This founder scaled her business from $1-$50M, here’s her blueprint with Primary’s Galyn Bernard
Today we’re learning from Galyn Bernard, founder of Primary.
Primary is a non-gender, sustainable and inclusive kid’s clothing brand rewriting the rules for what kids wear every day. The brand creates timeless essentials at great prices all while keeping kids comfortable at home, the playground and school. An all inclusive, non-gendered brand, Primary provides quality fabrics in every style and color, catering to all kids’ needs and wants.
You are going to love this episode!
Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!
Galyn. Hi, welcome to the show. Hi, thanks so much for having me, I'm so excited to dig into your story and what you've been building over the last many, many years. We always love to start these episodes by getting you to give us a bit of an elevator pitch. What is your brand and what is the ethos behind it? Sure. Well, I'm so excited to be here. Thank you for having me. Um Primary is a baby and kids clothing company that I started with a partner about seven years ago really because we were frustrated shopping for our own kids clothing and so we decided to launch a brand that would solve those frustrations um namely we wanted a brand that stood for color in a way that we couldn't find in the market and where color was for every kid.
00:02:35Edit Um I have twin girls who never liked pink growing up and I couldn't believe one year when I had to buy them orange jackets in this sort of quote unquote boys section. Um it just seemed very outdated, but I could only find girls jackets available in pink, white and teal and so we wanted a brand where every color was for every kid, where we weren't being prescriptive about who could wear what that was really important. Um and then the other important piece was um sort of simplicity and letting the kids shine. And so in addition to offering a huge range of beautiful colors, we also focus on simple classic designs versus logos and slogans and all sorts of sort of trendy details and really are able to offer that quality um at an amazing price point for busy parents. And so that's what we set out to do and that's what Primaries all about today, love it, love it, love it, love it. I know that you guys started building this around 2015 and at the time you and Christina, your co founder, we're working together and I can see that you're, you know, you've gone through that experience where you're frustrated, but what was the kind of moment where you were like, hey, we should actually do this, like what are the considerations you're going through?
00:03:47Edit What's that phase like of going from, hey, I'm dreaming about this and it's a, you know, pain point frustration to being like, I'm going to quit my job and start this business. Yeah, well it helped a lot to have a partner to be honest. I think it was, you know, something an idea that we have been thinking about and working on and pulling sort of ideas for for about a yeah, maybe six months before we actually made the decision to go try it. And so it was first and foremost, like the idea that we couldn't stop thinking about and it was like, we kept being excited and we kept being inspired and, and sort of dreaming about like being able to actually go do this. But we also were working at amazon, we had great jobs, like a lot of security. Um it was scary for sure to think about like, okay, we're going to leave this behind and we're gonna go try this thing that like who knows what's going to happen. And so I think that having a partner, like we actually quit on the same day to, you know, to sort of do this idea together and I think that helped a lot.
00:04:48Edit It was almost like we were sort of holding each other's hands through that part of it. And then I think the other thing that just gave us a lot of comfort and confidence was that we knew that in a worst case scenario we would go try this thing that we were so passionate about and even if it didn't work, we would have had sort of pride and success and learned a ton by trying and we could have gone back and gotten other jobs after that. And so it just felt like a nice two way door in that where we weren't, we didn't feel like we were really losing anything in like the worst case scenario and then in a best case scenario like think of how amazing this would be to sort of build a brand that we've been dreaming of for that long. And so that just sort of gave us the conviction to like close our eyes a little bit and just go for, it was a little Thelma and louise but not so dramatic. There's two like schools of camp though when you're kind of quitting your job to build a business because that's the one side that's like, which is I typically fall into which is like stay in your job, use your salary to invest in this business, prove out the concept on the side and when you've kind of like gotten comfortable, go all in, but you've obviously just been like, nope, we're going to go all in, we're gonna start this from the beginning, so I'd love to understand that early kind of money, piece of like how much did you need to invest to get started and get the business kind of to launch and how were you financing the brand in the beginning?
