Pampelone evokes the forever-summer dream and is the resortwear label loved by stylish women the world over. But Founder Holly Anna Scarcella certainly isn’t lounging around from one Riviera to another. This is a tale of vision, of hard work and not taking anything for granted...
Holly Anna Scarcella has followed her dream with tenacity, endless drive and respect. “If I can do it, so can you… as long as you’re willing to put the hard work in”, she says. London-based Scarcella has spent considerable time in the South of France and was constantly inspired by the effortless, chic style of the women arriving at the Côte d’Azur for the summer. After a career as a fashion publicist, she saw a gap in the market for elegant yet affordable resortwear. Now one of the world’s fastest-growing fashion brands, Pampelone has just celebrated its second birthday and is already available in 38 countries through over 90 retailers from Harvey Nichols to Bloomingdales. Holly was listed in ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ and after recently celebrating her 30th birthday, is eight months pregnant and eagerly anticipating the next chapter of motherhood. We spoke to the successful and stylish mum-to-be about her pregnancy journey, the sadness and frustration of miscarriage, her thoughts on wellbeing and that elusive pregnancy glow (cue Jo Malone Vitamin E Body Balm). Holly also shares some incredible insights for budding entrepreneurs – from the power of influencers and Instagram to funding and mentoring from the Virgin StartUp Scheme to her top time-management tips. Photography: Lauren Michelle | Words: Emily Armstrong | Go to www.pampelone.com
Holly wears Pampelone Eivissa Maxi-Dress
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Loving, thoughtful, driven. I love hard and give as much of myself as I can to others, often to my detriment; yet fiercely tenacious and driven when it comes to business.
Can you talk us through your journey to motherhood?
I think when you grow up, pregnancy and becoming a mother seems like a rite of passage – you make a decision, get pregnant, have a baby nine months later and live happily ever after. It’s only when you get older, you realise that sadly there are factors at play which mean it’s not that simple. Last year when my husband and I made the decision to try and get pregnant we were overjoyed when it happened immediately. It took us completely by surprise and with no sickness or symptoms at all. I just took it completely in my stride and took it a bit for granted. I was still travelling a lot with work – on photo shoots, campaign launches and sales trips – life went on as normal, just with a special little surprise. At three months, everything changed when I sadly haemorrhaged and lost the baby. It was a horrendous slap-in-the-face realisation that with pregnancy, things don’t always go to plan. The issue with miscarriage, which I learnt very quickly, is that it is still such a taboo subject. You feel almost ashamed and embarrassed that your body failed in such a way. And because of this, one of the hardest things to stomach is people attempting to make you feel better when in reality they just make you feel dismissed or as if you’re overreacting. Unless you experience it yourself, no one can understand how sad it is to lose the one thing you think about from the minute you get up to the minute you go to bed for months on end. The whole experience put me in a really dark place emotionally and really made me question whether I could go through it all again. After using the next six months to heal physically and emotionally, we decided the time was right to try again with a head full of mixed emotions. Excitement but also terrified at the prospect of what could lie ahead. Again, we were incredibly lucky to conceive soon after, but this time was different. It seems odd to say but our experience with miscarriage totally changed our approach to being pregnant. There has been no taking anything for granted and, now at eight months pregnant, every day really is a miracle. No, pregnancy is not easy and I have had a real treasure trove of symptoms including acute morning sickness, insomnia and SPD but with every movement, every listen of the heartbeat and every kick, we know just how lucky we are. I would happily be sick from the minute I wake up to the minute I sleep if it means our baby is safe and well.
Talk us through your approach to dressing now you’re pregnant – what kind of clothes are you wearing?
I’ve really struggled to find my feet in pregnancy dressing, which has really surprised me. Being someone surrounded by clothes for a living, I always assumed I would grasp quite quickly the shapes and styles that would suit, but it’s actually been so much harder. I fell into the age-old trap of wanting to wear oversized everything, which in turn just made me feel and look a lot larger than I was. The moment my bump popped, I was so proud to show it off, and have learnt how flattering it actually is to wear more fitted clothing. For my body shape, dresses with belts under the bust are really working for me. I also love jersey camisole dresses with a silk kimono layered over the top – It’s a look that translates really well from day to night. Shoes-wise, I succumbed to buying the Gucci backless loafers and have to admit they’re one of the best pregnancy purchases. They’re so comfortable and so easy to slip on, even when my feet have swollen to twice the size.
What about your beauty regime – how has it changed since you fell pregnant and what products are you using?
When talking about pregnancy and skin, one of the big things you hear women talk about is the illusive pregnancy glow. Sadly that didn’t happen for me until my seventh month (!) but I faked it really well with one of my lifesaving products: the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow. It’s a liquid cream you brush over your skin on top of your makeup, and genuinely makes such a difference. In terms of keeping my skin hydrated, I’ve been reminded by every woman in my vicinity to use Bio-Oil to prevent stretch marks, however I really didn’t enjoy the greasiness of oiling my skin. Thankfully I’ve just discovered the most incredible alternative – it’s the Jo Malone Vitamin E Body Balm. It’s completely unscented per se but smells divine from the natural ingredients and is thick enough to deeply moisturise but not leave you feeling slimy. I’m on my fourth tub already!
What about health and wellbeing?
At the beginning when I was experiencing the acute morning sickness, the only thing I could stomach were crackers and carbs, even the look of vegetables made me ill. So as soon as it passed, I’ve been wanting to eat them all the time. My go-tos are red peppers, carrots and fennel – all raw (but well washed). Sadly I haven’t experienced any mad cravings which has left me a little disappointed… I was really looking forward to understanding the feeling of craving something random so badly and sending my husband out at 3am to get it. He’s been very lucky so far. Overall being pregnant has really made me a lot more conscious of what I’m consuming and the lifestyle I lead. I try and get the correct nutrients into my system and keep active, even if just for walks.
What excites you most about becoming a mother?
Talking about a moment specifically, I just can’t wait to hold the baby in my arms I’ve been carrying, growing and anticipating for the past nine months. I can’t wait to watch that baby grow into a child, toddler, teenager and adult, guiding it along the way.
What scares you about becoming a mother?
Making the right decisions. Realising that every opinion, action and conversation is somehow guiding my child’s thoughts and views.
Have you started prepping? What will be on your baby shower list?
We’ve just about finished the nursery, which brought the experience very much to life. It’s a very neutral room with French grey paint and antique furniture. I’ve also just received our Bugaboo Chameleon pushchair, which I just love. I just need to learn how to break it down into the back of the car.
What are your top three time management tips?
Make a list. I’m an obsessive list maker. Prioritise said lists. Turn off your phone. I turn my phone off for at least two hours in my day to just get through emails and not get distracted.
Take us through your Pampelone journey – what have been some highlights over the past year?
We’ve just hit our two year anniversary, which feels like it has flown. In our first year, we hadn’t anticipated the quick success we enjoyed and therefore struggled a little bit to keep our heads above water. The past year we’ve managed to work more strategically in key areas which feels like a lot more of a mature and settled way of working. We’ve been targeting new territories (we’re now available in 38 countries at over 250 points of sale via 90 retailers), we’ve developed an incredible new children’s Mini-Me collection in collaboration with mothers2mothers charity and are in the final stages of developing our first sunglasses line. Each day at Pampelone is something quite different and it’s that freedom and creativity that I thrive off.