Ringing In The New Year!
I know we all say the same thing at the end of every year but I mean it this time!!… It’s been the quickest one of my life.
This time last year I was pregnant with Louis and before I knew it he was here, he was a spring baby, arriving in May.
Life again as we knew it changed forever, you think you could never love another little human as much as your first – but you do, of course. Once Louis arrived life really did feel complete, he slotted right in and Ollie, well he just adored him from day 1. I actually had an emergency operation when I was only 10 weeks pregnant with Louis. I never mentioned it at the time as it was obviously very scary, plus nobody knew I was pregnant. I basically had a cyst that had to be removed immediately – it was huge, bigger than my fist. I had to have a general anaesthetic and get keyhole surgery, not nice at the best of times but when you’re pregnant as well, I was extremely anxious. (Dr Peter Boylan in Holles St was just amazing) so after all that worry I just felt unbelievably lucky to now have 2 healthy boys.
The day after I arrived home from hospital I received some final samples from my manufactures. This was what I’d been working so hard on in background throughout my pregnancy. POCO was nearly born and I was bursting with excitement.
I called my sister and close friends to come over that night to try on my samples, they laughed and thought I was mad even bothering with this so soon – but it wasn’t work to me!
I’ll never forget sitting in my living room feeding my tiny newborn and looking at the girls try on my jeans – after endless back and forth trying to perfect these styles I knew there and then how good they were. I was ecstatic!
For me becoming a mum for the second time certainly wasn’t as daunting as the first time. This time I knew what to expect – I took the good with the bad days and finally understood the saying “it doesn’t last long” – not that it was easier the second time, it just didn’t shock my system as much. I never thought I’d adapt to broken sleep and little of it, but again, of course you do!
I enjoyed the summer with my little family. We were lucky enough to get to go on our first holiday all together in July. We travelled to Quinta De Lago in Portugal for a week. Louis was only 8 weeks old- I hadn’t flown with Ollie until he was 9 months so I was a little apprehensive. It was totally fine though. Portugal is a short flight and I actually think the younger they are the easier it is. Louis slept the entire time.
Quinta was fabulous by the way, I’d highly recommend it for a family holiday (you can read about that trip in more detail here)
The rest of the summer I geared up to launch my first book and all the time we were working on POCO in the background. I suppose I didn’t really take any maternity leave off as such but we had a couple of nice breaks away so that was my down time. I think when you work for yourself it’s different anyhow, you don’t get the time off like some other working mums that aren’t self employed but there’s obviously pros and cons to everything. I’m extremely lucky that I choose exactly what work I do and when I want to do it. My husband and I set up POCO together so to be honest he did all the hard graft with the travelling, setting it up and putting everything in place.
September and October were really exciting months for me.
In September I launched my app ‘Pippa’ – it’s my entire website in an easy to navigate app, meaning you’ll never miss your favourite pippa.ie post- we make it really easy to save posts for later reading and we give the option to send push notifications of new posts to your phone. The app was top of the download charts for nearly a week so I couldn’t have hoped for a better reaction.
Everything seemed to snowball from then on – my book was published the first week of October, it was the biggest selling pre order Easons have ever had! Like ever!!! More than Harry Potter- I know, nuts! Even as I type that I can hardly believe it.
We had the launch party for my book on October 11th, 5 days after it published. It was a really bittersweet day for me as it was also my Mum’s second anniversary. It’s bizarre feeling happy but totally heartbroken all at once. On the afternoon of the 11th my publishers (Penguin) called me to tell me news that my book went straight to number 1! I was sitting having lunch with my husband plus Jenny & Alan of iZest Marketing who manage most of what I do. Jenny was a massive part in helping me secure my book deal so it was amazing to have them there when I got the call. I was obviously overjoyed. I thought I was number 1 in maybe just hardback – which would have still been unreal but when I asked Micheal of Penguin again on the phone he said “No Pippa, you’re 1 overall” I started to shake and well up at once. I asked my poor husband to stop making a fuss as I knew I’d cry and not stop. I was an emotional wreck as it was that day. It was just the best news to get … I was so proud of myself and could just imagine what my lovely Mum would of said. Something like “well I’m not surprised at all”.
That night we celebrated with a small gathering of friends and colleagues. I was really happy I marked the occasion and especially with the day that it was.
