New Jersey is home to many ambitious and talented women who juggle family, career, and home. A select few of these women are also extremely busy building their own companies to help better manage the balance of work and family. At NJMOM, we want to highlight these extraordinary women who build businesses in New Jersey, and learn the secret to their success.
“Mommy Concierge” & NJMOMpreneur:
Rosie Pope has become an iconic name in the world of maternity wear and pregnancy counseling since she began her journey almost a decade ago. Her bi-coastal stores in both Manhattan and Santa Monica, California are the flagship locations of Rosie’s virtual empire of a brand which includes MomPrep, an education service for parents. Her entrepreneurial success lead to Rosie’s own reality show, the celebrated program Pregnant in Heels on Bravo, which documented Rosie’s counseling and business practices, and even the challenges she was forced to face while becoming a mother for the second time. Besides providing fashionable and functional products for mothers to-be and postpartum, Rosie’s team provides an array of services that moms worldwide have adopted into their lives. Between her educational and interactive social media channels, blog, personal appearances, television show, and her book Mommy IQ (Harper Collins, 2012), there’s a reason that Rosie is known as the “Mommy Concierge.” Today, this London-born mother of four calls Ridgewood, New Jersey home, and we are lucky to have her as an NJMOM.
NJMOM had the opportunity to chat with Rosie and learn about the process that took her from consulting individual clients to providing a global platform for conversations on motherhood, the philosophies by which she and her team operate the business, and (of course!) her favorite things to do in New Jersey with her family.
NJMOM: What do you offer to your clients and how is it different than other professionals in your field?
Rosie: When I first started my business in 2008, I helped private clients during their pregnancies by providing every service they needed from clothing, all the way to registry, fitness, nutrition, interior design, CPR – you name it and we made it happen, hence the phrase “Maternity Concierge.” However, today the business has expanded greatly so that instead of servicing individual clients, we serve our customers with products from nursing and maternity all the way through to postpartum shapewear, baby clothes and accessories from 0 to 2T (we’ll carry 4T by 2018). We also provide support and education through our social channels, blog, and personal appearances, as well as through my book Mommy IQ (Harper Collins 2012). I suppose what has always set us apart is that we believe in being with families for their journeys as parents, not just for the 40 weeks that they are pregnant. Most maternity companies traditionally only focused on the pregnancy, whereas we understand that pregnancy is only the beginning of parenting and we want to extend that relationship into the years that come.
NJMOM: What inspired you to come up with the idea for your business?
Rosie: At the time, there was very little in the way of good maternity fashion or advice that made sense to me and my peer group of new parents. It seemed as though the world was full of extremes, all of one thing or all of another and a lot of advice that played upon my fears rather than building up my confidence. I believe that confidence and knowledge are two very important things in parenting, with love being number one. Our company slogan is “Love with Confidence” and this is what we strive to help provide and to support in parents. So we set about to be the lifestyle brand for moms everywhere.
NJMOM: What is your favorite part about your business?
Rosie: My favorite part is hopefully being a great role model to my kids and building something we can all be proud of and benefit from as a family. It’s not easy having four kids and working, but I try to include them as much as possible on the journey so that they can see what their mom and dad are building together, and we can encourage their sense of ambition and adventure for the day when they need to go out into the world and work.
NJMOM: What is your background in your business expertise?
Rosie: So my husband, Daron Pope, studied Business at William & Mary and worked on Wall Street for years. He is the business brains and I, well, I suppose I practice what I preach. I am in the trenches, so to speak, and so my experience comes from living and breathing motherhood. I also have a background mixed with modeling, science, and ballet, believe it or not, which have all lent themselves to what I do now.
NJMOM: What are you most proud of in your career?
Rosie: There have been some pretty cool moments, but most recently when I walked into a large showroom showcasing my new line at Kohl’s: Pip & Vine, By Rosie Pope, it was a pretty special moment. I had to pinch myself but I also know these big moments happen along the way and probably my biggest achievement thus far is being able to survive in the crazy retail and TV landscape that we find ourselves in.
NJMOM: What is something few people know about you?
Rosie: I’m a science nerd. Give me a good scientific American article or study to read and I’m a happy camper!
NJMOM: What can we expect from you in 2017?
Rosie: Professionally, we will be expanding into toddler clothing up to 4T. I am also going to be writing my second book and launch Rosie Pope Maternity Active Wear. Personally, as ever, I will be spending as much quality time with my kids as possible. We have so little time, relatively speaking to the length of life, to raise them before they go off to college, and I want to make sure I do everything I can to give them every possible strength and sense of inner confidence, but also humility and humbleness. The list goes on and I could bang on, but as hard as it is at the end of a long work day, I want to make sure I am always giving them the gift of good parenting.
NJMOM: What is a charity you are most passionate about?
Rosie: Operation Shower is a cause I have become very passionate about. There are so many great causes to be part of and to get the kids involved with. I have supported baby Buggy (now Good+ Foundation) for many years and most recently have found myself hosting as many Operation Shower events as I can.
NJMOM: Who is your role model?
Rosie: My husband is my role model. He makes me want to be a better person and I am constantly in awe of his strength, his drive, and his compassion for people. It’s not always easy being married to a man this amazing but I do my best! (laughs)
NJMOM: What is the best piece of advice your mom ever gave to you?
Rosie: Do what you do with love and with confidence. You are not always going to make the right decision but if your kids are going to believe in you, you need to believe in what you are doing. Raise them to respect you and to respect themselves.
NJMOM: Do you have a favorite quote you live by?
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Rosie: I know many may associate this with AA or 12 step programs, but I think it also applies to life in the most amazing way. If you can truly learn to embrace these words, I have learned that it is the key to solving almost all problems personal or professional.
NJMOM: What are your favorite things to do in New Jersey with your family?
Rosie: One of our favorite things to do is take the train and then the ferry into the city. The kids love the sense of adventure. We usually just have lunch and then turn around, but they get to see so much from the train that they are always so excited to ride it in different directions. We are also huge fans of Point Pleasant and Bay Head and that’s where you will almost always find us if the weather gets warm!
NJMOM: What is the best part about being a mom for you?
Rosie: There is so much. Knowing that my kids know how much they are loved is so important to me and warms my heart in ways I cannot describe.
NJMOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey?
Rosie: Some of my favorite businesses are Ridgewood Bootery, East Coast Burger Company in Ridgewood (we love their cotton candy ice cream), Raymond’s Restaurant and American Bulldog Café (both also in Ridgewood), and High Exposure Rock Climbing Gym in Northvale.
NJMOM: Where do you reside and vacation in New Jersey?
Rosie: We live in Ridgewood in Bergen County and in the summer we vacation at the shore in Bay Head.
NJMOM: Anything else you’d like to tell moms in New Jersey?
Treat yourself like someone you love.
Rosie: It makes me so sad to see how hard women can be on themselves and each other, and I know how amazing it is when we work together and support each other, and that starts with supporting you.