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Style Maven Gable Shaikh Designs Clothes for the Modern ‘Carpool Mom’

How the January 2019 DallasChild Mom Next Door balances raising three daughters and running bespoke fashion house, Hadleigh's, with husband, Ed

To say Gable Shaikh stays busy is an understatement. But even on a day like today, when she’s rushing to and from appointments, she still manages to look put together.  And why wouldn’t she? She and her husband, Ed, own the luxury bespoke clothing and accessory store Hadleigh’s in Highland Park Village.

Named after their oldest daughter, the atelier and ready-to-wear clothing shop was conceived during Shaikh’s first pregnancy, when the couple resolved to quit their jobs and build a business together. What began as a small studio in their then Kessler Park home has turned into a global brand. Now, every other week Shaikh travels to the brand’s other atelier in New York City with Ed and their three girls.

While it may be a challenge for Shaikh to live her best mom life while growing a business, she wakes up every morning with the intention to make it the best day ever. And she manages to stay calm and collected while doing so—always donning the brand’s signature color, cobalt blue.

You guys do absolutely everything in cobalt bluethere’s not a single black thread anywhere. 

Yeah, no black. No black at all.

Why the cobalt blue? 

The cobalt blue has always been part of our signature, which is a little Italian bird that’s cobalt blue and has a white belly. We’ve always kind of stuck to cobalt blue. We didn’t want to have just a mom and pop shop. We really wanted to build a brand, and really wanted to be more global—it takes a long time and a lot of building to do it. So, everything is in cobalt blue. Our hangers are in cobalt blue, the back of our slippers are cobalt blue, the bottoms are cobalt blue—it’s all part of that signature Hadleigh’s blue. And everyone recognizes it.

How did you and Ed come up with the idea for Hadleigh’s? 

I grew up in New York City—I worked for Ralph Lauren there. Ed worked for Ralph Lauren here in Highland Park Village. After 9/11, I moved home because I was born here and my family is here. I met Ed at Ralph Lauren on my very first day. We got married nine months later and decided once we were pregnant with Hadleigh we didn’t want to work for anyone else. Ed wrote Hadleigh a letter in the hospital that said, “Hadleigh, we’re going to name the store after you. We’re going to quit our amazing jobs, and we’re going to do this on our own.”

Have you kept the letter Ed wrote to Hadleigh? Has she read it yet? 

We keep it in a letter box with all the letters we have that are special. She has not read it, but I think when she understands exactly what her parents do, it will be more significant.

You and Ed are quite the dynamic duo. How do you balance being business partners and also partners in life? 

You know, Ed and I always worked together. We’re both Scorpios.

The stars aligned. 

[She chuckles.The stars aligned. I think Ed and I have an unusual relationship because his passion and everything that he does, I fully support and am really excited to help and be a part of and vice versa. We have lunch together every single day. We’ve been married for 14 years, and we’ve been together 15 and a half—I don’t think there is one day that we don’t eat lunch together. It’s all really about being passionate and loving what you do, and we really love what we do.

What sparked that love of fashion for you? 

My mom modeled for 25 years [and] I always was into clothing. I always wanted to be a fashion designer from the time I was in sixth grade. My sixth grade yearbook says I’m either going to be a fashion designer or a model, and I was way too short to be a model.

Where do you draw your inspiration for the shop? 

I’m really fascinated by the carpool mom. Think about it: You have one mom that came from work, so she’s wearing her high heels, her skirt and her little sweater. And you have one mom that came from a luncheon and she’s all dressed up. Then you have the one mom that was working out. It’s just such a fascinating group of women that are all so different. My goal is always to make clothes so you can go to work and do what you need to do, but still look fashionable and ready to go.

What would you say has been the most challenging in bringing up the business, running it with your husband and raising your kids? 

I think growth is a challenge—you always want the top of the mountain every day, and getting to that top of the mountain every day is so important. … If you can wake up every day knowing that you’re going to get through it and it’s going to be the greatest day ever, then you can be like, “Yes, I did it again!” If you just take it one day at a time, it just makes it easy.

How do you make time for yourself to decompress? 

I think that three minutes in my car every day is the time I have to myself. I really don’t spend too much time by myself.

Life is really busy for you. What’s your favorite part of it all? 

I think I actually really love the craziness. I think the most important thing is to do what you love, and then it doesn’t seem so crazy. When the girls were little, there was so much stress around trying to be with them. Now I’m like, wait a minute, that’s not so. I’ll pick them up from school—at least try to—two or three times a week. Friday is what they call “Mommy’s day.” So I pick them up every Friday, and we go do something fun. It could be ice cream, it could be going to the park, or it could be riding our bikes.

What do you do to keep yourself energized? 

I love to sleep. I go to bed at nine. I wake up at 4:30am. I don’t drink coffee; I don’t really have time to work out. But really, like 8:30pm, 9pm I’m out—like hit the bed, out.

How do you make time for everything throughout the day with an early bedtime? 

Organization. I am always on time and try to always be prepared. I always think ahead: what the girls have to wear, eat or what we are doing. My brain never ever stops. I never give excuses for not getting it done. It’s tough, but so rewarding.

For more with Gable, check out her guide to Dallas boutiques.