Model-turned-business mogul Pippa O’Connor has shown she has plenty of bottles by selling her own vodka.
From her early days in modeling and book writing to becoming a top name in Irish fashion and beauty businesses, Pippa has been working to build her own empire over the past few years.
And as she has now branched out with another new project, as an investor and creative director of a new Irish vodka company, she says she’s proud she never let anyone class her as a pretty face.
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Hailing her family, including her brother, Irish equestrian competitor Cian O’Connor, as a great help along the way, she told the Irish Daily Mirror: “I have lots of friends and family that I admire and who succeed.
“They work in different fields, like my brother Cian who arrived today and he trains and works very hard.
“He’s the best at what he does and I look at people like him who are really good at what they do and I take inspiration from that.”
Pippa first got into business six years ago when she launched her clothing brand, POCO, with husband Brian Ormond.
Looking back, she admits she never knew how far she would go and asked if she ever expected to be a top businesswoman, she replied, “Oh my god, no .
“When I think back to when I started POCO in 2016, I barely had the confidence to do it. You know the saying ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway.’
“I’m really proud of how I’ve evolved over the past six years, because POCO has catapulted everything.
The mother-of-three continued, “I wouldn’t think negatively of someone who said something to me or underestimated me. But it’s good to see, for my part, that I did it and that I was quite capable of it.
“You don’t have to be a thing in life. Just because you’re a mother doesn’t mean you can do anything else, if you want.
“Sometimes people think ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘my life is going to change’ and it can change if you want it to.
“I always tell mothers who want to work and contact me that you can do anything. You may not be able to do it all at once, but you can do it.
Pippa was speaking as she launched new vodka brand Istil 38, created by drinks industry veterans Shane Davey, John Reynolds and Niall O’Dwyer with investment from Pippa’s creative director.
“I’ve been asked to do different drink projects in the past, but they never came out right for one reason or another.
“When I met the team, Shane in particular, I was so impressed with them. I felt so energized by their enthusiasm and passion and I could see where they wanted to take the brand.
“They wanted me to get involved in some way, but we didn’t know how it would turn out. After a few meetings, I told them that I wanted to invest in the brand, but that I also wanted to play an active role in it. They asked me to come on board as creative director. The conversations happened gradually over time.
“The product itself is really beautiful, it’s really beautiful and you can feel it’s high end. I don’t drink straight vodka, but you could. It’s very smooth.”
Among the VIP guests attending the event at Dublin’s Westbury Hotel were Pippa’s loved ones, including her husband Brian Ormond, and best friends Brian Dowling and Arthur Gourounlian, Anna Daly, Sarah McGovern, Nadia Forde, Clementine MacNeice , Ruth and Cian O’Connor and James Patrice.
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