Not many people know this, but before I started Parcelly, I had big dreams of becoming a wedding planner. Mind you, this was coincidentally at the same time that I discovered Pinterest, saw millions of wedding ideas, and become fascinated by all things wedding-related. Ironically, I have only attended 3 weddings in my entire life, however, my friends can vouch for me, I have mine pretty much planned. I first came across Truvelle on Etsy by accident and I immediately fell in love with the designs. It was so hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that the company was founded by a 20-something-year-old. It gives me all the feels to have had the opportunity to interview a lady in business who I not only look up to but whose product I plan on (eventually!) walking down the aisle in. Cue the wedding bells, folks!
Name: Gaby Bayona
Business Name: Truvelle & Laudae
Tell us about your business.
I run two bridal lines: Truvelle & Laudae. My main brand, Truvelle, was started in 2013 for brides who want unconventional & eﬀortless. Truvelle specializes in gowns with flowing skirts, interesting bodices, and we do really beautiful open back gowns. Laudae, started just last year, is Truvelle’s spirited younger sister. The Laudae gowns are all fitted, with leg slits & mesh inserts & really rad statement laces. Laudae is also a brand with an eco edge: all of our linings are recycled & everything is ethically produced in our Vancouver studio.
One big misconception people have of my businesses is that it’s prominently a design business. The reality is, most of our resources are used in garment production. To put into perspective, the business is run in a ~9,000 square foot building, and ~7000 square feet of it is devoted to our production, quality control, and shipping departments.
What was the biggest obstacle in building your business and how did you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle was not having enough money (I’m sure you’ve all heard that one before). I don’t have a wealthy family & started Truvelle a few years after high school, so I had to do a lot of bootstrapping, late nights, and I asked for a ton of favours. To get Truvelle oﬀ the ground I took out a $15k bank loan, and after that, I was just really careful with my money so that I could reinvest as much as I could back into Truvelle. I even went vegetarian so I could save on food costs!
What motivates you? What are some ways you stay motivated?
Right now, my team is what motivates me the most. Seeing how much they care about Truvelle/ Laudae makes me want to have a business that has the funds to be able to take care of them too.
What made you resilient to the fear of failure?
I started Truvelle right after my 21st birthday : I think being young & a bit ignorant of failure helped. I also didn’t have anybody depending on me when Truvelle was started, so if I messed up it wouldn’t eﬀect anybody else but me… which made me more fearless.
I think being young & a bit ignorant of failure helped.
What is an important lesson you’ve learned through running your own company?
It’s good to count on intuition, but cold hard facts can’t be beat. Always track & record the progress of everything you do.
What is the best part about running your own business?
I really love how much I learn on the daily. I feel like I’ve earned a psychology degree by doing HR, I’m a finance pro thanks to budgets, I’ve probably become the best wedding-specific product developer in Western Canada, I know so much about commercial leases, and my knowledge of sewing gets refreshed all of the time.
If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
As grateful as I am for having gotten the opportunity to start a business so young, I do wish that I had lived a fuller life before starting my own business. People always laugh when I tell them this, but I feel like I missed out on the shitty bar job, I’ve never backpacked through Europe, I never finished a degree, I’ve never gotten to try out the corporate lifestyle. Because I’ve never done these things, I romanticize it a little bit.
I do wish that I had lived a fuller life before starting my own business. People always laugh when I tell them this, but I feel like I missed out on the shitty bar job, I’ve never backpacked through Europe, I never finished a degree, I’ve never gotten to try out the corporate lifestyle. Because I’ve never done these things, I romanticize it a little bit.
Describe your daily routine from the moment you wake up.
I’m not a morning person, so I love staying in bed as long as possible & then hitting the ground running. Usually, I’ll wake at 10, get out of bed at 10:15, and then be ready to bike to Truvelle’s studio by 10:45. Then it’s a mix of emails, meetings, design, product development, or random housekeeping things. My evenings are usually spent doing thought-heavy work things since I’m too distracted at the studio to sit down and solve a problem for more than an hour. I love ending my evening watching a TV show with my boyfriend. Right now, we’re going through the new season of Twin Peaks.
What’s your favourite day of the week? Why?
I like Sundays, for obvious reasons.
When the facts change, I change my mind.
What is your go-to pick-me-up?
Almond milk matcha latte.
What is your spirit animal?
I don’t have a spirit animal - sorry!
What is your favourite app?
I’m like, comically obsessed with checking the weather. Yahoo Weather does a great weather app.
What is a quote you live by?
When the facts change, I change my mind.