00:06:13Edit Yeah, so we, we did sort of make the decision to go all in on it and we did know that with that came a need to raise early capital, so we ended up working for like four months based on savings that we had without earning a salary, so that was like putting a business plan together and and going out and raising a seed round of financing and then once we raised that seed round, which Um we had planned to do a friends and family around and we were looking to raise about $750,000, which would have sort of paid for our salaries and a small team since we get the business up and running like that first order of inventory and we ended up raising a bit more than that, but that's when we started paying ourselves, I think that helped, like we just knew that we needed to raise that round in order to pay ourselves a salary. Um and if that hadn't happened, I think we would have been facing obviously a tricky proposition of like do we keep going and try to bootstrap this or not? Like this was our try. Um I think luckily we didn't face that challenge at that point because we were able to successfully raise that seed round.
00:07:19Edit But it definitely would have been tricky I think at that point to figure out what we're gonna do totally. And so you raised the seven, just over 750,000. Let's just say, Let's just say a million for the sake of the episode. But you raised $1 million dollars and a two and a half. Okay. You raised 2.5 um in capital, you've got the runway, you've got like obviously a lot of confidence, So many people are excited about what you're doing, what happens next. How do you actually start like, you know, finding the manufacturers getting the designs, all these things to get you to a point where you've got like an order and you're ready to launch. Yes, it really was like a moment for us where we just have had to keep reminding ourselves like one ft in front of the other one because I think if we stepped back and thought about like the overall task of just what you outlined, like even now, like seven years in it. Like gives me anxiety to just think about like how enormous that was for us to where we had like never made clothing before.
00:08:19Edit We had, you know, worked at a startup and we had done e commerce and we had worked in brand management, but we had never actually like ourselves physically figured out how to go make clothing and launch a website and so it was just one of those, like, we are going to talk to as many people as we can and we're gonna follow the breadcrumbs and we're gonna, when we talk to this person and we're gonna see if that person can introduce us to a couple other people. And so it was just like, we were relentless in trying to figure out how to get to someone who could help us make clothing, that was the sort of quality and design that we were looking for. Um it was really just that and so we ended up with a few partners who had kind of done this before, but without really an internal team who was sort of an expert in this area and it's the thing that I would do the most differently, I think looking back is think about like the things that Christina and I were good at, we're in our real house, we were sort of set up to do well and just make sure that we rounded out the team even really early on with a compliment who had like designed and manufactured clothing before.
00:09:27Edit Um I think in hindsight that that business specifically is so much about relationships, it's so complex and we would have benefited, I think a ton from having someone who was like, I've done this before. Like let me just handle this. But we learned a lot trying to do it ourselves, that you learned a lot. I'm reading um Phil Knight's shoe dog at the moment and I'm just like so good. I loved it. I just don't know if I could do that. It just sounds so like, and I know what you're saying, it's really, you know, something I've said to myself a lot recently is just like focus on my current problems of like tomorrow, what I need to solve and not like future me problems that creep in and then you think, oh well I've got all these scattered thoughts about all these different things, but actually I don't need to be thinking about that until six months time when that other thing happens, you know, and it's really an exercise in being able to train your brain to be like, have clear focus focus on tomorrow. Follow that one bread crumb to the next thing and the next thing, the next thing and see where you land. Yes, totally. And sometimes it's helpful for me to like to physically like just look down at my feet and like what is there that I like need to focus on today and then with that too, I think, having a like, document or like wherever you keep notes, a notebook or something of like all the things you're stressed about for later, it helps me to just like get them out of my brain onto a piece of paper somewhere so that I know it's there, I've like addressed it, it's, it's like there when I'm ready, but I don't have to like have mental energy around it in the, in the sort of short term, that is such a great practical tip.
00:10:56Edit It's like, yeah, right down your future stresses that, you know, we'll have to cross that bridge one day and that's a side project that you need to add in, but it's over there and you just don't need to, you can leave your brain, like you said, I love that, I'm totally going to start doing that because I've got too many things floating around in my head, it's super normal. But yeah, just like the exercises like getting them down and like, yep, I see it, there is helpful, there were so many things I wish I knew when I started my business, smaller things, like blocking off my calendar for focused work and bigger things like investing in tools that help automate the busywork from building out your website to building up your sales pipeline, hubspot suite of operations, sales and marketing tools, help automate and connect different parts of your business so you and your team can ditch the busy work and focus on creating the best customer experience possible. Plus with helpful educational content, a supportive community and access to hundreds of app integrations, hubspot, all in one platform is built to grow with, you learn how to grow better by connecting your people, your customers and your business at hubspot dot com.
