“Success, quite simply, does not happen over night, even if it appears that way to the rest of the world.” While many of us may have thought Rosie Pope’s success did happen over night—thanks to her Bravo reality show “Pregnant In Heels”—that simply just isn’t the case. Rosie’s success can be attributed to years of hard work and an intense passion for motherhood. She came to America to be a dancer but had to give up that dream due to an injury. From there, she worked numerous jobs, ranging from waitressing to assisting a private detective. Then, after graduating Columbia University, she landed a job as a sales associate at A Pea in the Pod. Working at A Pea in the Pod made Rosie realize that she could create a new kind of business—one that is hands-on and could provide judgment-free, feel-good guidance for pregnant women and new mothers during their parenting journey. Thus, Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep came to be.
Rosie hasn’t just settled on running a successful business and starring in a reality tv show, she recently authored the pregnancy book Mommy IQ: A Complete Guide to Pregnancy, collaborated with Belly Bandit to create an organic Belly Bandit, and is now working on launching Rosie Pope Baby. And while there’s no slowing down for Rosie, she still makes time for her number one priority—her family. We’re thrilled Rosie took the time to give The Everygirl a peak into her world, so read on and discover how this mom of three and innovative entrepreneur is changing the parenting industry one mom at a time.
Full Name: Rosie Pope
Current Title: Co-Founder and Creative Director of Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep
Educational Background: England through high-school and Columbia University
Year You Started Your Business: 2008
What was your first job out of college and how did you land it?
My first job was as a sales associate at A Pea in the Pod. I knew I wanted to be in the mom space and provide a needed platform for moms and moms-to-be, but I wasn’t sure where to start. So I got a job at the renowned maternity chain A Pea in the Pod. It was the hardest interview I’ve ever been on!
Give us a rundown of your career bio before you launched Rosie Pope Maternity. How did you first get involved in the maternity/mommy-to-be industry?
I was all over the map! I left England to be a dancer and came to one of the contemporary dance capitals of the world-New York City. After an injury, I had a brief stint as a waitress, modeled, and worked for a private detective before going back to school. While I attended school, I worked at various companies, from an advertising agency to an antique boutique to working with Tina Brown on her book The Diana Chronicles.
I may not have known what I wanted to do for a living, but I knew I wanted to be a mom and a great one. I also knew I needed to work to support myself, so I suppose my career grew out of my passion for motherhood and children and my drive to create something new, useful, and different. On top of that, working at A Pea in the Pod gave me the opportunity to speak to many pregnant women. I was able to learn what needs were and weren’t being met in the parenting industry.
You started with Rosie Pope Maternity, and have since expanded your brand to include the BRAVO television show Pregnant in Heels and MomPrep, where you offer classes and education for expecting mothers, as well as mommy concierge services to clients living in the NYC area. Did you always envision expanding your brand to these other ventures? How have your business goals changed since you were first starting out?
I always wanted to do more than maternity. I have always wanted to be the one-stop destination for all things pregnancy and baby. I also wanted to be a real guide for people and help them navigate through the landscape of conflicting and judgmental advice in pregnancy and parenting. I am working on that goal everyday.
What advice do you have for other girls looking to start their own business?
It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience, perseverance, and hard work. You must be a jack-of-all-trades! You will also make many mistakes along the way, but quickly admitting to them and changing course will help you succeed.
How did you first receive the opportunity to have your very own show on the BRAVO network? Did you have any hesitation about participating in a reality show?
A producer literally stumbled upon my first shop in SoHo and me, pregnant and distraught because I was starting a family and a business right as the economy tanked. Clearly it looked very dramatic to him! Yes. The perception of reality TV isn’t always a positive one. But the reality of the situation is that any person who seriously wants to succeed in business needs to consider a TV platform if the opportunity arises. There is no better way to communicate your message and who you are to millions of people. I’m proud I took a leap to do it, regardless of what some might say.
