The brand has gone from a small business importing Spanish childrenswear to the UK to a boutique frequented by celebrities and Royalty.
B meets Pepa Gonzalez, founder of Pepa & Co
Pepa Gonzalez moved to London as a young woman to work at the Spanish Embassy and when that job came to an end, she decided to stay on in the Capital. Working as a Nanny in London for a couple of years, she came to realise that it was difficult to find lovely, traditional and vintage-inspired clothing for babies and children at affordable prices. This led her to start her own company, Pepa & Co.
“I love fashion,” Pepa explains. “In Spain, we truly care about what we wear. It’s a way of expressing ourselves and it makes us feel good. We also care about the quality and provenance of both children’s and adults’ clothing.
“When I started out, I found it more enjoyable to design clothing for others rather than for myself, so I could see others wearing it; children were the perfect inspiration.
“When I launched Pepa & Co, I initially started by handpicking my favourite childrenswear brands from Spain and bringing them to the UK via an online boutique. Having listened to what the clients did and didn’t like, I built up a huge knowledge bank and decided to launch my own label, designing the clothes myself, always with the clients in mind. My own label became my most successful collection, so it seemed natural to continue designing the clothing myself.
“A typical day is spent doing a combination of things – liaising with the manufacturers to discuss the design of the new collections, updating the website, meeting clients in-store at our showroom based in Fulham, dispatching orders and organising photoshoots for new collections. I am a hands-on, multi-task founder and the business is growing very fast. Although it’s hard work sometimes, I am enjoying this stage of the business and I find it really important to be involved in every area of the company; it is really important to know your own business and make the right decisions.
“The best thing about my job is dealing with my clients, who are so patient and understanding. They appreciate that we are a small, independent company and they don’t expect return labels or free delivery. They value the quality of the clothing – and we love it when our clients send pictures of their children in our clothing and say thank you!
“I don’t yet have my own children but when I do, their wardrobe is ready, for sure! My mother loves children’s clothing; she loves shopping for it and she can hand-make stunning pieces for babies and children, always in an exquisite style. When we were little, she used to dress us all in smart clothing and my brothers were often told they looked like Princes, so that sentiment stuck with me.
“Juggling work and home life is easier because I have great support from my husband. He’s very patient with the sacrifices I have to make, such as long days in the office and no free weekends.
“So far, I have had some amazing moments. After nine months of organising the launch of Pepa & Co, seeing the website live and the first collection online was a really exciting time for me. A few days later we got our first order from Singapore and I couldn’t believe it, it was like magic!
“As an English start-up based in London, we also feel honoured that our brand, Pepa & Co has been selected by the Royal Family for dressing Prince George and Princess Charlotte on several occasions, wearing some of our favourite outfits and looking so sweet!
“They key to running a successful business is to love and believe in what you are doing. Being passionate about your work and being persistent is not easy. The business is growing and I would love to have more presence in other European countries and the USA, as the response from these territories so far has been fantastic.
Watch this space for some very exciting news for us and our customers in the pipeline!
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Fans of the brand:
- The Royal Family
- Binky Felstead
- Samantha Faiers
You can the range online at www.pepaandcompany.com