holly and tanager leather handbags

Peggy Kollias

Teacher & Fashion Blogger

Undergraduate BA degree in English and Secondary Education from Loyola University Chicago and Masters in Reading and Reading Specialist degrees from National-Louis University.

"I love my Sidekick Mini! It fits perfectly inside my work bag and is ready at all times to make an appearance."

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holly and tanager handbag

What do you love about your Holly & Tanager Handbag?

I love my Sidekick Mini! It fits perfectly inside my work bag and is ready at all times to make an appearance. I love the handle and the fact that there are so many secret pockets inside. I’m a sucker for a secret pocket. The material is so soft and beautiful and I love how it is two-toned – business on one side and ready to play on the other side.

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What is your current position?

Currently, I’m a reading specialist for sixth and eighth grades. I teach small classes of students who are reading below grade level. I also coach cross country and track.

Tell us about Hallways Are My Runways and why you started your blog.

I began writing Hallways Are My Runways in October of 2012. I had been contemplating the idea of starting a blog for a few months prior and then one day Eleni, my older sister, said let’s start your blog. Journal writing in school was my favorite thing to do because you just wrote until the teacher told you to stop. HAMR, naturally, feels like I’m journaling all the time; which I love. HAMR is a collection of personal style, budget finds, Chicago doings and travel logs. The blog itself was easy to name because I’m a teacher and the long hallways reminded me of the catwalk.

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The Holly & Tanager Sidekick in brown.

Who is your role model and why?

My roles model is my sister, Eleni. She is the definition of a girl boss. She not only is an assistant manager at Hermes, she is the brains behind Limani Designs. She not only was the pioneer of us siblings, but she paved the way for me so that I could pursue my interests. She taught me how to drive, how to put on makeup and I took some of her unique fashion advice. She always listens to me and she loves offering life advice. I don’t always listen, but I know she cares. She not only is my sister, but she is my best friend.

What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?

I would tell my 10-year-old-self that everything will be alright. Just breathe and enjoy being young.

If you could have any super hero power what would it be? 

If I could have any super hero power, it would be reading people’s minds. I love people watching and it would be cool to hear what they are thinking.

What essential items are in your everyday bag?

In my work purse, I carry my agenda planner. I’m old school on this because I love the feeling of crossing out to do lists. I also carry my pencil case, laptop, phone charger, Vaseline, lip gloss, several books and of course papers to grade.

Peggy is seen here with her Holly & Tanager Companion crossbody in grey.