Brunt Workwear, a boot and apparel brand targeted at construction workers and tradespeople, has closed a $20 million Series B round led by Stripes, a growth equity firm that invests in consumer businesses including On Running, Reformation, Siete and Califia Farms. Returning investors include TF Cornerstone, Bolt and Suffolk Technologies.
Last September, a Series A funding round brought in $8.4 million.
The investors were drawn to Brunt’s mission to serve the 17 million workers in in the construction, installation, maintenance and repair industries in the U.S. alone.
The direct-to-consumer brand was created a little over two years ago by former M.Gemi executives Eric Girouard and David Chernow and it quickly established a foothold in the market with sales in 2021 exceeding projections by 80 percent. This year, it is expecting sales to increase more than 200 percent.
Brunt launched with just four styles of work boots but since then has added more models as well as socks and apparel. Its tag line is: “The Tools You Wear” and it offers affordable prices, such as its bestselling Marin model that retails for $135 or the DiStasio for $175.
Six months after its launch, Brunt added apparel and accessories such as work jackets and pants including the Couvee Jacket, a quilted insulated jacket that sells for $159, the Coady full-zip hoodie for $119, the Martin water- and abrasion-resistant pant that sells for $89, and the four-way stretch water- and abrasion-resistant Whitman pant retails for $119.
Girouard, chief executive officer, said he believes the brand has found success against such household names as Carhartt and Dickies because it offers customers an alternative. “Our brand has experienced viral growth because of how well it resonates with the modern construction worker. We look different, speak different and act very differently than the heritage workwear brands, which our target customer has so desperately wanted, and deserves.“
He said Brunt will use the additional funds to increase inventory, grow its team, invest in additional product development and expand retail channels beyond its digital storefront. That will include new boots, bottoms and tops that will allow Brunt to “truly be the modern workwear ‘uniform’ — things like work shorts that we will introduce this spring and more cold workwear for next winter.“
In addition, the brand will explore “the next best retail channel to grow the business, which could either be another digital channel, or something physical like our own retail stores,” Girouard said, adding that going international, however, “is the likely next step for us.”
“Over the last 10 years, brands like On Running and Nike have launched dozens of new performance running shoes rich with new features that drive comfort and performance, while construction and trade workers are still stuck with the same legacy shoe styles,” said Chris Carey, partner at Stripes. “It’s no surprise that Brunt has seen incredible early adoption and consumer love; their direct-to-consumer model, coupled with Eric’s fanatical focus on product innovation and quality, has enabled Brunt to deliver shoes and apparel with superior comfort, performance, and value compared to the incumbents.”