Girls’ Night In, the popular self-care newsletter with over 100,00 subscribers, just hit a new milestone: The D.C.-based editorial platform announced it raised a pre-seed round of $500,000 from SV Angel, Third Kind Capital, and Combine VC. With the funding, GNI intends to grow beyond its newsletter prowess and invest in more offline events.
“We’re really trying to double down on our mission statement, which is to help women relax, recharge, and build more meaningful communities,” founder Alisha Ramos tells Fast Company.
Ramos, 29, launched GNI two years ago after she no longer felt compelled to go to loud bars or rowdy clubs, and instead treasured quieter hangouts with her female friends. She funneled that sentiment into a weekly newsletter that emphasized indoor pursuits, like beauty rituals, cooking, book reading, and more. It started as mix of encouraging people to spend quality time with friends as well as engage in much-needed solo time.
The tagline read: “A newsletter for women who’d rather stay in tonight.”
Today, the brand boasts more than 62,000 Instagram followers and the newsletter’s subscribers grow 5-10% month-over-month (through word of mouth). Roughly 80% of readers are women between the ages of 25 to 34, followed by women 18-24 and 25-45. Advertisers, meanwhile, range from big brands like Netflix to cult favorites like Everlane and Parachute.
In growing her company, Ramos looks to achieve the success of three brands: the strong values and company culture of Patagonia, community-centric mission and enthusiasm of Outdoor Voices, and the audience-focused mentality of Glossier.
Girls’ Night In already shows promise in steering itself into a wellness juggernaut. In addition to suggesting new face masks or cozy attire, the newsletter expanded into greater self-care topics such as mental health and social issues. Ramos considers it’s a more holistic approach to self-care.
“What we’ve seen and heard is that people feel overwhelmed and tired,” says Ramos of her readership. There are several forces at play that push women to seek more calming activities, she explains: a chaotic news cycle, heated political climate, and incessant social media intake, among them. It’s no surprise most GNI readers reside in fast-paced New York City and political center D.C.
A recent GNI poll found that readers most appreciated the newsletter’s accessible take on self-care, a category that’s become increasingly diluted.
“They seem to gravitate towards a more sensible view of wellness,” says Ramos. “Self-care has become this big trend that sometimes does feel a little too aspirational and out of reach for many people.”
Girls’ Night In primarily focuses on its newsletter in addition to its book club, which is currently available in 10 cities. With new funding, Ramos will grow the staff and expand events, including a “larger launch” scheduled for the end of the year. Ramos won’t divulge details yet, but promises it will bring GNI’s “mission to life.”
“We’re launching a couple of things,” she says. “We’re trying to build a company and a model that I actually haven’t seen in the market.”