September 26, 2019
Kids clothing retailer Primary has just raised $20 million to expand its executive team and board of directors, as well as begin testing pop-up stores.
Primary differentiates itself by selling clothes void of logos or text. Instead, the company puts emphasis on vibrant colors and soft fabric. Many of Primary's offerings are gender-neutral and the company chooses not to have a boys' and girls' section on its site.
"We're so proud of the mission we've been able to bring the kids clothing space," Primary co-founder Galyn Bernard told Cheddar Thursday. "We are the brand that is not prescriptive about who should wear what."
Bernard, who co-founded Primary with Christina Carbonell, says the inspiration for that mission came from her own motherhood. As the parent of twin girls who weren't fond of pink or purple clothes, Bernard found herself looking in the boys' section to find the right color.
"That just didn't feel right given everything that they're learning about how 'they can be anything' from their school and their teachers, so we wanted to bring that to clothing, as well," Bernard said.
With the fresh funding, Primary is expanding its executive team, which includes hiring a CFO, and its board of directors. Frances Frei, who taught both Bernard and Carbonell at Harvard Business School and was recently named as the first woman to be appointed to WeWork's board, will be joining Primary's board, as well.
"We learned so much from her while we were there," Carbonell said, reflecting on her time at HBS. "She's an incredible supporter of our mission and believes in what we're doing to level the playing field for kids."
Primary is also exploring launching a few pop-up stores next year.
"We're excited to start testing physical retail," Bernard said. "We just know from customer feedback that the second they touch and feel the clothes and remember how little they're paying for them, it becomes, sort of, a no-brainer."
While the fresh funding will result in a lot of moving parts at the company, Primary's co-founders remain steadfast in their mission of inclusivity.