Like two peas in a pod

Why should you have to sacrifice style when you are expecting? Emma Connolly talks to women with Cork links, who have launched their own label and are changing how maternity fashion is done
Like two peas in a pod
Hazel Kinsella, from Togher and Emma Arblaster of THe Pod Collection.

JERSEY wrap dresses and ruched tops weren’t cutting it for one stylish mum-to-be — so she decided to design her own maternity wear collection with a life-long friend.

Hazel Kinsella, originally from Togher, and friend Emma Arblaster — who also has Cork links — are the design duo behind a newly launched premium Irish maternity label designed with style, quality and, most importantly, comfort.

Hazel explained how it all started when she was expecting her first baby: “Although such an exciting time, I found there was a massive gap in the maternity clothing market for chic considered design.

“Not only was there a lack of stylish pieces, I was suddenly faced with a different type of shopping experience. One that was frustrating, time-consuming and a bit soul-destroying.

“Outlining my experience to Emma, we started to look at the maternity offerings and found everything looked the same — a plethora of jersey wrap dresses and ruched tops.

The Pod Collection Day Dress €69.
The Pod Collection Day Dress €69.

“As we spoke to other women, we found that this frustration was widespread, so we decided to tackle it, and The Pod Collection was born.”

It’s a capsule collection of six staple pieces that can be easily shopped and mixed and matched throughout pregnancy — as well as afterwards.

Emma comes from a fashion buying and design background while Hazel has an advertising and graphic design background which, combined, gave them a great skill set to approach their first collection; that and the fact they have been friends since childhood.

Hazel said: “I went to primary school in Togher, I moved up to Dublin at the age of eight and met Emma, we quickly became friends and have been ever since.

“Emma is originally from Dublin but her father and family are from Wilton.”

The Pod Collection The White Shirt (€69)
The Pod Collection The White Shirt (€69)

Their overall aim was to ‘streamline the maternity offering’ and ensure mums to be didn’t lose their sense of style to the bump.

The first collection comprises: The Day Dress (€69); The Evening Dress (€89); The Trouser (€75); The T-shirt (€31); The White Shirt (€69) and The Bag (€129).

The ladies said: “We wanted to make the shopping experience one of ease and enjoyment for all mamas and mamas to be. Each piece is a classic staple that can be mixed and matched, and take you from work to weekend.

“Our collection focuses on sleek design and stylish staples that empower confidence throughout pregnancy and beyond. A lot of women feel alienated by maternity clothes and are faced with items that they wouldn’t normally wear. At the Pod Collection we don’t want you to lose your sense of self or style to the bump.”

As well as designing their own collection, The Pod also stocks other leading baby and maternity labels.

The Pod Collection The Trouser (€75)
The Pod Collection The Trouser (€75)

“We did extensive research and cherry picked the best labels that have a similar ethos as us from around the world, including Bae the Label (Australia), SIX Studio (UK) and Loyal Hana (US) all exclusive to The Pod Collection.

“The plan is for our website to become the number one go to for all mums and expecting mums, with future objectives to branch into activewear, baby wear, gifting and accessories. We want to change how maternity fashion is done!”


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