Who are you? & can you tell us a little about yourself?
Kaysie Bolton, Owner and Founder of Bayou Blend Apparel. I graduated from Texas Christian University in 2003 with a Bachelors Degree in Public Relations/Advertising, and a Minor in Fashion Promotion. I reside in Lake Charles, Louisiana with my husband and small children: ages seven, four and three. My son was diagnosed in Spring of 2017, and which is when I came up with the idea for Bayou Blend Apparel, and launched a year later, May 2018.
What exactly is Bayou Blend?
Bayou Blend Apparel is a purposeful brand that advocates Autism awareness with sensory friendly graphic tees, accessories and books.
What inspired you to start Bayou Blend?
In 2017 my son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Based on our need trying to find “sensory happy” clothing, I decided to create a line of Autism awareness tees that were fit for someone with sensory sensitivity: premium fabrics, specialized ink and printing method, and tag-less shirts. My ultimate goal was to create a vintage feel tee without compromising the quality. Knowing that one does not have to have Autism in order to have sensory sensitivity, I decided to expand the brand to two other lines, “L.A. to LA, ” a Californian vibe with Louisiana roots, and “SPIRITUALITY,” a line that expresses faith and positivity.
How did you come up with the name?
I immediately came up with the name Bayou Blend Apparel. Living in Southwest Louisiana, I literally live near a Bayou, and the word to me represents Louisiana, my foundation. “Blend” came from the idea that this company is multifaceted. In a literal definition, I use a blend of fabrics, inks and printing methods to create a sensory “happy tee.” But subjectively, the three lines: #Wearautism(TM), L.A. to LA and SPIRITUALITY, represent me, and my personal blend. That is why I often use the hashtag, #Whatsyourblend, what makes you, YOU?
You give back with Bayou Blend, can you tell us about that?
GiveBackBayouBlend(TM) is extremely important to the brand. I want customers to know and feel Bayou Blend goes beyond the tee. Not only does it serve several purposes, by being a sensory friendly tee, and creating awareness through the #Wearautism(TM) line; but when a tee is purchased, a dollar is donated to an Autism nonprofit. Currently, we are supporting the St. Nicholas Center for children, where my son still receives therapy. The services provided by these therapy centers are priceless in the heart, but very expensive to maintain in reality.
Is there a favorite product?
To say there is a favorite product is like asking, “do you have a favorite child?” All of my designs are created from love. I will say the triblend tees are my “Golden Goose” in reaching the ultimate goal of a vintage feel tee without compromising the product. There is such care and precision made when printing on these tees. It is an art form, that fortunately DTLA Print has been able to achieve for me, and so many in need of this kind of product.
What is your favorite part about running Bayou Blend?
What is your least favorite part about running Bayou Blend?
How do you spread the word about your company?
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
My advice to fellow entrepreneurs, especially mothers, is to not get hung up on what you haven’t done, but to reflect on what you have achieved, and most importantly, be kind to yourself. I tell myself everyday, “You are doing the best you can.” Take this interview for example, I have beat myself up over and over that I didn’t get it done in a more timely manner. “She’s Fit to Lead” didn’t put any pressure on me, or give a deadline, I put the pressure on myself. But right now, in this moment I am accepting that now is the time to pause and reflect, and therefore, participate in an amazing opportunity to be a part of something great!
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? 🙂
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?