by Andrea Yeager
“Don’t buy it unless you love it.” Mom’s sage shopping advice at a young age continues to benefit the owners of The Bay Collection.
“We use this same motto when we are buying for the shop. If we don’t love it, we have a hard time selling it to our customers,” Hanna Mayfield, store manager, says of she and her mom, Ariel Taylor. “I always want my customers to leave happy and excited about their purchases.”
Mom and daughter teamed up to purchase the clothing and accessory store in 2002 from Deanna Williams Marler, who opened the store in 1984 at its first location in Vieux Marche and a second store in Ocean Springs a couple of years later. Marler eventually combined the stores into the Ocean Springs location.
“She was looking to sell the business, and I was moving back to the Coast after graduating from Ole Miss,” Mayfield says. “This was the perfect opportunity.”
The Bay Collection was a dream come true for mom and daughter since they have always loved clothes and shopping. Both worked in dress and gift shops during college and enjoyed it. In the summer, they celebrated 15 years of The Bay Collection’s continuing legacy.
Their love of customers and fashion keeps the business exciting and expanding. While the main focus is ladies apparel, they have brought in accessory and gift items.
Whatever the style need, The Bay Collection ranges from denim and tees to cocktail dresses and holiday wear. The shop is known for the lines they carry, such as Michael Stars, 7 for All Mankind, Nicole Miller, Alice & Trixie and Joy Joy.
The Bay Collection also now carries Scout bags, Nouvelle Candles, Love Poppy Jewelry, and MADE in the Deep South jewelry.
“We just returned from market and are looking forward to our new inventory arriving for fall,” Mayfield says.
One best seller is a weather resistant anorak made in several beautiful colors. It sells for $110 and ranges in size from extra-small to extra-large.
“It literally looks great on everyone,” Mayfield says. “Our best jewelry line is MADE in the Deep South. It is vintage jewelry that is reimagined and put together in a beautiful way to make it fresh and current.”
The Bay Collection is a shop for all ages, from collegiate to senior citizens. The owners pride themselves in buying items that are appropriate for a wide range of age groups.
“There are few shops that three generations can shop in together,” Mayfield says. “Take Acrobat, for example. It is a beautiful silk shirt line. College girls buy it, I wear it, my mother wears it, and my grandmother wears it.”
Another plus is the quality of the items; the clothes last for years. Mayfield has clothes in her closet from years back that still look fashionable and smart.
The Bay Collection is located in the heart of downtown Ocean Springs, and Mayfield feels that the relaxed, inviting atmosphere of Ocean Springs and other nearby attractions helps her business thrive.
“People are always walking through town with their dogs or strolling their children, just enjoying being outside,” she says. “There is something refreshing about a small downtown that is full of thriving businesses. We simply love being here.”
It’s that genuine love of customers and personal service in a friendly and relaxed setting that keeps patrons coming back, and that is Mayfield’s goal now and in the future: personal service in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere.
IF YOU GO
906 Washington Ave., Ocean Springs
Monday through Saturday,
10 a.m.-5 p.m.