00:12:04Edit Something I love to focus on in every episode is trying to understand that like blueprint around launching a business. So I'd love to kind of go into the launch, what you were doing in the lead up to launch. You've obviously got product that's arrived, you're ready to sell, what is that time like? And how are you drumming up interest towards launch. Um, so we, um, sort of made a conscious decision that out of the gate, we're gonna give it a few months just of sort of organic, not spending paid marketing dollars, just to sort of make sure everything was working and that we knew what we were doing before. We were investing money in sort of firing customers and getting more word out about the brand. And so we did that, we sent, you know, we, we sort of put up social media pages and we had signed up for the wait list to get notified about our launch that's coming up. Um, we told everyone we knew like friends and family investors, just sort of spread the word. We also, um, did sort of a referral program among our early investors where they, it was sort of a little contest where they each got a personalized code and they could refer friends and then whoever had the most with like, you know, playing victory or something.
00:13:21Edit It was like monetary or anything just for glory for the glory of it. Exactly. And that helped to, I think that, um, early endorsement from people and investors who obviously were super, super passionate about the business and the brand, but also had a big incentive to like see this launch go well, was great for us and helped to sort of like, amplify the message a little bit early on. So, so that was really it. Um, and then we, you know, once we sort of knew that like the website was working and that was, you know, getting to the actual launch is always like a lot. So making sure that like the product images were all loaded and that the site was working and we could figure out how the warehouse was gonna pick and pack and ship products out. Like all those things that you sort of flipped from, like, oh my God, are we gonna actually have product in the warehouse in time? Like we went up to see it and like look at the actual physical product, it was all there and we're like, oh, okay, now it's like, really time we have to like make sure that this website is real and working and like we're gonna go, you know always so exciting and like so much energy around that moment.
00:14:30Edit So yeah, the launch date, we just had our seventh birthday. So I can't believe how long ago it has been. It still feels like yesterday sometimes. So you launched in 2015. Right, right, right. And so what are those early months of kind of organic growth, What does that look like for you? What was the impact? Was it, you know, loads of orders like pouring through the door or was it really that kind of step by step stacking things on top of each other? Yeah, well it was interesting. We had an amazing first month I think in large part because of sort of like, you know, we have been talking to our friends and families and investors etcetera about this launch that was coming. So there was some like pent up demand related to that. So the first month was bigger than we had forecast. And then because of that we started selling through inventory That we had purchased and and didn't have a reorder coming. I think that was like another thing was figuring out the lead times on reorders and we thought it was going to be eight weeks and it was like 16 weeks and so bigger money than we thought out of the gate and then like the next couple of months were smaller because we didn't have anything to sell and then we got our reorder in and we were like, okay, I think we're ready to start spending money in marketing.
00:15:48Edit And that was when, you know, I think it was early days of facebook and, and that was actually a channel we didn't even use at our previous company. So um that's dating us a little bit, but but it was brand new for us. Um but I think the best part of early facebook advertising for us was really just the like opportunity to get direct feedback from people who were seeing the ads and we're like commenting on them right there. Um It helped us sharpen our message a little bit like as an example when we went live with the product, I think Christina and I like both feel strongly about just sort of presenting our proposition and not alienating anyone and just sort of like putting it out there in a nice way. So our first headline was Brilliant, Basics, all under $25, which is true for sure, but it's like not super breakthrough in terms of like this is going to get someone's attention as they're scrolling through their facebook feed. But the imagery was beautiful and it was like our solid colors of baby suits and the full rainbow and and bright colors that like didn't really exist in the baby category.
