Exclusive: Hill House raises $20 million to build on Nap Dress success and expand fashion portfolio

September 20, 2022, 11:50 AM UTC
Hill House founder Nell Diamond.
Courtesy of Hill House

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! A Baltimore judge overturns Adnan Syed’s conviction of his ex-girlfriend’s murder, the Las Vegas Aces win their first WNBA championship, and Nap Dress creator Hill House charts its expansion into fashion with fresh fundraising.

The Nap Dress awakens. In certain corners of the internet, the pandemic has become synonymous with one clothing item (no, not sweatpants): the Nap Dress. 

The $150 dress designed by the brand Hill House took off in 2020 as a comfortable yet stylish wear-all-day outfit. One of the brand’s “drops” of the dress earned more revenue in a day than Hill House took in all of 2019, garnering “$3 million in sales in 12 minutes,” the brand says. Now sold in more than a dozen colors and patterns, the dress’s launch marked Hill House’s pivot from home goods to fashion. The brand was originally launched as Hill House Home in 2016, offering bedding and other home products. 

Nell Diamond, the 34-year-old founder, is leaning into this focus on fashion and recently raised a $20 million funding round to support the company’s growth, Fortune is the first to report. Beliade, an investor in brands like Van Leeuwen ice cream,Heyday Skincare, the boxing chain Rumble Fitness, and the influencer-led fashion brand Something Navy led the round. 

Diamond and I spoke via Zoom earlier this month, where she wore a new Hill House style called the Louisa, made in response to customer requests for more bra-friendly options. 

“With the Nap Dress, it was evident right away that this was something special,” Diamond said. About 88% of the brand’s sales are now in its fashion categories, which include a recently launched shoe and swimwear collection. It’s seen 300% growth each year for the past three years, according to Diamond. 

But the brand’s growth has been slow and steady, preferring to build organically through word-of-mouth testimonies, rather than paid advertising. “We used to call it the group-chat effect,” Diamond said. “We would see a burst of customers on the site and be like, ‘Oh, there’s a group chat.’” 

The company has grown internally, too. In 2020, it had only five employees. It now has 30. 

While Hill House has developed into a more mature brand with plenty of digital advertising, Diamond still tries to design products that inspire the same kind of fervor as the Nap Dress. With her new funding, she plans to pursue a greater store presence (the brand’s only permanent outpost is in Nantucket, Mass.) and expand internationally (she’s eyeing London). 

Though Hill House is adding to its fashion portfolio, the brand hasn’t forgotten its roots. “Fashion is top of the funnel for us,” she says. “But whenever you’re ready for new bedding or towels, we’ve got you.”

Emma Hinchliffe

The Broadsheet is Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Today’s edition was curated by Paige McGlauflin. Subscribe here.


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- First-time champ. The Las Vegas Aces won their first WNBA championship on Sunday, defeating the Connecticut Sun 78 to 71. Aces head coach Becky Hammon, previously an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, became the first in WNBA history to win a championship title in a debut season as head coach. ESPN

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