Behind The Brand: The Bare Road

  • Style
posted by James Willmott

The Bare Road have a certain spirit that pays homage to the quintessential beach lifestyle, with quality staple garments for an understated and effortlessly elegant lifestyle brand. We catch up with the individuals behind the brand, Katie and Ayla to discover how the label first came to life, what it is like being based in beautiful Byron Bay, where they draw inspiration for each collection and much more!

Thanks so much for catching up with us today Katie and Ayla! Could you begin by telling us how The Bare Road was born and how it has evolved over the years?
We didn’t have a business plan, just an idea and we thought we would try our luck in Bali a few years back. From there, it grew naturally, with a mixture of chaos and a labour of love. From our humble beginnings of sweating our summers away in Ayla’s walk in wardrobe as an office, to our creative space in the Byron Industrial Estate alongside some of our aspiring colleagues, the idea remains the same today, to create affordable basics made of quality materials that are not mass-produced. 

Katie says, “It’s not so much about what you do, it’s how you do it.”

Ayla agrees, “ It’s about being out there every day, doing it.”

Things are never perfect but we are doing this for the right reasons. We knew we would never fail at this because we could not think of anything we would rather be doing. We love it and our hearts are in it, every day, every night, every year.

 What was the inspiration behind the name ‘The Bare Road’?
We wanted the name to translate what we created. It’s sometimes hard to make something that is simple interesting and unique, so that’s why we wanted to make it more of a journey.

Give us a rundown of a ‘day in the life’ at The Bare Road office.
Days in Byron begin well, our lifestyle is the inspiration behind everything we do from our design ideas to our campaigns, where the beach and ocean is always the backdrop.

Describe your workplace?
We are lucky to have such a beautiful open space to call our “office”. Our work place is productive and inspiring, we are a small team so we are all really close and compliment one another in all areas.

 You are based in the beautiful Byron Bay, tell us about the unique lifestyle in Byron and how that influences the way you operate your brand?
Ayla and I are born and bred Byron locals.  This lifestyle is part of our heritage, it’s in our bones, and it’s part of our family. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

How much inspiration do you get from the melting pot of cultures and lifestyles that is Byron?
We have watched Byron evolve over the years, into the creative eclectic mix of cultures and lifestyles. Byron is a place where people from all around the country and the world chose to live because it will harbor the way of life they choose to live. This is reflective in our team; our Brand Manager is from Melbourne with many years of experience in the fashion industry and our Designer, is originally from Sweden and spent most of her early Australian experience in Sydney. Both girls fell in love with the sea and moved north a while back and we have been working together from the start.

It’s more than a small town. There is no need to move to a city now to find a “career” or become something. The town is buzzing with business opportunity and success, with only room and intention to grow from here.

 What are some other places, people or experiences that influence and inspire The Bare Road?
We are constantly inspired by our surroundings and that includes the tropical island of Bali that has become over the years our second home, and such a complimentary transition from Byron.

We both spent our younger years travelling the world, from Europe to Mexico. We also have recently found much inspiration from Scandinavian shapes and trends – we will credit this to our talented design team!

Operating out of such a world-class and picturesque location, do you find yourself looking out your office window for inspiration?
All the time. It’s hard not to!

 What’s a motto The Bare Road family live by?
When it comes to fashion, we believe less is more, and quality cannot be substituted for convenience. We believe in a work life balance. We have happy staff that constantly express to us that this is the happiest they have ever been, and that means a lot to us. Family and friends are important – so are your passions. We make sure we all have time for all of those things.

Don’t get us wrong; it’s not always smooth sailing! It can get challenging, and stressful but our team is also generous with their time and efforts…. They never give up.

 What was the inspiration behind focusing on staple basics?
It’s what we wear! They are staple, genuinely made basics from luxurious fabrics, designed and constructed from scratch. From dying process to the creation of textures, it’s unique and simple. We wanted to evolve our look and we are dedicated to filling that gap in the market so our customers affordable, quality go-to favourites in their wardrobe.

Which of the pieces in your collections could you not go without?
We are loving the canvas playsuit this season, which is fast becoming a TBR signature staple. The introduction of our lightweight linen this Spring is exciting and we can’t go past the shorts!

What would you say is the strangest source of inspiration that has stuck with you?
TEA TOWELS! Some of the stripes in this seasons collection were inspired by some kitchen hand-me-downs… so when your mum says it looks like you are wearing a tea-towel…. chances are it’s true!