00:16:55Edit For sure or much really in the kids category at that point and super simple. So like we didn't want to do logos and slogans. And and but we didn't say that because we didn't want to like, alienate anyone who happened to like logos and slogans. But those early ads, customers were like, you know, people who saw these ads were playing that back to us and saying like, oh, finally, like, no stupid princesses and like, oh my God, no stupid slogans on these, you know, gorgeous simple onesies. And we're like, yes, that's really what we wanted to say. But we were sort of too scared to say it. And so just putting out visuals, two people and hearing what they say back in reaction to it gave us like, more confidence to start saying what we really meant without worrying if someone over there who happens to really love a logo, like maybe this brand isn't for them, and that's okay too. And so I think we've gotten better at listening to consumers and taking away like it's okay and it's better to just be very honest about who you are and what you're offering um versus like trying to sort of hide it or or be really careful about what you're saying.
00:18:01Edit And also, I think what's really important and this is something I think about a lot actually is casual language that actually is what it is and how your customers would say it. Like you were hearing people say these things turning it into your marketing message. It's like the same on the landing page, You shouldn't like try and make some fancy abstract like thing. It should be very clear. This is what it does to be like. Here's the here's the kind of like casual language based on what your consumers even tell you that it is. And I think that's something that often gets overlooked, but good marketing and good copy really is reflective of what consumers are saying about your brand. I love that. Yes, totally. Yeah, it's something we talked about a lot really and and sort of just around like how important authenticity is for us, for sure. But really for any brand starting out where it's so much more fun and I think it's so much more compelling for customers when you're like really putting your true self out there and you understand that pain point and you said you like you're saying no stupid slogans and then people are like, oh yeah, like I hate slogans on baby wear, like, you know, that's just such a direct relation there.
00:19:07Edit Yes, exactly. Um and then on the, you know, sort of more casual voice, we do talk all the time about, you know, we have an e commerce site that's like our main method of selling, We just launched a partnership with Buy Buy Baby, but otherwise sell everything through our site and where we want customers to feel like when they read our product descriptions or any of our copy. It's like the most helpful salesperson in the store is just telling you some things that you need to know. Like without being too sales e or without being aggressive, but just hopeful. And so we strive for that all the time. We don't necessarily always get it right, but but that's what we're always trying to do. Very clever. I love that. Okay, so you go through this time, you've kind of started to dabble in the performance marketing side of things, if you have to sum up those major milestones in those kind of years that have left you forward or gotten you, even if it's not actually something that's left you forward, but it's been a big milestone in the journey over the years. What would you kind of put those down if you had to put dot points on?
00:20:11Edit I think the first two things that come to mind are when are one of those like, marketing moments when we launched, we sort of had the confidence to launch our first ad with a little bit more of a point of view. And it said, um not all baby suits need to say little slugger and that for us was like, true and honest and authentic, but like a little like, still a little scary. But the feedback to that, like, shift in messaging was like, we were like, oh, we're really onto something, people really care about this and have been looking for it too. And we think this is a brand that like definitely has some potential. It's about like finding your tribe of people who believe the same things as you. And like not being for everyone. Because there are the people who love that vibe and they should find the brands that speak to them. And you kind of like almost by being more controversial, you separate like who is your customer to? Who is not your customer.
00:21:12Edit And I think that's really important. Yes, completely. And I related to that, we got an advice um from lots of amazing people along the way. But Mark Laurie in particular who founded Diapers always said that brands are built at the extreme. And so for us, that was true. I think in terms of like extreme simplicity and extreme color breath, extreme curation really on our site early on helped us. I think just remember that like this is a long we're playing a long game here. It's a long journey. It doesn't mean like we're starting at this. Like very extreme. It doesn't mean we always have to stay there. But just making sure that people are very clear on what you're all about. I think it's huge. Especially in this space where it's easy to get lost. And you know, there are a lot of brands that are trying to be everything to everyone. Um And that was what we were wanting. That's not what we're trying to do mm hmm Absolutely! In these digital times, almost all consumers tend to search online for a product or brand before making a purchase. So it's never been as important as now to have a home for your brand or your online business.
