Local company aims to change children’s clothing business landscape

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Changing the way baby and children’s clothing is made and sold: this is the goal of Primary.

This small online business was started by Christine Carbonell and Galyn Bernard. The two moms met while working on Diapers.com and shared their frustration with finding affordable basics for their kids.

“It was like you walked into a children’s clothing store and there were still sparkling pink princesses on one side and blue fire trucks on the other,” Carbonell explained. “We felt like we could do things differently in children’s clothing.”

Doing things differently included getting rid of the boys and girls sections and providing classic, gender neutral styles in all colors for all the kids.

“It all goes together, so parents and kids can feel very confident pulling anything out of their drawers. It will work, it will match and it will look good, ”said Bernard.

When the pandemic struck, Primary, like many businesses, had to adjust to the new normal. This included moving their board meetings away from home.

“We still need to have a few meetings to be able to look at the clothes – that’s what we do,” Carbonell explained. “We’ve gone to great lengths to only have the meetings that we absolutely need to have, with as few people as possible and as safe as possible.”

Today’s office is the home of Marianne Hill-Treadway, Supply Chain Manager of Primary and wife of Craig Treadway of PIX11.

“With our partner agents overseas, we were able to go on and make sure there was no disruption in the supply chain, so we had plenty of back-to-school inventory, which will be important.” said Hill-Treadway.

The founders of Primary said another important part of their business is making sure they support their employees as they balance their personal lives with working from home.

There is no 12 noon to 1 pm appointment, and the last appointment of the day has to end at 5 pm, “so people know they can count on some sort of early evening for them.” themselves, ”explains Bernard.

Carbonell added that when the pandemic hit, they had to rethink a lot of their plans.

“We have just refocused, we did it quickly, we mobilized to do it and it was very successful,” she explained.

Primary also gave back to the community during the pandemic, donating tens of thousands of dollars to several organizations and charities like Frontline Food, a group that feeds healthcare workers and supports local restaurants.


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Gladys T. Hensley

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