After working together for four years at Quidsi (the parent company of Diapers.com), Galyn Bernard and Christina Carbonell realized there was no simple, inexpensive retail experience for children’s clothing. They figured if they could find the right combo of stylish and cheap, it could lead to serious repeat business. “Kids’ clothes are less replenishment-oriented than diapers and formula, but not by much,” says Bernard. They quit Quidsi together in February 2014 to found Primary, which launched March 31 and focuses on everyday essentials that all cost less than $25. “We’re not following fashion trends, not turning our line over every five weeks, and we’re selling online only,” says Bernard. “That allows us to take a ton of cost out of the system, use higher-quality fabric, and pass along savings to customers.”
Where or how do you seek out creative inspiration?
We are especially inspired by simplicity and color and a little bit of magic. Kids’ storybooks are great, toys and crafts are really fun–paper, Magna-Tiles, markers, Lego–but even a quick session with US Weekly on the train or signs along the highway can inspire us.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Galyn: When the kids wake me up, I make them cozy in with me and tell me about any dreams they had. Most recently, Caroline was skateboarding on a beach, “mostly in the air,” and landed with a high-five from her friend Alexander; then they ask me if they can have chocolate-chip pancakes for breakfast.
Christina: I make a point not to look at my phone right away! I make a mental checklist about what’s really important for the day so I don’t start out being reactive.
What is one thing about your job that you think would surprise people?
We use PCs–to the absolute horror of everyone we know.
What’s your favorite Twitter or Instagram account and why?
Imaginary Quinoa, written by our awesome copywriter Tiffany Beveridge. We discovered her “My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter” Pinterest board a couple years ago and have been obsessed with Quinoa ever since.
What are some things you do to refresh your mind when you’re in a rut?
Galyn: I go to my to do list for a couple easy, mindless things–any sense of accomplishment is always helpful, mind-clearing motivation for me.
Christina: I think really hard. Then I put it out of my mind entirely. Then it usually comes to me in the shower.
Who outside of your field inspires you the most and why?
Christina: Incredible chefs, because they are visionary and very creative, but they also know how to execute–with precision, over and over again, so that their customers have an awesome experience every time.
Galyn: In general, I am incredibly inspired by people who do what makes them happy. I think Jenji Kohan is awesome (I think I cried when Weeds ended and was even more upset when I finished season 2 of Orange is the New Black). I love her quote: ‘I’m entertaining myself and hoping other people find it funny.’