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2020 Earnie Awards Winner – Girls’ Apparel: Rylee & Cru

Excellence in design and retail across the children’s fashion and juvenile product industries.

Girls’ Apparel

Rylee & Cru

Est. 2014

Kelli Murray, Co-Founder & Design Director

First paying job: Hollister sales associate

Pet peeve: Excessively loud chewing

Hobbies: Sewing, crafting and decorating my house

What was the last movie you watched? Hocus Pocus

Last book you read: I’m more of a magazine girl!

Go-to quarantine snack: All the carbs! Got super into baking, so that was dangerous.

One fact few people know about you: I’m an introvert and often struggle with anxiety.

Personal motto: Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

We Are Family This has been a crazy year for obvious reasons. We did our best to treat our partners with care, sensitivity and flexibility. Our growth in 2020 came primarily from larger orders with existing accounts. It appears we are becoming more and more important to our accounts, which we are so thankful for.

The Right Mix Our colors, prints and silhouettes are very well- received. However, it is our photography, assets and customer service we offer our retailers that sets us apart. Video walk-throughs of our collections were new this year in the absence of physical trade shows. This new service, along with other technology upgrades, made communicating with our partners better.

Staying Nimble To keep everyone safe and healthy, we had all our employees work from home from March through May. We tried to keep productivity up with frequent zoom calls and emails. And while we have always allowed for a lot of flexibility in schedules and work hours to best accommodate everyone’s specific needs, this year saw even more of that. One new thing we always look forward to now is Tuesday lunches, which allows us to all connect on a more personal level from a distance.

What’s New We just recently launched our third brand, Noralee, a special occasion dress brand. We will handle this brand with the same love and care we do Rylee + Cru and Quincy Mae. Overall, our seasonal collections have grown mostly on the accessory side. We added things like hair accessories, backpacks, purses, hats and, most recently, shoes. While we anticipate consumer shopping to skew online, we still strongly believe there is a huge place for brick-and-mortar specialty stores. We will always welcome our retail partners with open arms.

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