I was super excited when I found Harper and Bay on Instagram back in the Spring! Taisja is the sweetest coolest mama and I adore her stylish, super comfy looking, nursing-friendly dresses and tops! I only wish I found Harper and Bay sooner when I was breastfeeding my little guy! So breastfeeding mamas get on that! Also, Harper and Bay will be on "Project Runway: Fashion Startup" which premiers tonight on Lifetime TV at 10:30pm est! I am so inspired by this mama and how she's crushing it and can't wait to watch!
Owner and Designer of Harper and Bay
Tell us a Little about yourself, your family and your business.
After living in San Francisco for the past 7 years with my husband and our two little girls, we've moved back home to Utah. I love being a mom and running my own company Harper & Bay that provides stylish, easy to wear nursing friendly clothing.
What did you do before starting Harper and Bay?
After studying marketing at the University of Utah, I made the move to San Francisco to attend FIDM's Fashion Design program. My passion in school was actually children's wear. After having my first baby, I realized there was a need in the market for on trend dresses that were nursing accessible and that's when the idea for Harper & Bay.
How did you come up with your company name and why?
Since the idea behind Harper & Bay came from becoming a mother, I decided to use the middle names of my two daughters. There is so much of me in this company and it really feels like my third child:)
What inspired you to start your own business and how did you start it?
I've also been one with a project and love creating things! It has always been a dream of mine to have my own clothing line. I knew that I wanted to create/design a line with style and purpose. I love that Harper & Bay helps mother's feel beautiful and make nursing their little ones easier.
Is there a specific tool you use that makes managing a business easier?
My notebook/calendar. I'm a major list writer! I just love checking things off my To Do Lists.
What were some of the learning curves of just starting out?
It's been such a journey. Even though I have a Fashion Design + Marketing degree, learning about social media marketing, production and manufacturing were all new to me! I've had to learn has I go which has lead to some obstacles and paths I wish I wouldn't have taken, but at the end of the day I think the whole journey has been such a wonderful growing experience for me.
What's it like being a business owner and mom, how do you schedule both?
I love being a "mompreneur"! It is definitely a balancing act! I try to set goals each week of things I need to accomplish for work and things I would like to do with my girls. I have such an incredible support system that helps me juggle. It really take a village to raise children and even more so when you are also trying to run a company.
What has been your greatest lesson in business and motherhood?
Be present! I try very hard not to get catch up in comparing myself in business or as a mother to others. I try to be happy with where my company is and make goals for the future. I find that I'm the happiest when I'm living in the moment with my girls and counting my blessings.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and mothers?
Stay true to yourself! Things may not happen the way you planned but at the end of the day if you stay true to who you are then you will never be disappointed.
What does a “normal” day in your home look like?
Our normal day consists of school drop off, answering emails, packing orders, nap times, gymnastics & soccer games.
Besides business and your family, do you have any hobbies you love to enjoy (when you have the time)?
I love to get lost in a great book! Now that the weather is getting cooler there is nothing better than snuggling up by the fire and reading a book.
I’m a huge coffee lover, and I'm always looking for new types, do you have a particular favorite, or any non-coffee drink?
My favorite drink for fall is caramel apple cider:)
Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?
My parents - both of them are entrepreneurs and have shown me that it is possible to start and run a successful business on your own.
If you could travel anywhere or do anything in the world what would that be?
I traveled to Italy after graduating college and fell in love. My husband and I are hoping to travel to Europe this year for our 10 year anniversary.
If your children learn one thing from you what would you wish that to be?
To treat people the way you would like to be treated. Kindness goes a long way.
Any other comments or advice you would like to share?
Make sure to check out our new Fall + Winter line that launched October 17th. Also make sure to catch us on Lifetime's new fall show Project Runway: Fashion Startup, premiering October 20th.
Thank you Taisja for giving us a little behind the scenes of Harper and Bay!