The designer on her design inspirations and why she’s had the royal seal of approval
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.
Describe a typical day for you.
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’s the best thing 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.
What’s been your proudest moment?
There have been a few. After nine months of organising the launch, when I first saw the website running and the first collection uploaded online, that was a really exciting time for me. We also feel honoured that Pepa & Co has been selected by the Royal Family for dressing Prince George and Princess Charlotte on several occasions.
What advice would you give to those wanting to launch their own brand?
I would say that the basis is to love and believe in what you are doing. Be passionate and be persistent, as it is not easy. There are so many competitors; the only difference the client will notice is the passion you bring to your brand.
What can we expect from Pepa & Co in the next 12 months?
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.