Palm Springs became more than just a destination for Gabriela Baiter when deciding where to schedule a photo shoot for her company’s look book to show off a new line of Laylo Pets dog beds.
It’s soon to become her home.
“When we moved to California three years ago, Palm Springs was our go-to,” Baiter says. “I would say for five years we've been traveling to and from Palm Springs and then we've been to Modernism Week, and that was really the start of our obsession with the city.”
She started her company, Laylo Pets, three years ago out of her Santa Monica house after she and co-founder Drew Downie adopted their first pet and were frustrated by the options for pet products, especially beds. “It's not like I can search a style and find a dog bed that fits that style,” Baiter recalls. “That's not how it works. You get these really ugly dog beds that don't fit into your home and that you have to hide when you have guests over.”
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“Having a smaller apartment, every single inch of design mattered for our space, and I was not going to sacrifice my dog's stuff being a new pet parent,” Baiter adds. “It sounds crazy, but we started with dog beds and that has been our only product that we sold for three years. It continues to be very popular with owners looking for a similar solution.”
Look at her website and you’ll see a variety of collections including the one featured in the photo shoot, Terrazo, which is matched against midcentury homes due to its retro, clean line vibe. Baiter talks more about the Palm Springs photo shoot, the dogs she selected, and the backdrops with Palm Springs Life.
How did you partner with the Palm Springs Animal Shelter for the photo shoot?
Our company has been a big advocate for pet adoption. For us, it's really important. We've adopted two pets from shelters since we moved to LA. As a brand, it is important for us to think about ways that we can continue to support shelters. I think there's a niche of that in supporting older pets. Both of our pets that we've adopted have been over 10 years old at the time of adoption, and having those more vulnerable pets get adopted and encouraging that message is really something that we're just really passionate about.
Jose, a three-legged ball of energy, was one of the dogs used in the photo shoot from the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. He was later adopted.
Coco Bear rests in front of a Canyon View Estates home.
When we had reached out to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter about this shoot, something that we wanted to make really clear is that our goal here is to spread awareness for why people should be adopting. By doing that, we're going to not only create a look book of these dogs living this perfect life with shelter for the first time. That's the story that we wanted to tell. I do believe that with every collection that we do in the future, we will leverage actual adoptable pets as the ones that are featured in the photos to spread that message.
You feature five dogs in the shoot. What happened to them?
Two weeks after we had that photo shoot, all of the dogs were adopted.
What attracted you to shoot at homes in Canyon View Estates and at Les Cactus hotel?
We were thinking about what architecture are we really inspired by? That was midcentury, bringing out the terrazzo look and feel. But we also thought that neighborhood as a whole just has a really idyllic presence. It's not only historic, but just the dogs living their best life. It felt right to put them in a community that has a strong presence of dogs. Then of course, it's architecturally significant. Les Cactus is a brand new dog-friendly boutique hotel that recently opened in Palm Springs. The playful candy-colored interiors were the perfect backdrop to have a staycation with the adoptable pets from the animal shelter.
How were the dogs to work with?
That was a large testament to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. They had a dog handler on site because we were working within a shorter window. I think we had two hours before it got too hot for the pups. We did a shuttle system where one dog came at a time and we had a pretty strict schedule. We didn't really have to do much work to make the dogs look good doing the shoot.
Savanna, a shepherd mix, looks out from a Canyon View Estates home.
Katara enjoys the chance for a walk.
How would you describe the look and feel of your bed collections?
Terrazzo is actually part of the midcentury-inspired collection and we have other home styles that we have created. We have a minimalist line, and then we also have a Bohemian line. We really try to capture that California cool lifestyle that we know many people on the West Coast have. It's part of the design of their home.
Will you expand your product line in the future?
What I can say is that the products that we'll be releasing in the next year will still be very much focused on the home. You can think of the kitchen as being one area of the home that we're going to be definitely thinking about and trying to innovate on.
For more information, visit laylopets.com.