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00:23:28Edit And the customer feedback that came with those nPS scores. So it wasn't just the score itself, which for us was like so proud of it. It felt like we are delivering the kind of service that we've always wanted to, we should just interject for anyone who doesn't know for mps, its net promoter score and obviously the higher the better, I think they say like something over 70% is like amazing. But it's basically people kind of come back and like rape your site And it's based on one question which is on a scale of 1-10, how likely would you be to refer primary or wherever you had just shocked to a friend. So yeah, that is sort of like the basis for like how you're doing because it takes into account so many things. So it's, it's just one data point, but it was one that we always cared a lot about. Um, and so it wasn't just the score, but it was really like the thoughtful feedback that customers were giving us when they were responding with suggestions and things like that. And, and that to me just was always like, you know, we would read customer feedback at assemblies and like, everyone would be crying because of how heartfelt some of these comments were from customers who were so thrilled.
00:24:41Edit We didn't have a boys and girls section and you know, their daughter who didn't like in quotes, girly clothes could find clothes that she felt great in things like that were huge moments that just like kept us going when things got tough. Um and then there was a moment, I think when we hit like our millions dollar of revenue, that was like, this is like kind of feels more real all of a sudden at that level of scale, So that felt like a big one too, for sure, those are sort of the most top of mind. That's so interesting that you say, you know, that was such a big moment, hitting the million dollars because absolutely, it is, it's such a big moment. I can't, I can't remember the stat off the top of my head right now, but it's something ridiculous that like barely any female founders will ever hit that like, million dollar revenue markets really, really low, but I'm not going to try and remember because I better get wrong um but what's also so interesting is I read an article about you from like 2019 that you've done like 50 Million in sales just for that one year.
00:25:44Edit So I'm curious to know how you go from one million in sales too, you know, must be ridiculous by now, but 50 million in sales uh deeper side. Um a lot of work, a lot of work, a lot of work an amazing team um and amazing customers who I think just like have been so supportive of us along the way and marketing dollars for sure, I think that we, you know have raised like a good bit of additional capital, a lot of which has gone to investment oriented acquisition marketing, so spending on social channels at pretty significant levels to drive acquisition, knowing that like once a customer came in and shopped primary, they would have a lifetime value which we could sort of calculate based on their repeat purchases that would pay for that up front initial investment, which you know, I think is to be honest, like not for everyone and I think it takes like a lot of conviction and honestly, a lot of capital when you're also paying for inventory to invest ahead of time because you're like you're making these investments in customer acquisition and then you're seeing that investment pay back over, you know, the next year or so and so it does take um it does take some capital, you know, are those early orders were not break even um and so it meant that we had to raise more investment, which was fine and we have amazing ambassadors that have been very supportive um but I think that there are a lot of brands to that start out, you know, sort of bootstrapping and not going the investment marketing route and seeing if they can just start to pay themselves back on those initial orders, which is just a different way, a different way of going, I think because we were we had experienced investment marketing from diapers dot com.
00:27:39Edit We sort of knew what that looked like. And we had conviction that we would see repeat behavior play out in a way that made that feel like high confidence investment. And it's part of the reason why we were able to scale relatively quickly um, out of the game. Got it, got it very cool. And when you say investment marketing, it's also like performance marketing. That's what you mean. Right? It is performance marketing. Yeah, I think it's sort of anything because even like, um, you know, we send catalogs out and that can be investment marketing to sort of not maybe classic performance marketing as people think about like more digital, but where we are paying you know money upfront to send these catalogs out the door to prospects for people who haven't shopped primary before hoping that like even if we spend more on that catalog, then we'll get in terms of like initial orders up front. That those will pay back over time. Got it. And for the channels at the moment, in more recent times, what are the channels that are performing well for you at the moment? And what are the channels that are not performing well at the moment?
00:28:43Edit Yeah, I think, I mean, you know, sort of with IOS changes of late, everyone sort of is facing new challenges on the marketing front. So, you know, I think we still feel good about how channels that we've been using sort of since the beginning, like facebook and instagram and you know, are performing, its required the team to sort of re look at like our approach and just make sure that our cost of acquisition is still coming in in a reasonable place. So I think still working, but definitely like taking some time to sort of figure out how to fine tune. Um, google search has been a successful channel for us for sure. And then we do send catalogs out to new customers as well as some direct mail. And that's been a channel that we've used since our diapers dot com days and continues to work well. I think it's also nice to have more real estate to tell your sort of grand story and offer more of a glimpse into your full assortment um, which is harder to do obviously in in sort of digital channels that are a little smaller format totally.
