How a beloved Swedish brand came to the UK & Ireland.
“I kept choosing that same top, again and again. No matter what we were doing, that blue-stripe top made my baby stand out from all the others. What’s more, I loved the way it fitted properly, however I held him. I had to keep adjusting all his other clothes.” says Jo.
19 years later, Jo Nilsson and her Swedish husband Mats have been running the Polarn O. Pyret franchise in England and Ireland since 2006. All because of a top that Mats' mother gave their newborn son.
"We bought PO.P clothes for our kids whenever we visited Sweden. One day, I was sitting at the playground thinking about why I liked them so much. I looked at my kids as they played and saw how their clothes fitted them better and gave them such great freedom of movement. It had something to do with the cut, especially the shoulders and sleeves.
The colours were brighter and the prints more appealing. And no matter how often I washed them, they kept their shape and didn’t fade. I spoke with Mats, who had grown up wearing the clothes. We were confident that British parents would love the quality too.”
Mats liked the idea and it didn’t take long before he left his management consultant career to ‘bring this Swedish national treasure to the UK’. And he’s never regretted switching a suit for jeans as Managing Director of PO.P in the UK.
If you ask someone from England what they associate with the word Swedish, chances are they’ll say ‘good quality/good design’. If you ask them how they perceive PO.P, they’ll probably say the same and add ‘quirky/stripy’.
“Many people in England also perceive us as extremely good value for money as our clothes are designed to be handed down time & time again. Although we’re delighted it’s such a success, on a personal level, I’m most grateful for the opportunity to work with a brand that I can support one hundred per cent”, says Jo.
“Our children have had a very Swedish upbringing in the sense that they’ve been allowed to really be children and I love the fact that this is such an integral part of the Polarn O. Pyret philosophy."