For working moms and friends Galyn Bernard (above left) and Christina Carbonell (right), launching their business had everything to do with convenience for parents who wanted to avoid the visual barrage of "logos, slogans and sequins."
While working together at Diapers.com parent company Quidsi, Bernard tells Mom.me that "as busy parents ourselves, we were missing the ability to easily reorder all of our kids' go-tos—T-shirts, leggings, hoodies—as they grew."
So the dynamic duo, who are both Harvard Business School grads, left their jobs and founded Primary in March 2015. The site features a wide selection of kids' essentials in a rainbow of bold colors. Simplicity and convenience: What more could a parent want? Oh yeah, everything is under $25.
Bernard and Carbonell tell us what surprised them about creating their business, the power of every single child and their new (clothing) addition that's arriving in May.
Has there been anything about creating Primary that surprised you or inspired you in a way you didn't expect?
Christina: We knew Primary would fill a void in kids' clothing, but we have been unexpectedly inspired by some of the families who have taken the time to write us with their personal stories, and tell us how Primary has made a difference for them. Whether they have a child with sensory challenges and getting dressed every day is easier now with Primary—or whether we helped them make the perfect DIY Halloween costume their child had their heart set on. These personal stories inspire us to keep doing everything we can to help kids and parents.
As a successful female entrepreneur, what are some ways that you want to teach your kids about "girl power"?
Galyn: We believe in the power of every kid. It’s at the core of what Primary is about. We make as little distinction as possible about gender at Primary, because kids are kids. We hope that our own kids are inspired by what we’re doing—as entrepreneurs and as moms. Being moms has given us a unique lens to see huge opportunities.
What's your advice for moms who are looking to start their own business?
Galyn: Start with what you’re truly passionate about. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice—start with the people who believe in you most. Find a way to get started so you can learn. Don’t worry about perfecting it!
What sacrifices have you made as a mom and business owner to keep everything in balance?
Christina: You can’t do it all. Focusing on the things that really matter is so important. And being flexible helps. We make sure to leave work to attend our kids' games and events. And we usually work after they’re in bed. Exercise is an example of something that has proven to be elusive for us! But we are working on strategies to fit it in, such as exercising at home to avoid the major pack-up of stuff, as well as transit time.
If you could have lunch with any business person/entrepreneur/nonprofit founder, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Galyn: Right now, we'd like to have lunch with Malala Yousafzai and bring our kids, so they can hear how her story changed her life and led her to fight to make such a difference in the world.
Do your kids have a favorite outfit/piece from Primary?
Christina: Leggings for my daughter, and our soft tees and jersey polos for my son.
Galyn: My girls are basically head-to-toe Primary at this point, but not even on purpose. They have always loved our tees, leggings and PJs, and lately have been especially into our sweats and baseball tees!
Are there any new initiatives or products on the horizon for the company?
Christina: We are excited to announce that swim is coming! Our swim line will be available by early May, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic about it!