00:29:45Edit And I guess it makes a lot of sense when if you're on, you know, if you look at your consumer behavior and you're scrolling on instagram, it's easy to just like scroll, scroll, scroll, keep scrolling past. But if something arrives in your letter box and the hook is there immediately you have more time or you might put it down and come back to it and it's kind of like a much longer time to enjoy that content. Yes, exactly. And even as a consumer myself, I enjoy getting catalogs that resonate with me. I mean, a huge stack of mail, but I always flip through to like pull out the thing that's the most interesting. So hopefully that is primary for people. I agree. I love being sold something. I'm like, great, great marketing. I appreciate good marketing. Yes. I'm a marketer's dream. I want people to solve my problems. I want to talk about something that I read you introduced at the start of the pandemic, the four day work week. What was driving that decision? How is it going? What's the vibe? It's so great. I like the word life changing has come up about it from our team. And I feel that myself, so I would say how it's going is life changing?
00:30:51Edit We're about two years in on it now. And it's hard for me to imagine going back. And when we started it, it was actually like a concept that had come up before the pandemic. We had heard about it on on another podcast and talked about it as a leadership team, just a little bit like, would we ever consider something like this? It's really interesting. And we thought about it and thought, oh, that's, that could be compelling, but didn't take any action and then Covid hit and we were about a month in working from home and everyone was just exhausted. Like, like with every other company, I think you could see it, you could feel it like monday mornings would roll around and everyone was feeling even more tired than they were at the end of the prior week because the weekend was about like waiting in line at the grocery store and trying to figure out childcare and things like that. Um and so I think we all like just needed a break and it was sort of like everyone in their own way, I was like I just need a minute to like catch up with myself, catch up on my stuff, think about work problems without just being on like back to back calls all the time now from my desk without like getting up and walking around or going outside all day.
00:32:01Edit Um And so we started with like everyone's just gonna get to Fridays off in april that was sort of like the start of the four day work week and after that I think everyone just felt so grateful for that extra time, we didn't miss a beat in terms of like performance or you know we weren't getting behind on our work and so we thought you know this is maybe something we should continue doing and so that turned into friday's off in May and then that turned into let's try this for the rest of the summer And then at the end of the summer we said let's try this to the end of the year, this is still 2020 and then and so you could tell like it wasn't something that we were forever like we are going to do this forever and all time. And I think that helped us have the confidence to just keep doing it because we knew that in a case where something wasn't working business performance was suffering or there was some other reason we needed to go back to the five day work week. It was always set up again as a two way door. And so we were transparent with the team on that like as long as this is working we trust the team as long as everyone's getting their stuff done like This is what we're going to continue to do.
00:33:10Edit And so at the end of 2020 though we sort of said you know what this is working so well we're so proud of the team. Everyone clearly appreciates it so much including ourselves. Um and so let's continue this indefinitely. So we did I think and we haven't really looked back. The team appreciates it again so much. Doesn't mean that people aren't working on Fridays. Um For sure. But I think just that flexibility and knowing that you don't have to be working makes the biggest difference in the world for people who can choose to use that time. However it's best for them that week. 100%. I am so on board with the four day work week and it's a very big topic in the U. K. A lot of businesses here are rolling it out. I actually feel like it might be like you know like actually being rolled out like kind of as a thing I don't know but it's a big deal. What I'm wondering is you obviously have a lot of investors, you've raised tons of capital. Was there anyone not for it wasn't an easy sell to get all the other people's approval for who was involved in the business or was it kind of like yep good to go.
00:34:15Edit It was more that I actually don't really remember even a cell. I think we had so much conviction in it and we're also very reasonable about how we wanted to set it up and so it felt like very low risk of trying it where I think you know a lot of reasons not to try it are well who knows what's going to happen and what if it doesn't work and you know people a little bit scared of change of course but when you know and say it out loud that like if this isn't working we're not going to do it anymore all of a sudden it feels much less scary and you sort of realize that there's really no way to learn whether it works or not unless you actually do it and so I think that was the case and I think it helped to that this was something that like personally Christina and I and the rest of the team were feeling, and so it made it really easy to just like, say we really need the team really needs this. And I think our investors for sure have always been very supportive of that perspective, where like, we trust you, and if you think that's what you guys need, then great, we're sort of very supportive.
