I met Pippa from the lovely children’s bedtime company Panda & Ping at The Mama Squad Assemble back in August. We had a good old natter. Panda & Ping is approaching it’s first birthday so it’s been a busy year (there’s a discount code below to celebrate). Here’s what Pippa had to say about bedtime routines, Chanel No5 and skinny jeans.
Hey Pippa, tell me more about Panda & Ping? I think it’s fair to say Panda & Ping was something that had been a long time coming. You could say it was a moment of madness too. But it wasn’t. There have ben quite a few challenges, mainly juggling childcare.
So what’s the inspiration behind Panda & Ping? It’s quite simple. It’s about children being children. It’s about letting child use their imagination and making up stories.
How did you come up with the name? Panda is my childhood ‘teddybear’ – My aunt made him for me in about 1984 (we think). And Ping the penguin was a gift from our daughter to her baby brother when he was born. The name came about quite organic, my great from Claire was round with her girls. She was firing suggestions at me, I said something like “H (my daughter) put Panda back in the playroom with Ping”. And it just stuck. Panda & Ping.
What’s the best thing about setting up Panda & Ping? Winning awards…we’ve just won two Gold awards at The Best Baby & Toddler Gear by Mumii was amazing. We’re also up for 3 awards at the Little London Awards.
And the most frustrating things?…A tough one. We’d had a few moments over the year. First year is always the hardest. Getting people to take us seriously, we don’t have a PR company making lots of noise about us. We’ve done it all. But slowly it’s all going together.
What do you love about where you live? I live in Berkshire: I love our kitchen – it’s a lovely large space. Perfect for having friends round and doing a spot of kitchen dancing.
The two front rooms at the house are my favourite, We’ve made what should be the dining room into the family /TV room. Perfect for movie nights. I also love the children’s play room. It’s painted white – I really want to paint it be can’t pick a colour. Both rooms overlook a huge wood and the morning light is just beautiful.
We’re close to London (about 50mins on the fast train to Paddington) so that’s great for day trips etc. I love all the outside space we have here. Our garden isn’t big, but we overlook a huge common and wood so we have plenty of space for the children to run wild. I live my husband – our two young children – 5 and 2 yrs old.
What advice do you have for parents and carers who want to encourage their little people to go to bed nicely? Don’t hate me for saying this..but it’s routine. Children need routine and like it, heavens know us parents need it too!! I’m very firm on this. Sleep is especially important for children as it directly impacts mental and physical development. Of course, somethings timings go totally out of the window, like when they both fall asleep in the car at 5pm!!
What’s your favourite childhood memory about bedtime? I have a few – My younger brother and I used to have stories in alternate rooms every night. My father did (and still does) do all the voices. We read a lot of Roald Dahl and Swallow and Amazon’s too. If my parents ever went out to a Ball (Scottish Country Dancing Reels) my mother had the most amazing red velvet ball dress, she’d smell of Chanel No5. She’d tuck us into bed and I still remember it like it was yesterday.
What has your child/have your children taught you about life? It’s important to surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself.
What are 3 of your favourite items in your wardrobe? Just 3…really, yikes sorry not can do! Louis Vuitton bag, Leopard slip on trainers, Skinny grey jeans, plain denim shirt by Boden. Also I love my new ‘Wyse London’ cashmere jumper. It’s navy with rainbow cuffs. And my blue cotton lace style dress which my husband brought for my birthday last year. So pretty.
Any tips for staying organised as a working parent? Totally the wrong person to ask! I’ve just put in set working hours and an out of office. Which has taken me ages to do. Turn off your phone – step away from social media / WhatsApp. Give your time fully. I’m still working on this. But when I do do it, I find I’ve not missed much.
What would your dream weekend be if you’re on your own? And if you’re with your family? I’d head back home to Edinburgh and catch up with the gang. Family wise, my husband would request a weekend at home with NO plans. But for me I’d be heading to the beach.
What music and tunes are you listening to at the moment? Anything on the radio..!
What grown-up tunes do you enjoy playing to your children? We like to rock out to a bit of Taylor Swift and ‘Shake it off’ we turn it up load and dance round the kitchen.
What tunes do you remember listening to growing up as a teenager? Counting Crows – Mr Jones. It was on repeat in the 6th Form common room. Along with ‘No Doubt’. As I child a lot of ‘Bad’ by Michael Jackson was played in our house.
Before we say bye for now, what are your three lucky things? (Things you love doing or that make you happy) I love getting my nails done. I feel really pulled together when I have bright coloured nails. Reading a magazine, like a proper trashy mags. Where I don’t know who anyone is and its normally at the hairdressers so six months out of date. I also love reflexology.
Celebrate their first birthday with a discount code…
To celebrate Panda & Ping’s first birthday, you can get 20% off their online range until 17 October 2016. Just use the discount code HappyBirthday . You can check their cool bedtime gear for kids over at Pandaping.com