Behind the Scenes With…
Paige Davidson
by kelly lee

The Vitals

Occupation: Painter and handbag designer, Cahoots Handbags and

Birthdate/Sign: February 9, 1978/
Aquarius…send me presents

Denton, Texas

Current Digs:
Gainesville, Texass

The 411:
Born and bred in Texas, Paige Davidson has made a name for herself as a talented painter and handbag designer, all without living in New York or LA. Get the inside scoop on her severe addictions (shopping and tacos namely), her inspirations and ambitions, and why she wants to bake cupcakes with Isaac Mizrahi below.

About the Biz

How did you start doing what you’re doing?

realized I needed to start making my own bags because
it was costing me a billion dollars a month to support
my handbag addiction. My partners in crime (my mother
and sister) joined me to make bags for ourselves, and
we kept finding amazing fabrics and the bags started
multiplying like gremlins and we decided we’d start
selling them online. Things then exploded.

How do you go about creating your bags?

We love the idea of using vintage fabrics and creating
a limited edition of bags OR a one of a kind bag for
our customers so that we all don’t become clones with
feather and beaded trim. Our studio is stacked with
piles of unique fabrics that you won’t find at your
chain fabric store.

What inspires you when you’re designing and creating?

I don’t know about inspiration, but NOTHING
makes a night of cutting out fabric go faster than The
O.C. or equally melodramatic TV. I also listen to lots
of NPR and a crazy lot of cds. I’m always looking
for new music, so feel free to mail me mix cds.

Have you found that the design community in your city is supportive?

We ARE the design community in our city. Gainesville
is a small town north of the Dallas metroplex.
Smalltown Texas isn’t a place where visual arts are
widely accepted and practiced [see the story surrounding the uprise against the nude art mural at the Pilot Point Gallery… Paige painted the apple in the mural], but there are a few
little gems in town. My studio is probably the most
sparkling of them all.

Did you study your craft in school or are you self-taught?

I graduated in the spring of 2000 with
a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the
University of Texas at Austin.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Keeping enough interfacing on hand…we go through
that stuff like mad, and it’s hard to find good quality

The most rewarding?

Getting random emails from
customers across the country telling us they love our
bags and want to buy one.

How many people work for your company?

Cahoots is currently a two-lady team…and during
the summer we have three people on board.

Advice for up-and-coming entrepreneurs?

Do it, do it, do it.

If you could have any celebrity wear your bags, who would it be and why?

Bjork is so fabulous and
wacky. Her music is terribly wonderful and I keep one
of her cds in one of my cd players at all times.

Where would you like to be in 10 years?

I’d love to
be painting full-time and making bags like I am
now…but in a suuuuuuuuper cool city with fabulous
Vietnamese food and tacos. Perhaps overseas.

Where can we find your products?

You can currently find our
bags at and will soon be able
to find them in a variety of boutiques. You can see my paintings and a list of galleries at

Because We’re Nosy…

Favorite designer?

I love lots of designs by lots of
different people, but if I have to pick a favorite
PERSON, Isaac Mizrahi wins hands down. He’s so
fabulous and sassy and warm and I would love nothing
more than to make pink frosted cupcakes with him while
he sings, “Sweet Lotus Blossom” and becomes my best

Favorite mag?

Bust Magazine, Elle Decor, Wallpaper.

Favorite food?

Tacos and Beef Lemongrass
Vermicelli Bowls and Samosas. Please send me coolers
of Vietnamese and Indian food!!! PleAASE!!!

Describe your personal style.

Everchanging. I’m
generally dressed simply and comfortably. I have a
billion black pairs of pants and black tanktops….but
I also have a pair of pink-and-red-striped satin pants
and a collection of vintage dresses. In the studio,
I wear black yoga pants…and I’m in the studio every

Favorite city?

Paris and Rome.

Favorite word?


Favorite candy?

Symphony, Almond Roca, chocolate
anything…and salt water taffy.

Favorite shop?

Wildflower (Austin, TX) and Lush.

Favorite website?

Favorite way to procrastinate?
Eating tacos!! Mmmmm.

In the spirit of Inside the Actors Studio, your favorite curse word?

What are you craving right now?Vietnamese

What’s on your Tivo’s To-Do List?

I don’t even
have cable. I barely have a TV to hook to a VCR.

In your CD player?

I have the brand new Outkast in my
office and Bjork’s “Post” in my studio and Nina
Simone in my bathroom.

Current Crush?

Isaac Mizrahi and Todd Oldham. I
really want to be their friend and make chocolate
cupcakes with pink icing.

AM or PM?

I do both equally well. 7am-midnight every

Fave Color?

Red and pink and brown.

Fave flick?

Royal Tennenbaums, Fight Club, Big
Lebowski, Hands on a Hard Body.

Favorite artist?

Adam Morey just sent me a photo of
the most beautiful painting!!! I adore it…and all
his work. I also am a big fan of Courbet today…I
saw “The Origin of the World” in Paris and cried.

More importantly, Ben or Jen?

I hate both, but I’m
picking Jen because she’s hotter.

Friendster – yay or nay? If yay, how many Friendsters are in your personal network as of today?

WAHOOOOOO! 27…please join me and make me

If you could be anywhere right now where would it be?

I’d like to be at Mary’s Taqueria in Progresso, Mexico eating carne asada tacos and drinking handpainted pots full of margaritas.

Please turn the tables and ask us a question!

Q. If you were going on a four-day roadtrip and had to listen to ONE CD on full volume repeat for the entire trip, what CD would you take?

A. That’s tough…I’m really into Coldplay lately, but it’s not the most uplifting music and I wouldn’t wanna be suicidal by the end of the trip, sooo I’ll have to go with what I’ve been listening to everyday this past week, which is Frank Sinatra’s “The Very Good Years.” I’d yell along to “My Kind of Town” (Chicago is) and “New York, New York” — the two cities I’d love to live in at this moment.


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