We’ve come a long way from the little bedroom above designing director Ayla’s Suffolk park home. We spent summers huddled in the space with nothing but a fan and working with laptops on the floor.

It’s hard to believe we now have an entire creative space for ourselves.

It was a natural progression to join the creative hub of the Byron Bay Arts & Industry Estate.  In the business district that is home to Spell & the Gypsy Collective, Hope & May and Ahoy Trader we feel quite comfortably at home.

Now the magic happens!

The design process is born and has a cradle. We all know great minds think alike and for The Bare Road there was no better place to find talent than among our friends.

Swedish born all round creative Maria Nilsson has been in Australia since she was nineteen, bringing with here a wealth of knowledge and experience in many different dimensions.  Katie and Ayla welcomed her to the team about a year ago with the solid objective to expand their design spectrum. 

“I always start with creating numerous mood boards. The first mood-board, is often from European and Swedish influences”, Maria explains.

So what is a mood board you ask?

 A mood board is a visual delight of ideas collated from pre-existing inspiration of relevance to whatever project is at hand. In this case, the new collection. 

The design inspiration comes together from colours, trends, new trims, new subcultures, different stripe approaches, materials, shapes… the list goes on!

The colourful images adorn our walls as a constant reminder for what we are here for!

Maria mentions “I always try to match this with what fits in with TBR”.

After the mood boards are put together, the team then sits down to discuss and pick the winning ideas. Then it's time for designing.

Lately, TBR has developed the ranges to thirty pieces per collection. A far cry from the few t-shirts and tanks we started with!

“The art work is very simple, often different stripes or plaid,” Maria explains. The design directors very much value the unique nature of designing, and the authentic satisfaction of starting from scratch.

When asked what her favourite part of the design process is, Maria answered without hesitation, “ The excitement of receiving the first samples! The anticipation of all your hard work coming together into something real, that you can see, touch and wear.” True to Maria’s technically creative expertise.

Katie’s overall diplomatic nature shone through in her answer “I love the collaboration of ideas and then seeing it all put together on a range plan and seeing it take form as a whole collection. 

It's like placing the puzzle pieces all together.” 

Similarly and evidence of a completely functionable partnership Ayla’s response

“I love bringing it all together. Working with all the inspiration and watching all our ideas click straight away! Everything just works.” She elaborates how simplicity is the key to the vision.” All our designs are wearable, easy and what we love to wear.”

Needless to say the development of ideas is effortless, when such open minds are always kept. The whole team has some sort input including sales and customer service, contributing to the rise of collections that our consumers want, including developing our dream wash denim, and finishing touches that have been without a doubt a labour of love.

Through all the forward planning and challenges that become obstacles, the synchronism of teamwork is always the forth most becoming strength of our business. There is no other player like it and the better we know each other, the stronger we get.... so the next project is always looked upon as new challenge with overwhelming enthusiasm.