00:35:25Edit So, um, so that was that it didn't feel, it didn't feel hard, Sounds so cool. If anyone needs a job, go to primary, sounds like a great place to work. Oh My God, Love It. What do you think is important advice for entrepreneurs in 2022? I think two things come to mind the most. Um, one is that if you have an idea that you can't stop thinking about, it's probably a good basis for starting something. Um, and I would say that just given how hard it is and all the ups and downs that come with it, it's almost necessary to like, love this idea and have so much conviction about it, because otherwise, I think if it's just like, oh, this could be cool, or this could be interesting. I don't think that that is like the basis of like, we're gonna go try this would give people enough motivation to sort of like, stay in it through second then, because there is a lot, there's a lot of that. Um, and so I think just make sure that whatever idea you want to start, that you just like, it's almost like you have to like get to that level where you almost have to and, and then you'll, you'll make it work.
00:36:45Edit What's that role in dating? They say it's either a yes or it's a no. Oh my God, well that's perfect. Yes, I've never done that, but that's it's brilliant though. It's totally, it it has to be that because otherwise, like, it just isn't no and there and it doesn't mean there's not another idea, but like, it has to be the fucky Yes, definitely. I love that. Oh my God, that's my favorite thing. Okay, you're gonna write down your, like, struggling ideas in your notebook over there and I'm gonna like, do the yes or no test. Um and then otherwise, once you pass that test, then like, you just have to go, you just have to like, put all the challenging scary things like in the notebook over there and then you just have to start because there's never a perfect time. There's never enough money in the bank, There's like never enough, like, help to like deal with all the other ships and so you just have to do it and no, like, I don't know, it's helpful for me to, to think about the worst case scenario, like just play that out if you're scared about something literally envision if this goes terribly terribly, like, what does that look like And like once you can see it then it like feels less bad somehow.
Question number one is, what's your wife? Why are you doing what you're doing to give kids confidence? Oh, I love that. It's a feel good thing. Question number two is what's your like top favorite marketing moments so far? This is a repeat. But it is the marketing like headline, not all baby suits need to say little slugger. That was a big one. Question number three, what's your go to business resource when you think about like a newsletter, a podcast or a book? I really love the after hours podcast. It's actually where we first heard about the four day workweek concept, But it's three Harvard Business School professors who are just sort of talking casually about topics of the day or, or random things that each of them has brought in and it's really interesting. It's like smart perspective. I feel like caught up on the news but also like I understand it without having to read like 600 newspaper articles and like have my eyes glaze over.
00:01:16Edit So I really like that one. I haven't listened to that one. I'm going to check it out. I'm gonna link it in the show notes for anyone who wants to check it out as well. It sounds great. Question number four is, how do you win the day? What are your AM or PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated? I am such an early to bed girl. Like if the lights are off at 9:30, I'm so thrilled. Um if I have like Had some sweat during the day exercise anything even for 15 minutes, I feel so much better. And so I try to get that out of the way before Paul start in the morning and, and then in between, I think I feel the happiest when I have made like at least one real connection with another human during the day, like whether it's family or friends or something where I don't know, I really need that sort of one on one like connection time. So, so that's a huge one for me too. I love that Question # five, What has been your worst money mistake in the business? I think that we Raised our 2nd round too late.
00:02:26Edit I wish that looking back we had thought about because we ended up raising a little more money early on than we needed. And I wish that we kept the original plan which was like get to launch and raise money then because once we got through launch and we talked about like, you know, inventories sold down and like the sales trajectory is not great because we don't have any inventory, it was harder to raise capital then then it would have been if we just stuck to like, okay, this initial capital was to get us to launch were there, we did it, it's awesome and like now let's go raise our next round. I think we're like, oh but we have more money in the bank, we'll just wait and we shouldn't have done that. Hmm that's interesting. That's a really interesting perspective and one of those ones that's like, you only know in hindsight completely, completely. Yes, so that, that's what I would have changed. And last question question number six, what is just a crazy story that you can share from the journey of building a business, good, bad, anything, whatever you want? Well maybe too long a question for a speed round, but when we can make it longer, we can make it look like when, when we started the business, we didn't get an office.
