Pepa Gonzalez is the founder of Pepa & Co and designer of Pippa Middleton’s bridesmaid and page boy outfits, we catch up with her about business life and dressing royalty
Why did you set up Pepa & Co?
I moved to London in my twenties to work in the marketing department for the Spanish Embassy, but when that contract finished I worked for two years as a nanny instead. It was during this time I realised how difficult it was to find traditional, vintage-inspired clothing for babies and children at affordable prices in the UK, so, I set about launching my own company to fill the gap in the market.
What sparked your passion for children’s clothing?
I love fashion. In Spain it’s a way of expression and makes us feel good. We also care about the quality and the provenance of our clothing. When I started out, I found it more fun to design clothing for others rather than myself, and children were the perfect inspiration. Pepa & Co initially started with me handpicking my favourite childrenswear brands from Spain and bringing them to the UK via my online boutique. Then, having listened to what the clients liked and didn’t like, I decided to design my own line – it soon became my most successful collection.
What’s a “normal” day in the office like?
My day is spent doing a combination of things from liaising with the manufacturers to updating the website, meeting clients at our Fulham showroom to dispatching orders and organising photoshoots. The business is growing fast, and we are planning to hire more people soon. Although it’s hard work sometimes, I’m enjoying this initial stage, and I find it really important to be involved in every area of the company.
What do you love the most about your job?
Customer service is such a nice part of it! Dealing with clients who are – 95% of the time – so patient and understanding. They appreciate that we are a small, independent company and don’t expect return labels or free delivery. They value the quality of our clothing and we love it when they send pictures of their children wearing our clothing. If the day has been hard for whatever reason, this makes it worth it.
How did it feel seeing pictures of page boy Prince George and bridesmaid Princess Charlotte wearing your brand for Pippa Middleton’s wedding?
It was truly an honour to be part of this project and I was excited to take on the commission for all bridesmaid and page boy outfits. We have such fond memories of designing these bespoke garments for the children who all look so adorable and cute in their outfits. We always enjoy seeing any of our clients share their family pictures with us, which makes us feel very proud, and seeing the little members of the Royal Family in some of our clothing is again an honour! The best thing to happen out of this was to introduce Pepa & Co to new customers from around the world.
What’s next in the pipeline?
Fresh from designing the bridesmaid and page boy outfits for Pippa Middleton and James Matthews’ wedding we have just introduced a new Celebration Collection, which includes handmade and hand-smocked traditional dresses Peter Pan collar shirts and classic knickerbockers and a range of accessories.
We would like to improve our clients’ online experience and offer them a more personalised service. We are growing, and would love to have more of a presence in other European countries and in the USA, too.
IMAGE: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire/PA Images