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25 January 2016

Victoria Evans meets Panda & Ping

As the countdown to Bubble begins, City Kids Magazine's Victoria Evans has been catching up with one of our Brit Pack brands, Panda & Ping.

Founded by friends Philippa Millington and Angela Dimitrijevic, the label specialises in fun, British-made pyjamas, bedlinen, blankets and babywear. Take it away, Victoria...

You’re a brand in its infancy - why is it the right time to show at Bubble?

You’re absolutely right! Our brand only launched in October 2015, and Bubble was on our ‘want to do’ list - but when we were invited to join The Brit Pack on their stand, it just made sense. To be able to show Panda & Ping alongside other fantastic labels who also manufacture in Great Britain seemed too good an opportunity to turn down. Another great reason to show at Bubble now is that, as a new brand, we qualify for the Rising Star Award - and I’m thrilled to say that we are one of the finalists, so we must be doing something right!


What can we expect to see from you at the show?

We are excited to introduce two new lovable fun characters to the Panda & Ping family - Henri Hippo and Lenny Lion, who feature in our new baby range (released later this spring), along with our current collection of pyjamas, blankets and duvet sets. Our prints are colourful and vibrant and our products use the highest quality fabrics, all designed and made right here in the UK - and that’s something we are proud to promote.  We will be giving a short presentation as part of Perfect Pitchj, and of course keeping everything crossed for the Rising Star announcement!

What's the inspiration behind Panda & Ping?

That’s a tough question…when I first started to think about starting my own business I had so many ideas, and it took a long time to pin down exactly what I wanted to do. As a mother of two quite leggy children, I often found it a struggle to get comfortable sleepwear for them. I also became a fan of products and designs that steered away from the stereotypical in terms of prints and colour - but quality was still very important to me.
When you become a mother, so much changes that sometimes it’s hard to find the right balance in your life. The children come first without question, but it’s also important to have something for yourself. They grow up so fast, needing you in different ways as they do. By starting Panda & Ping, I hope that I can achieve something for myself whilst showing my children what the possibilities are and what can happen with some hard work and dedication.

What’s been the biggest lesson learned so far?

For anyone thinking of starting a business – research research research.  I cannot stress enough how well you need to know the market you’re hoping to break into, and also exactly what you are trying to achieve.

The juggle is real. My children will always come first.  Not everyone is going to like what you do, that is totally fine.  Having a good support network and team around you is vital, too. 

What are your dreams for 2016?

We have so many dreams for the future - do I have to keep it to 2016? I’m really pleased with how things have gone since launch, and we will continue to develop the brand with new designs and products to expand our range.  We’re in the process of selecting a few independent stockists and we’d love Panda & Ping to be a recognizable brand enjoyed by families everywhere.

Fancy meeting Panda & Ping in person? You can still apply for a free ticket to the show here...

Victoria Evans is the editor and owner of City Kids, a magazine created to rescue parents from those dark moments when they haven’t planned anything to do with the little ones. Packed with activities and classes in West London, plus events and things to do across the city, City Kids aims to inform and amuse readers each quarter. 

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