Gaby Bayona can tell you the difference between a flounce and a peplum, but she’d rather help you fit into something a little more modern. A childhood spent in her mother’s sewing room learning the ins and outs of the bridal industry helped Bayona hone her skills and craft a master plan. “When I decided to break free from the custom dress world, it was with the premise of designing modern wedding gowns,” says Bayona.
This natural-born hustler followed an unconventional path and started her business, Truvelle Bridal, fresh out of high school. Spending her free time designing blush, ivory, and gold prom gowns, the then-18-year-old was surprised to find that “it was actually brides who were responding to them. People were looking for something fresh and I had accidentally stumbled upon the answer,” she explains. Now Bayona is disrupting the industry, one bride at a time.
For Bayona, her hometown of Vancouver was the perfect launching pad for her business. “I love how it’s such a young city, meaning anyone can make an impact on the cultural foundation. Especially in the bridal industry – there’s nobody in Western Canada producing wedding gowns to the scale that we do, and it would be amazing for Truvelle to be known as the benchmark for Vancouver wedding fashion.”
We said ‘I do’ to spending a jam-packed day with Bayona, discovering how she got her start, how she stays balanced and her grand plans to upend the traditions of an age-old industry.
Meet Gaby Bayona.
A quiet moment at home before the busy day begins
“I’ll get up and get ready for the day, then sit by my window posting on the Truvelle Instagram, checking that day’s calendar and quickly running through my inbox.”
Heading to the studio after a quick chai run at Smart Mouth Cafe
“Before I got into the industry, I was really turned off by what it used to be: stagnant, over-the-top and unnecessarily stressful. I realize now that there’s so much opportunity for creativity and innovation.”
At Truvelle Bridal Shop for bridal appointments
“When I started Truvelle in 2013, the ‘non-traditional wedding gown’ idea was quite new. A stereotype of this industry is that it’s boring, traditional and stagnant – but weddings are cool.”
Heading to lunch and a client meeting
“I stay balanced and mindful by travelling a ton, which forces me to switch off and gives me a chance to miss working. I’m very work-hard-play-hard – I love being busy.”
Commuting through False Creek
“I’m Vancouver through and through. The city is beautiful and I love the balance of a big-city mentality with small-town connections.”
“My style is minimal and clean. I really like having pieces that work with other items in my wardrobe; I’ll go for the well-made classic over a statement piece any day.”
A quick refresh at The Juice Truck
“My advice for making your side-hustle full-time is just that it’s so much more important do it. Forget the 20-page business plan.”
Drafting and working on patterns at mom's
“My mom was a single mom and a seamstress. She couldn’t afford a babysitter, so I came to work with her in the sewing room of her custom dress shop. She taught me to sew and taught me everything I know about the business.”