Baby Beau and Belle was founded in 1984 by designer Roberta Salton. Over the years, she has created some of the most beautiful christening outfits for young children. The designs are one of a kind, made with only the finest materials available, and carefully hand crafted. The garments are true heirloom pieces, designed to be passed down for generations. Roberta shared a bit about the design process and also had a few suggestions for others who are hoping to design.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My first designs incorporated beautiful laces and trims and as my company grew, my customers asked me to create christening gowns and baptism outfits. I am inspired by beautiful trims, embroideries and laces and these become the starting points for my work.
- How did you become involved in designing baby clothes?
I worked at Jonquil Lingerie and learned a lot about the garment industry from beginning designs through manufacturing and wholesaling to wholesaling and retailing. When I became a mother of my first two children, I decided to start my own business designing baby clothes working from my home. My first business was called “Once Upon a Time” creating vintage inspired designs.
Do you have any rituals or habits that you have before you start your day designing?
I read magazines and visit fashion forward sites and blogs to see what the trends are and for inspiration. Since many of our garments have a vintage look, I also at books and pictures of designs from the 1800’s and beyond.
Which design are you most proud of since you first started designing?
It’s difficult to think about one design but my overall philosophy is to offer the highest quality product using exquisite materials that are all hand sewn one at a time and with customer satisfaction as our primary goal. Of course being made in the USA is something we are also proud about.
What was the most memorable story you’ve heard from a customer?
There are so many; we literally have thousands of inspiring and happy customer experiences. One family in San Francisco designed their entire christening around the gown that they had purchased. After the ceremony at the church, the after party used the colors of the gown for the flowers, cake and table settings.
Which dress requires the most skill and craftsmanship to make?
Our Penelope heirloom christening gown. It takes a very highly skilled seamstress to make this gown. We have hand made roses and beaded embroidery that is very expensive, so they have to be careful to make sure it is perfect. This happens to be a customer favorite as well!
What advice would you give someone who wants to start designing or start their own business?
First, you need to have the passion and artistic skill to create something new and fresh. Then, have a business plan with clear goals and how to reach them. Think about how the business will integrate with your family life. Above all, listen to your customers and provide them with the best customer service possible and you will have the best chance at succeeding!