BY KELLY MÜLLER
I often look to other working mothers for guidance, support and inspiration and one woman I look to time and time again, is also a current client of mine. She is full of energy, incredibly creative and passionate; she is one of the hardest working humans I know and she is totally ruling at life following the launch of her much-anticipated debut brand, P.E Nation.
Having worked for brands such as Ksubi, sass & bide and General Pants before partnering with Claire Tregoning to launch P.E Nation, Pip’s personal profile has built naturally as a by-product of her work over the years. Perhaps best known for her unique, strong sense of style, this is now changing as Pip is recognised (rightfully so!) as an incredibly successful, respected and inspiring businesswoman. She’s now dedicating her time into growing her own namesake brand amongst balancing life as a mum of one to Justice.
Tell us a little about P.E Nation
P.E Nation is an urban street meets active brand that I cofounded with Claire Tregoning. After working together at sass & bide, we knew we had the right dynamic to do something together it was just a matter of what and when. P.E is an extension of Claire and I. It’s fashion focused activewear for women just like us – busy, working mothers who are interested in fashion, sport and who like to keep fit!
Following the successful launch of P.E Nation, we’ve read a lot of interviews about you recently. You’ve mentioned a couple of times that one thing we might not know about you is that you have a law degree – but now that we know that, what is a deep, dark secret that you’re yet to share?
I was the music captain at school – a total music nerd – I played the piano, flute and sang nearly everyday of my school life.
I know it’s not a new question, but it’s one other mothers/mothers to be love to understand. How do you balance work/mum life? With the helping hand of my parents. They are there for Justice and I every step of the way. I know not everyone has this option so I acknowledge that I am a very lucky daughter!
Well perhaps more importantly then, WHY do you balance work/mum life? Why is it important for you to be a working mum? I’m a single mum, so work is important for survival. I also think it’s great to show and teach Justice the value of hard work. I get him involved with my work and what I do as much I as I can so he understands why I do it and so he can see the results of that hard work.
With the success of P.E Nation, I’m sure he understands that! It has received rave international reviews and is already stocked in more than 20 stores. Have you taken a moment to let the success sink in yet? How did you celebrate?
We actually have over 50 stockists now (you should know that Kelly….hahaha), it’s crazy how fast we have progressed since launch just four months ago. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was a great achievement for us and it was the perfect time to celebrate how far we have come!!! We had a team dinner after the show – every person who has been involved along the way was invited…. there was champagne of course, but what was really touching were the speeches…. It’s really important to vocally appreciate the massive team effort. Claire and I are so lucky to have such incredible people around us.
Given I was there, I can vouch that the speeches were incredibly heartfelt and humbling! You really are quite a softie at heart. How would Justice describe you? In three words – fun, crazy and emotional.
At the end of the day I am Mum. He understands what I do but he definitely doesn’t buy into it. In fact, he finds it a bit annoying I think hahahaha. He is somewhat interested in the press side of things but it doesn’t really phase him and I love that. It keeps the whole journey real and allows me to not get caught up in all that noise.
Justice is now 10, what has been your favourite age so far? He is definitely at my favourite age right now. It’s super challenging as he is very strong willed and thinks he is right all the time (the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!) It’s tough trying to explain how or why things are the way they are, at the moment he is such a perfectionist and wants to be a natural at sport and music but doesn’t understand the value of practice …. teaching him that practice makes perfect is an interesting task at the moment haha!!
Your business partner and CoFounder of P.E Nation, Claire is also a mother, how has this impacted the way in which the two of you run your business?
We understand the push and pull and the emotional tug of war as mothers which is actually awesome as it means we understand the pressure we are both under as mothers, as lovers and as business partners…. children and family are always accounted for in our day to day, there is flexibility around the standard working hours. If we have to work from home, or come in late, or leave early, there is a deep understanding and comfort in knowing that the other is going through the same thing. At the end of the day, we work super hard, so it’s not so much about where you work or how you work, it’s about the quality of work being done. And we believe if a mother is allowed to be a mother in a work place, it paves the way for better work, a better team and a better environment.
What advice would you give to budding designers / creatives / businesswomen? Authenticity is everything. Dedication to the cause and believing in yourself is what leads to success.
What traits do you hope to instil in your son? Hard work, empathy, good manners, knowledge, care and consideration of others, fun and happiness.
As a businesswoman and mother, what five things can you never leave the house without? My laptop, my trainers, my P.E logo jumper, earrings, and my phone.
SHOP OUR FAVOURITES
Hero Image | Lester Jones