After that I did a number of signings around the country – the whole experience was so new and different for me, I really enjoyed it and loved meeting all the different people who had gotten my book.
Then came November, another massive month for me and to be honest it all probably happened too close together. I didn’t actually plan it like that but dates got pushed out with everything so I just rolled with it.
On November 14th POCO the denim collection officially launched. I don’t think I was so nervous about anything as much to date than I was about that. This was a whole new business, and it was entirely ours. A lot of effort and investment went into it all, I felt incredibly excited but also terrified.
Our first delivery was huge, we estimated it would see us through until March – we sold out of nearly everything in a week! Those first few weeks were insane and when I think of it now I don’t know how we managed it – we went in blind not knowing what to expect and we were literally thrown into the deep end.
We do everything ourselves, when I say we I mean our team of 6 – which includes myself and my husband.
We distribute everything ourselves from our warehouse. That first week after we went live online was like a blur, we packed and packaged all day long through the night every night. Well I didn’t so much as I had our boys to mind but the POCO team literally worked around the clock to make it happen. We even had extra help from friends and family at the beginning. It was amazing but also totally overwhelming. I had moments of “Jesus Christ what have I under taken here”.
Lots of fearful and panicking moments. Lots of self doubt that was quickly beaten out of me by my husband and sister (not literally!)
It’s so so important to have those types of people around you. Constantly cheering the dream on and reassuring you.
It’s normal for those close to you to want you to act with caution also. I had people close to me tell me that they didn’t think my idea would work, and that’s okay too, they’re only looking out for you and don’t want you to fail. Ultimately you have to go with your gut and once your happy with your decisions you must put your blinkers on and push forward. Ask for advice only when you need it, from people you trust.
We’ve already outgrown our little office. We’re falling over boxes of jeans to get in or out but it’s working and it’s a start. We are working our bums off but having a lot of fun at the same time. We manage to laugh all day long through the madness and tiredness. I’m a strong believer in working hard but I don’t take myself too seriously and I love to laugh.
What’s the dream professionally for 2017? I want to focus on everything I have going on at the moment before I move onto the next project … I want to continue to grow pippa.ie and POCO. I’m really excited for POCO in 2017, I have huge plans for the brand so I’m really excited to see where we’ll be this time next year. I’m working on new styles to bring to the collection at the moment but I’m taking my time with those as I want to make sure everything is perfect.
I have a big event in my mind that I want to run in the middle of the year. I’ll tell you about that when I’ve planned it but I’ve a great feeling about it.
I’d love to write another book this year- if I could manage to dedicate the time!
As for New Years resolutions, I never make any. I don’t believe in giving things up that you enjoy, in my case chocolate & wine!!
I like to set goals though and I think that’s really healthy for everyone to do. I’m promising myself to make a little bit more time for some physical activity. I’m never going to become a gym bunny, let’s be realistic. I’ve no interest in that anyway but I want to get out doors more even if it’s just for a walk, for my mind more than anything.
I want to spend more time cooking this year. I like cooking but since having Louis, moving house last August and starting the new business I’ve let that slip. So less takeaways and more homemade meals around the dining table for us.
Try to set small realistic goals as well as big ones.
Get yourself a new note pad or treat yourself to a beautiful looking diary and write it all down.
I always write down what I want to do.
To anyone that wants to start something new, maybe it’s a blog or maybe it’s a business from home. First things first, you must just start!
Stop procrastinating or waiting for “the right time”.
If you wait you’ll never be ready! You’ll learn as you go along and that’s how you become better.
Be brave, take a chance and always always go with your gut instincts.
Don’t concern yourself with what anyone else is doing or what people may think of you. Every person deserves to be happy and fulfilled.
If you never take a chance and start you’ll never know what might have been.
Had I not started pippa.ie I’m not sure I’d be doing everything I’m doing now.
I certainly wouldn’t be doing everything if it wasn’t for all of you – if people didn’t follow me it wouldn’t have lead to where I am now.
So thank you! Thank you for your interest, thank you for reading my posts, thank you for attending my events! Thank you for it all!
I’m honestly so grateful. I’m excited for a brand new year- hopefully I’ll meet lots of you along the way.
Lots of love, health and happiness to you all.