Every issue, we talk with movers and shakers across industries—from fashion to food. Deb Waterman Johns, chief creative officer and co-founder of SCOUT (scoutbags.com), a line of handbags, accessories and more, shares with us why she launched the brand and what’s new for the holidays.

What made you want to start SCOUT?

I knew from my fashion training that when trends start at the top and the bottom, there’s often an opportunity to see them meet in the middle. I spotted two items—one bag that I bought for $3.25 and another that I bought for $450—and saw an opportunity to create a line of bags that really did not have a parallel universe at that time: high-functioning, fashionable, affordable fun bags. 

Tell us about the inspiration behind this year’s holiday line.

This year’s holiday line is all about creating looks that are truly delightful, with patterns and colorways that instantly connect to the holidays yet elevate it with a slightly different interpretation—tassels, little trees that evoke a retro bottle brush look, checks in gold and white—mixing metallics into a collection, as we’ve done here, makes it feel extra lush and rich and very giftable.

You have four children and a busy business. What are your go-to tips for the holidays?

My biggest tip is to think about what you love yourself. And when you find something you love, buy it in bulk (10 of your favorite book, candle, olive oil)—then personalize what you mix into each one of your gift bags. There are so many great gifting choices out there these days, you can’t go wrong if you naturally edit based on your own tastes.