gratitude to God for the beautiful seasons.

 

07. What is your greatest strength?

Listening to others. I’m in a helping profession, so I strive to listen keenly and be aware of others’ needs.

 

08. What is your biggest inspiration in life?

I find inspiration in a variety of hymn phrases and scriptural passages. My most inspirational hymn phrase is, “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,” in the hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

 

09. What is your favorite quote that you live by?

Someone once told me “Listen for the quiet voice of God throughout the entire day.” This is a challenge in our busy and noise filled world, but an excellent goal for guidance and peace.

 

10. Tell us, which area of your life would you like to find more balance in and why?

I’d like to find more balance by decluttering. I’ve collected a few too many items, and I anticipate feeling more balanced in life with a little more organization and sharing/donating of items.

 

11. What is the most fun adventure you have ever had?

I love to travel to the Isle of Iona on the western coast of Scotland. I deeply enjoy the beauty of this small island and the peace I find when I visit. Travel to Iona is rigorous: flight, train, ferry, bus, ferry, but challenging travel is worth it when I arrive on Iona. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Iona provides visitors with a fantastic location to rest, relax, and renew.

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