Diane Bailey Designs at The Beach House
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
I love how our story begins. It all started with my daddy. In 1980 he decided to build a beach house for his family, but mainly for his grandchildren, my sons Chad and Brent. They were 6 and 2 at the time. Daddy loved pecky cypress, the whole inside was built with this special wood. The beach house has so much southern charm and it still stands on it’s original stilts 20 yards from the Atlantic ocean. Today, the beach house is a representation of how St. Simons Island used to be. Over the years the house has slowly been filled with cozy classic pieces that have been the backdrop of all of our memories. Back then and still today, it feels peaceful and calm. When you walk through the door life slows down.
I started The Bailey Boys, Inc. in 1987 after my youngest son, Brent started kindergarten. After lunching and shopping with friends for a while, I decided I needed to do something more productive and creative with my time…so my husband, unbeknownst to me, bought several industrial sewing machines and the equipment to go with it to start a small business. I’ve sewn all my life (my mother said I was trying to thread a needle at the age of 3). So, I guess he figured that was the direction I needed to go.
I traveled to Atlanta to find a sales representative…it was an eye-opening experience. The market was so big, impressive and seemed so out of my league. But, never the less I found a rep and The Bailey Boys was born. Nancy, my rep, encouraged me to make boy clothes since she felt that there was a definite need in the market place. Of course, that was what I felt I did best so I went to work on designs. The first season I developed the first reversible john john. I’d been making them for years …since Chad, my oldest son was a year old, and he was now 9. I had a great response and was over-whelmed at the orders. Since it was only my mother, one other lady and me doing the cutting, sewing, pattern grading, etc., we had full-time jobs. I didn’t realize then that I had thriving business on the horizon.
From its inception then until now, the business has progressively taken baby steps and grown a little each year. Both of our boys, Chad and Brent work with us…as well as my husband, Jim—who was the master-mind behind the whole business. Jim went to Baxley, Georgia in the fall of 1996 to buy some sewing machines from a blue jean plant that was downsizing. He came home and said we needed to buy the factory as it was already set up and running. We were at the time having a hard time getting people to sew for us—many of the sewing factories had gone overseas and there just weren’t many sewing machine operators around our area. So, after taking a trip to Baxley to see the closing factory (which was built in the 1950’s) I was awestruck by a hand-made heart pine cutting table that was actually built inside the factory—I turned to Jim and said, “Oh my!” Needless to say, we purchased the building and the Bailey Boys moved its sewing operation to Baxley, Georgia in early 1997.
When I started the business, I was designing, selecting fabrics and overseeing the actual construction of the garments. More people, including her sons, stepped in to help and the warehouse on St. Simons Island turned into a company store. A few years back, I was able to retire, leaving the business to flourish and continue in the capable hands of family . To stay busy I started baking but after about two weeks, I decided to pursue a passion I’d always had: expanding my love of design into women’s clothing. People had been telling me for 30 years to do adult clothes! So I launched Diane Bailey Designs at The Beach House with a line of ladies’ classic blouses.
I started with a classic, traditional white blouse, because that’s one of my favorite things, and every classy woman needs a classy white blouse. Since women always complimented me on the blouses I wore, I created my designs based on the features I look for in a blouse: a length that’s long enough to complement the figure, 3/4 sleeves for comfortable arm coverage, an attractive collar, and pockets, of course – because you always need pockets to hold things! Comfortable and complementary fit and quality fabric are essential, and I ensure the best of both in the blouses I design. But I couldn’t stop at just white! With my love of classic, traditional checks and stripes, I’ve incorporated these patterns into my blouses for continued interest and inspiration from the island.
I started carrying a certain number of Small, Medium, and Large sizes, but many women asked for Extra Small or Extra large sizes. I started carrying those to accommodate and now sell more of those sizes than the standard S-M-L. I take pride in knowing that I am filling a need for women who can’t just go buy off-the-rack, and helping them to feel beautiful in quality clothing.
My designs call to mind the feeling of visiting a beach house: timeless traditions and wonderful memories that last forever and return every time you step foot in the door. My blouses are timeless and everlasting in the same way. A Perfect White Blouse is our staple, but Diane Bailey Designs has created so man styles and colors to choose from. We just know wearing these versatile, comfortable, and durable blouses will take you back to your own ‘Beach House days’. We believe the Beach House isn’t just a place, it’s a feeling – a way of life – and my signature blouse isn’t just another blouse, it’s a PERFECT White Blouse.
Come shop with us! We want to help you find your perfect look.