The Magic + The Mess: Katie Gaston
Ever wonder who the (super)woman is behind Baybala? Today’s your lucky day! Meet Katie—entrepreneur, mama, and fierce creative force of the brand.
What’s the #1 reason you decided to start Baybala?
When my son was born, there weren’t many brands that spoke to my aesthetic that also offered the function and performance that I desired. After my daughter was born, I quickly realized the issues weren’t only in the boys market. I believed there was room to create a sophisticated line that was comfortable for kids to wear, beautiful enough for me to feel excited about, and easy to care for.
A few years into motherhood (while also juggling the role of an interior designer—one of my passions!), I realized I also wanted the same thing for myself. There were certain clothes that I loved, but they simply didn’t make sense anymore because of the ever-changing, multifaceted nature of my life.
I dreamed of clothing for women and for their kids that were polished and chic while also remaining easy and comfortable. I decided that instead of juggling just two paths—one as a mama and the other as an interior designer—I was going to add a third. And the journey to launching a brand began!
Favorite part about designing a new collection?
The dreamer phase! It’s the phase where anything is possible before someone tells you it can’t be done or the product is late or the color comes back wrong from the factory.
How do you design clothes that fit the lifestyles of mamas?
While the dreaming phase may be my favorite, the most important part of designing the collection is when we take a step back to evaluate whether or not the pieces will actually perform. It's easy to get carried away with what looks good and to fall in love with a detail that, in reality, may not perform well.
Each season we take a step back and really think about the way these clothes are worn. We think through the crazy scenarios women experience daily (climbing over a jungle gym or through a construction site, running from meeting to bath time to wine night with the girls) and ensure these clothes perform—while maintaining their beauty and details.
For example, our embroidered pieces wear and care easily, but they also add a ton of intricate personality without being fussy.
Something most people are surprised to learn about me is…
I’m an introvert. And I find it funny that people are surprised by this if it comes up in conversation. I love people and deep connections, but I’m not my best self if I can’t find time to be alone, reflect and recharge. This can be really tricky as a mom and business owner because you’re rarely alone!
My current favorite Baybala piece is…
For our Pre-Spring women's collection, I’m loving:
- The Heather Top for its day-to-night, casual-to-dressy versatility. It's comfortable yet pretty. I’ve worn this everywhere!
- The Katie Jacket is cut in one of my all-time favorite silhouettes—an updated bomber. The embroidered fabric makes it feminine yet durable and the cut gives it a bit of edge.
- The Ruby Dress has movement that makes it truly a dream to wear! I’ve worn this to a baptism and for date night, which I think speaks volumes. It's fun and versatile—a combo that can't be beat!
For the Pre-Spring Kid's Collection, these have become my go-to’s:
- The Rob Pant in Forest. Everything for toddler boys is baggy and I was craving something more tailored. These fit the bill! They’re slim without being skinny—not to mention we made them in my favorite color, a deep green.
- The Billy Tee is an update to the embroidered toddler tee. It's sophisticated without being too mature. This tee instantly looks pulled together and best yet, my boy loves to wear it!
- The Jane Top has quickly become a favorite in our collection. Tailored and feminine without being fussy, it goes with everything. I feel like this one will be in rotation for years with my daughter.
- Our take on the classic southern silhouette, the Lulu Shorts, are a favorite in our house, and a bestseller in general. Not just made for warm weather, they pair well with tights on colder days. We could make them in every print and color under the sun and I would never tire of them!
- The Margaret Dress is twirly, feminine perfection. It's an easy throw-on dress that looks polished and sweet without any effort. We pair it with a sweater in colder months and plan to throw it over swimsuits in the summer. I. LOVE. THIS. DRESS.
The three most surprising things about motherhood:
- How much valuable free time I wasted before I had kids! (ha!) Can I cash that in now?
- The amount of drive you gain after having kids. I have never been more ambitious or fearless than I am now in both my personal and business decisions and my decisions as a mama.
- And also how thoughtful and intuitive such little people can be!