In what ways has being on TV changed your career?
It has given me a voice and allowed me the privilege of being in a place where people will listen to you. It has also made me better at everything that I do because the world is watching.
Tell us about your recent collaboration with Belly Bandit. How did that opportunity come about, and how does the product differ from their others?
When I believe in something I want to tell the world about. I used the Belly Bandit personally after all 3 of my kids were born, and the results were marvelous. It helped with correcting my posture and getting my waist back. When women get back in shape post-pregnancy they feel better about themselves and when you feel better you can literally be better at everything you do. So Belly Bandit and I decided to collaborate on a band that is organic and for an amazing cause-to help women feel great post pregnancy. A portion of the proceeds goes to the “Shades of Pink” foundation, which supports those with breast cancer and helps with the many expenses involved. This cause is dear to both the belly bandit team and myself.
You’ve also come out with the book Mommy IQ: A Complete Guide to Pregnancy, in addition to being a regular contributor to Parents magazine. What was the process of creating your book like? Were you nervous at all about delving into writing, or is it something that came naturally to you?
I was nervous because it’s a huge responsibility, and I wanted to make sure I was giving people everything they needed to know and more. The book is not armchair advice-it’s the real deal. It took a lot of research and challenging my own opinions to make sure what is presented is fact and is helpful but also entertaining. However, I was also so excited to finally pour all my knowledge and that of my team’s into a book for all to read.
How do you manage to balance your own family with a career revolved around helping other families and expecting moms also?
Ha! I am not sure if balance is a good word to describe my life. I am ALL about work in the hours I am there and ALL about my children when I am with them. Giving all of myself in each situation is the only way I am fair to both. I am not sure if that leaves much of the “me” time everyone asks about, but right now that’s okay. Being with my kids is everything to me.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
On vacation! Okay, a girl can dream! I would like to be spending more time at home than I am able to now, and I hope that our business has expanded into all the areas I think it can. We are launching Rosie Pope Baby in March 2014 and more to come after that, so hopefully there will be much to report.
What would you say sets your brand apart from others that has allowed it to reach such a high level of success?
There is no one else in this area of helping and guiding moms through this amazing but difficult time. This area tends to be flooded with product and no education or very opinionated people that only make us feel worse about ourselves, not empowered. My brand combines great product with great, accurate, and feel-good advice. We make people feel good, and as I said early, when you feel good it’s amazing what you can do and what you can achieve as a parent.
Tell us about your first “celebrity” client. What was that experience like? Have you ever felt intimidated when working your clientele?
Honestly, the experience is the same for me, whether the client is a celebrity or non-celebrity. Pregnancy and parenting are two of those universal equalizers. We are all in the same boat, trying to do our best to be the best parent we can be. Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you are going to be better or worse at it. So, when I meet clients, I always meet with them the same way – with an open heart and mind. That way, I can figure out how I can best help them and guide them on their journey. Yes! Believe it or not I’m a little shy. I think I do a pretty good job at hiding it, but it’s there. Celebrity or not, I want to impress and help every client, and that is a lot of pressure no matter who they are. I always want them to be happy.
Describe a day in the life of Rosie Pope. Do you work many nights and weekends?
The morning is all about the kids until 8:30am. Then, it’s work like a mad woman all day and be back home by 5pm. The evening is all about the kids, and then as soon as they are in bed, it’s time to start working again. My husband and I work together often until the wee hours of the morning, Unless it’s for an event, book signing, TV, or that sort of thing, I try not to work on the weekends at all and dedicate myself entirely to my kids. One night a week I start work extremely early and finish late and most months involve some travel. If I can take one of my kids, I will, but sometimes it’s just one airport after another and not a whole bunch of fun, so I am a master at red-eyes to get back home as soon as possible.
What advice would you give to your 23-year-old self?
Get going! Success takes time to build and your 20s are a great opportunity to start building the foundations for it. Don’t wait.