Simple is Beautiful for Comfy Kidsware Brand mrly
Two Abercrombie & Fitch alums have teamed up to start their own clothing line. Focused on simple silhouettes and a more neutral color palette, Founders Kyoko Seki and Trevor Potulski launched comfy kidsware brand mrly last summer.
In a marketplace filled with bright colors and loud patterns, “We were looking for something that was a little more toned down, a little more simple,” says Potulski. The kiddo’s personality gets to do the talking.
mrly’s predominately gender-neutral line is broken down into three offerings: tops, bottoms and dresses ideal for mixing and matching. The styles are available in sizes 1 – 5, generally corresponding to a child’s age.
mrly’s garments are manufactured in the U.S., aiming for a quality product and design that stands the test of time. In fact, Seki says their wares are ideal for hand-me-downs. They’ve also incorporated a way to give back. mrly partners with the Ronald McDonald house to provide a load of laundry for every item bought.
Shoppers can find mrly’s clothes through three main avenues: online, at various markets around Columbus and a number of boutiques. mrly has set up at Moonlight Market, Columbus Flea, and is slated to appear at the first-ever German Village Makers Market. In addition to hosting pop-ups of their own, mrly is available at shops like Small Talk and Columbus kids’ boutique Cub Shrub.
When Seki and Potulski found themselves working together as a merchant-designer pair at Abercrombie, they couldn’t have been more different on paper or in personality. But, they quickly found opposites do indeed attract and their complimentary skill sets and ability to make sound business decisions earned the praise of their bosses.
After two and a half years working together, a business trip halfway around the world to Hong Kong put the mrly wheels in motion.
“We thought we should still be working together but it doesn’t necessarily have to be in corporate America,” Potulski says. “We wanted a new challenge.”
Sooner rather than later they wanted to make the leap to business partnership, but had to figure out where they were leaping. Fashion was the logical choice and while at the hospital celebrating the birth of his child, Potulski started thinking about kids’ clothes.
Seki showed him a few outfits she had made for her little ones, and, “When I saw those, I think it kind of solidified both of our visions for what our brand would be,” Potulski says.
mrly gives a nod to their own children, representing the first letters of each of their two kids’ names.
Seki and Potulski are enjoying the lifestyle and new challenges of entrepreneurship – and being totally hands-on in their business. Over the next few years they hope to get in front of more customers and continue to expand the brand, even toying with the idea of a brick-and-mortar someday.
For more information, visit mrlybrand.com.
Photos provided by mrly.