From Pop-­Up to Permanent: Truvelle (Part 2)

February 12, 2016

This four-part series explores how the pop-­up shop has revolutionized retail opportunities for small businesses. No longer faced with prohibitive overhead costs and long­-term leases, entrepreneurs can test their concept in market — and the results have been incredibly successful. We sat down with six alumna of thisopenspace pop-­ups to discuss their retail strategies, glean their wisdom, and talk shop about their individual companies. This is interview 2 of 4. 

Truvelle is known for its whimsical, flowing wedding dresses, designed and made by Gaby Bayona and her team in Vancouver. Gaby launched the company in October 2013 after creating her own custom wedding dresses and wanting to scale her company. What began as a pop-up translated into a beautiful permanent location in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood.

One word to describe yourself?


Why did you start with a pop-up strategy?

I did a pop-up for two reasons: to introduce new people to the brand, and to host a sample sale when I couldn’t accept walk-ins at my old studio space.

What advice would you give to others looking to find a permanent space of their own?

Trust that things will work out and be honest with yourself in terms of cost. A space is so much more than the monthly rent.

Do you have any words of wisdom for young women looking to start their own company?

I was listening to this one podcast on the gender pay gap … how women make 79 cents to the male dollar. Though it’s easy to point a finger at gender discrimination, the podcast made a super interesting point: that women are often being paid the same as men for the same work, but generally women choose work that allows for flexibility so they can care for a family in the future. Flexible work = a lower pay (generally), which is a choice many women make. My advice is to pursue your business, and do so unapologetically. Don’t feel like you should limit yourself because of your potential family obligations. Men don’t limit themselves; why should you?

What detail do most brides-to-be overlook when bride dress shopping?

Lots of brides don’t realize how long the dress shopping process is. I typically recommend purchasing your dress eight to 10 months before your wedding. The breakdown is four to six months for your gown to be made, one to two months for alterations, one to two months for peace of mind.

What’s a must-know tip for packing a wedding dress when traveling?

Bring it on your carry on and pack a portable steamer.

Any plans for future expansion?

So many plans! Within Truvelle, I’m planning to introduce new products that complement our bridal gowns (bridesmaids, cover-ups, flower girls, etc.). I’m also developing a brand new bridal gown brand, which I plan to launch this summer. And I’m partnering up with somebody to develop a wedding tech company.

Articles in this series:

Part 1: Keighty Gallagher/Tight Club

Part 2: Gaby Bayona/Truvelle (You are here!)

Part 3: Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow/Hey Jude

Part 4: Sarah Frood and Emily Milardo/Union Bridal