Mother-and-daughter team Debra “Deb” and Kennedy Bray have always been close, sharing everything from their genes to their jeans. Armed with a lifelong love of fashion and an eye for classic designs, the duo set out to create an online retail platform for clothing that transcends the generations.
Bray-ving the Storm
Kennedy originally pitched the idea for BRAY to Deb in January 2020, with the website slated to launch mid-March. When COVID-19 hit, things got a bit more complicated.
“Initially it was really difficult,” Kennedy says. “ A lot of our suppliers weren’t open… A couple of our reps lost their jobs, it was really difficult to hold inventory.”
These issues, coupled with the fact that the pair had purchased summer clothing at a time when loungewear was in higher demand, meant the launch had to be postponed until mid-April.
Despite the rocky start, BRAY persevered, creating a web platform at the height of online shopping, with a focus on customer support.
“We want there to be a personality and ‘us’ affiliated with the store,” Kennedy says. “We want to engage with our shoppers as best as we can, especially online in this climate.”
The Team Behind the Page
While the original name Bray & Co implies there’s a large team behind the business, Deb and Kennedy conduct virtually all operations alone, in-house. After converting the space above Deb’s garage into a workspace, the two began selecting, acquiring, and shipping products out themselves.
According to Deb, their mother-daughter relationship has blossomed into a great working relationship, allowing them to spend time together while simultaneously cutting costs.
“Before we started this together, we were absolutely inseparable. She’s my best friend,” Kennedy says. “So we thought, why not just hang out and work together at the same time?”
Classic. Multigenerational. Inclusive.
Deb and Kennedy set out to sell clothing that’s minimalist and inclusive of all ages and body types. On the site, you can find a variety of items, from dresses and jumpsuits to graphic T-shirts. Everything is offered in sizes 0-18.
All items are hand-curated by the Brays, with new pieces dropping weekly on their website and Instagram.
“We are so picky, and we love engaging with our shoppers when it comes to hand-measuring all clothing and providing accurate product descriptions,” Kennedy says. “We really want them to feel like we’re here.”
Kennedy and Deb look forward to growing their company, exploring possibilities of pop-up shops or even a brick and mortar store. While they currently offer more feminine items, the team hopes to incorporate more men’s wear, athleisure, and accessories into their collection.
“We love that right now the world is our oyster,” Kennedy says. “We’re just seeing where it takes us, and I think that’s been our best success… just keeping calm and doing what we know how to do best.”
Visit the online boutique at shopbray.com, or view items on Instagram @shop.bray.
For more local finds, check out our Style section here.