I’m always keen to support Spanish brands and entrepreneurs. In the past I have brought you some of my favourite Spanish children clothes brands, here and here. More recently I introduced you to La Zebra, a small business by a Spanish mum living in the UK.
Pepa & Co is one of those brands that have been on my radar of a couple of years. I initially came across them online and I was drawn to their super cute range for kids with a very Spanish style. Very different to the clothes you can find in the UK. Lately Pepa & Co have had a lot of press coverage thanks to the young royals wearing their clothes and more recently for creating the pageboys and flower girls outfits for Pippa Middleton’s wedding.
I’ve had a chance to interview Pepa Gonzalez recently to find out a bit more about her brand.
Why did you decide to start Pepa & Co?
I moved to London six years ago from Malaga to work in the marketing department of the Spanish embassy. While I was between jobs, I realised how difficult it was to find lovely, traditional and vintage inspired clothing for children in the UK. There was very little available here at an affordable price point. Thus after working on the concept for ten months, I set up Pepa & Co in 2013.
Initially it started with me handpicking my favourite children’s clothing brands from Spain and bringing them to the UK via my online boutique. I was so excited to get my first ever online order from Singapore just one week after I launched my online shop! Then I started having stalls at markets and events in London, meeting Mums and finding out what they liked.
Then having listened to what they wanted, I built up a huge knowledge bank and decided to launch my own label Pepa & Co., designing the clothes myself and always with the clients in mind.
When I started designing, the collection had more cohesion and fit together so much better than sourcing individual pieces and it meant I was able to offer my clients exactly what they wanted. The first collection I designed myself became my most successful so it seemed natural for me to continue designing.
Spanish clothes have always been very popular in the UK, why do you think they do so well?
Dressing children in a very classic and elegant way is part of our Spanish culture. Every time you go to Spain, you will see children with their families dressing in really lovely outfits, many times siblings are even wearing matching outfits. I think it’s something we are passing slowly to other countries like the UK and I find it so interesting. There is nothing sweeter than a baby or child dressing in a traditional outfit in soft colours. In Spain, the style is much more classic for children; Peter Pan collar shirts, soft colours, floral prints. But it is funny how we actually follow English traditional styles in Spain. At Pepa & Co, we keep the essence of timeless clothing for children and enjoy seeing children look like children. The classic clothing I design for Pepa & Co is inspired by the clothing from past decades that my oldest brothers and our parents once wore as children but with a modern twist. Our clothing is designed and made in Spain. That means high quality materials and that the process in producing clothing is fair but at the same time it’s affordable when you compare it to other European brands.
How does it feel seeing so many little ones, particularly from the Royal family, wearing your clothing?
We always enjoy every time 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 always a surprise and an honour. I feel very curious when we send orders to far-off places worldwide and I always try to imagine where the families are, what their daily routine is and how amazing that someone on the other side of the globe decided to click on our site, fall in love with our collection and place an order with us!’
How do you work on your new collections and what is your favourite item from your latest collection?
Most of the pieces in the collection are timeless pieces with a classic cut. My aim is to bring back vintage inspired collections for children from the last generation and what we and our parents once wore as children. The way soft colours were used in the past and classic cuts, which are not too complicated or fussy, are always a font of inspiration for me in my designs. I am the youngest of 5. I have 4 older brothers and my mother always chose the most adorable and elegant outfits for us. I was always fascinated to look at the pictures of my brothers looking so elegant in their traditional outfits and also love the idea of bringing a little piece of culture from my home country to England, a country that I feel like home now and has been such a wonderful experience for me since I first arrived six years ago.
My favourite piece from this season’s collection is the baby girl white handsmocked dress paired with a red knitted cardigan and Mary Janes. Classic style and classic colours, what’s not to love!
Where do you see your business in the future?
We are an online retail business so I would like to invest in improving the website, digital marketing and delivering excellent customer service. I also want to focus on increasing our orders to a larger number of countries. My original idea ‘to provide timeless and elegant clothing for children at affordable prices’ is working so I would just like to make the business bigger and better!
What is next for Pepa & Co?
We have just launched our new celebration collection with outfits and accessories for bridesmaids and pageboys. We believe that we are one of the first labels to introduce this classic Spanish style of handsmocked dresses in a bridesmaid collection. I love how elegantly the colours of the embroidery on the front blend with the Silk dupion sashes.
We would like to improve our clients’ online experience and offer them a more personalised service. We are growing organically but are not in any rush. The most important thing for us is to keep listening to our clients to design what they like and need and we will do our best to bring the most beautiful summer and winter collections for babies and children up to the age of eight.
I have no doubt that great things are awaiting Pepa & Co in the future, just watch this space.