A Hendersonville designer makes bags and scarves to honor her sister-in-law.
by Mick Kelly . photo by Brent Fleury
In the last few weeks of her life, Billie Satterfield gave her sister-in-law what no one else could have: encouragement to quit her job and start her own shop.
Hendersonville native Beverly Satterfield had been working for 17 years in the insurance and billing office of Western Carolina Urology. But she’d secretly dreamed of owning her own boutique where she would sell her own handmade fashion pieces.
Sadly, in 2000, Beverly’s sister-in-law Billie was diagnosed with lymphoma, and sometime in 2003, it became clear Billie was losing the fight against the disease.
For weeks, Billie was mostly in a daze, with a steady intake of narcotics for pain. Then, one day, while she was sitting with Beverly, Billie sat up in her hospital bed and took Beverly’s hand. “I’ve been thinking—those bags you’ve always wanted to make—I think you should do it,” Beverly recalls her sister-in-law saying. “Look at me. Life’s too short.” Billie died two weeks later.
Beverly decided that, as soon as she’d gathered up enough cash, she would resign from her insurance job. In 2005, she and a business partner Connie Williams started up Two Chicks Boutique in downtown Hendersonville.
In honor of her sister, Beverly started making Sweet Billie bags, brightly-colored, eclectic purses made mostly from recycled fabric. In fact, Satterfield incorporates all sorts of fashionable flotsam—old belts, sweaters, dresses and drapes.
“I try not to use a single thing that’s new,” she says. This year, she’s started making simple bright knit scarves to match the bags, and she seems to have started a recycled couture trend in downtown Hendersonville. Since September, she’s sold 24 scarves and is cranking out more as fast as she can make them.