Meet Nan Napier

Location: El Paso, TX
Age: 55
Marital Status: Married
Education: BA, Southern Methodist University

Nan Napier is the heart and soul of Tres Mariposas, a fashion oasis for sophisticated women in El Paso, Texas. She took over the store at just 24, when the owner, her then father-in-law, asked if she would like to run it. “I was so naïve,” she remembers. “I didn’t know that I didn’t know anything, and that was the beauty of it.” Thirty years later, after two great kids and a divorce at 34, Nan is naïve about little, but passionate about much. She’s also a happy Newlywed.

What’s your personal style?

Clean with a dash of quirkiness.

Where’s the quirkiness?

I wear black and white, Cole Hahn, old-timey schoolteacher shoes. Some people love them, some people hate them, or some people love ’em but would never wear them.

Give me another example.

I’m very quirky as a manager, because I lead our team in goofy things. I have a five-minute tape that we listen to in the morning. It’s about getting your brain focused so you can be really present with your customers all day. Goofy things always work.

Your style when you were younger was quirky or not?

No, I was too much under 50 to have that much confidence.

Who influenced your style?

Since my mother likes clutter and early American colonial style, I wanted to get as far away from that as possible–like a good little adolescent. I pull inspiration from everywhere. When I visited my son at the Air Force Academy, I noticed that they used index cards for training, so now I use that in the store to train everyone on the designers. My staff is like, “You’re bringing us ideas from the Air Force?!”

Your son is in the Air Force?

Yes, I have two kids, 24 and 26. One is in Thailand and one is in Japan. One is politically right and one left. So, my daughter is saving the world working for theAlliance Against Traffic in Women in Bangkok. And my son went to the Air Force Academy and is flying helicopters and about to go to Afghanistan.

You seem very devoted to your staff.

When I divorced and became the owner of the store, I had this vision of making it a perfect place for women to work. A place to enhance their lives and be fabulous for customers.

Do you have a favorite designer?

I like a lot of Elie Tahari, I’ll pull pieces out of Escada that are clean and shaped. I have never liked dressing in one designer head to toe.

What’s your beauty routine?

I use a skin care line we carry; Caudalie. It’s plant based from the wine vineyards in France. Their spas are magnificent, especially the one in vineyards of France. At this point it’s just moisturize and moisturize some more.

How do you rejuvenate?

People will say I’m not but I’m really an introvert, but I recharge by being by myself. A lot of times I spend lunchtime just catching up on reading alone.

What would you say is your biggest indulgence?

I indulge in moderation all the time. Even though I’m a small person, I eat desserts. I love massages.

How about a passion project?

My personal passion is learning. When I got divorced, I went to therapy and I just loved it—psychology became my hobby. I feel like I have an MBA in Organizational Psychology from all the different things I’ve learned and then applied at the store.

What’s your favorite restaurant in El Paso?

Dane’s. It’s a very nice restaurant but it’s not stuffy. The food is continental.

Did you remarry?

I’ve been remarried for a year and a half.

Congratulations. Had he been married before?

No. When I first started dating him my friend in New York said, “Does he still live with his mother?”

How old is he?

65. And he got married at 63. He’s kind of a wild man, which is a good balance to me because sometimes I’m too sane.

What does he do?

He’s a dentist, which is perfect for him because he’s an avid sportsman. So he’s on the ski slopes and the golf course. He does recreation for a hobby. My hobby is my work.

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