MODEL, designer, business- woman and mum of two... now Pippa O’Connor is opening a bespoke pop-up store in Mahon Point this week, selling her incredibly successful range of jeans — and she promises she has a pair to suit all shapes and sizes.
POCO by Pippa will open for four weeks from August 4 and, having hosted several successful pop-ups in venues around Ireland including Dundrum town centre, she is excited to be heading to Leeside.
“Cork ladies love their style,” says Pippa. “Any time I go there I notice how stylish everyone is. We have a lot of orders being sent to Cork every day. My ‘fashion factory’ (events) are a big hit there too. I’m so thankful for the loyal Munster following I have.”
An acronym of her name (Pippa O’Connor Ormond) she launched the online POCO jeans last November and says she never dared to imagine the success of the venture.
“It started with a dream of always wanting my own fashion brand. I adore clothes — I always have. Ever since I was a small child watching my own mother’s style — she was really glam. I would go shopping with her a lot, I’d read her Harper’s Bazaar magazines. So it was always in me to do something fashion-related.
“I thought about many different options but it was in conversation with my sister and husband one day that I decided it would be based around denim. It was like a light switch went off! Denim jeans! I said there and then, ‘I’m going to create my own denim brand’.
“Jeans are my uniform. Everyone I know loves and wears jeans. I can’t live without them. From then the dream was born.
“But never, ever did I think POCO by Pippa would take off like it did. I knew it would be successful as I was very comfortable and confident that the product was amazing but I didn’t expect it to take off like the rocket it did.”
Throughout the store, style advisors will be on hand to help customers choose the right denim and fit that suits them while Pippa herself will be hosting style clinics throughout the month in Mahon Point: “I personally love to meet customers and hear their stories and the pop-up is the perfect place to do that,” she said.
Available in sizes 6 to 16, the range is made up of six styles of denims in a variety of colours and shades.
The most popular style with customers, are the ‘Slimmers’, she says.
“Everyone loves them. They do what it says on the tin! They make you feel slim, slender and like a million dollars. That’s what every woman wants from their jeans. To feel really good.”
And her own favourite: “That’s like asking who’s my favourite child — I couldn’t possibly choose! They all have their purposes. I love wearing my ‘Off Duty’s’ with my trainers — my style is quite casual so that’s what I’m most comfortable in. The ‘Saturday Nights’ and the ‘Leather Looks’ make me feel really good, especially with high heels on a night out!”
But she insists she has a pair of jeans to suit everyone.
“Denim has come on so much over the years — jeans should be soft and comfortable with lots of stretch. It’s not like years ago when we all struggled to find a pair to fit.
“When going shopping for jeans in general you should be open-minded — try new trends. Don’t dismiss the skinny leg or the high waisted styles for example. Take your time and try them all on.”
The young woman enjoys a massive online following and is constantly on the go with seemingly boundless energy.
Mum to Louis and Ollie, running her own business, working as a model and managing to fit in lots of fun and date nights with hubby Brian, we want to know how she does it?
“It’s a struggle most days to be honest. Work life is only getting busier but I just do the best I can.
“My idea of ‘balance’ might not be someone else’s. I have a rule that I’m always home by 4pm (when possible) so I’d never have a meeting later in the day if it meant I’d be home later than that. I always want to be at home to put my boys to bed. Luckily, being my own boss means I manage my own time, so I’m very lucky in that regard.”
She does admit she has a great nanny, and husband.
“I couldn’t do what we do without amazing support and help. Brian works on everything behind the scenes — all of the important nitty gritty stuff. If he wasn’t in business with me I don’t think I’d get as much done. It’s great to be able to lean on someone when you need them. Besides myself and Brian we have an amazing small team that play a huge part of everything we do. Team work makes the dream work!”
She doesn’t envisage a permanent store for POCO any time soon: “It’s primarily an online business. Online is what I know well and it works for us. I much rather do pop-up shops around the country for a short amount of time. It keeps it fresh and exciting.”
But she promises there’s plenty more to look forward to from the label.
“We are slowly adding new styles and products. I’m very protective over the brand and fussy as to what’s produced so I’m adding new products in slowly. We will expand the denim range with some other basic items too.
“Currently, we’ve shipped to 35 countries worldwide — we are delighted with that number but the aim is to really push it internationally in 2018.”
See www.pocobypippa.com for more