00:03:43Edit Initially we looked at like, you know, so if we work desk spaces in the city, Christina lived in New Jersey, I live in Connecticut and so we were both coming in and we ended up both joining the Reebok Sports Club on the Upper West side because they had a huge open space with wifi and amazing food and like as we were starting, the business were like, and we'll just like exercise all the time and we'll get so healthy, it will be great, And the membership was like much cheaper than renting a desk somewhere. And so we did that, which was awesome. I highly recommend um for like we were working there for like the first like 6-7 months or so. And so all of our calls were in this like tiny phone booth, there were only two of them for like everyone who was working in this like communal space where the food was. And so there was always like a line for these phone booths and it was like always stressful like we have like a 1 30 call and like the phone phone booths were occupied and so we did a lot of calls from the phone booth and one of them was a pitch to an investor and I think it was our seed round actually and we were talking about the business and the vision for the clothes and and he just had such a strong view on our clothing which wasn't his background at all, where she was like you know what would be really awesome is if you could have like something like really just like visual that like everyone would see it and recognize like oh that's the primary thing and his suggestion for real was like like what if you guys just had like everything from primary just had a huge fucking zipper on it, Like verbatim said huge fucking zipper, like everything was just have a huge fucking zipper.
00:05:21Edit And so when kids were at the playground, all the parents will be like, oh look at that zipper, that's a primary hoodie like and so you know, it's like just think about it. Just think about that if that's something like that maybe could be helpful and it's such an interesting example because it was so crazy and so obviously at odds with like, everything else we were trying to do about the aesthetic of the brand, but also such a good representation of all these conversations where everyone has an opinion, everyone has the like, here's what's gonna solve your life. My idea is going to solve it. And so it was one of the early learnings for us. We're like, we didn't know that that was gonna be true, that everyone was going to have an opinion about like, what else we should be doing and how we should be doing things differently. And so early on, I think when we had calls like that, maybe not that one, but other calls like that, it was like, oh, well maybe we should think about doing that and like, huh, that could be interesting. Maybe we should think about that. And all of us and our heads were spinning because like, everyone had something to say and and it took us a little bit to get back to like, you know what? It's like, that's okay that can go in the notebook to, but we're like, we have a lot of conviction in our idea that is ours and specific and it's what we're here for and like, we're just gonna keep coming back to that.
00:06:33Edit It's very easy to spend on like, other people's suggestions and sometimes there's like a nugget there that's great and worth considering. But in general, I think having the conviction and like sticking to your guns on your original idea is so important. Otherwise it's a huge, like mental energy sector. Otherwise you end up with huge fucking zippers all over the world, which maybe it will just be the next, the next company if we, if we do that, but for now we're gonna stick with Primary. Oh my gosh, I love that though, because it goes back to what I was saying earlier of like, you really need to flex that muscle of just finding the focus and sticking with. Like, you're, you're kind of like, blinders are off, you're like just in a straight line, you're just kind of keeping focused on what you're doing, like one step after the other kind of vibes, but it's hard because someone will give you an idea and you'll go off for a couple of days and explore that idea and then you're like, I need to just come back and like focus on what is my vision, totally. Yeah, it's so hard and it's tempting to, because along the way, especially raising money, I think like there are plenty of people who are like, oh, that's interesting.
00:07:35Edit It's just not for me, like, I don't want to invest and then like, you're in this place where like, oh no, is this like a terrible idea? It's like, no, it's just not for everyone, and that's just how that goes, Love it. Love it, Thank you so much for joining me on the show today and sharing all of your learnings and your lessons in building primary so far. It's been such a joy. Thank you so much. Thank you. It was so fun chatting. I appreciate it.
00:37:55Edit It's the unknown. That that tends to be the most scary. But if you can put some known to like this is the worst thing that's ever happened. Like what what actually happens then? I think it starts to feel less scary. So I would do that too. I love both of those. Great, amazing. Thank you so much. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode. We are testing out something new here for the next while and we're splitting up each episode into two parts. The main interview part and then the six quick questions part to make them easier to listen to. So that's part one done, tune into part two to hear the six quick questions.