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 Katarina af Klintberg was Head of Marketing and later CEO 1973-83

A working mum brought you the concept over 40 years ago…

 “When I leaf through catalogues from those early days, half of the models are our own children or their cousins! Sometimes it feels like looking through family albums.”

Meet Katarina af Klintberg

Sometimes we’ve had our competitors to thank for our smart moves. Better late than never: here’s a belated thank-you to the Åhléns chain of department stores for not giving Katarina af Klintberg the job she applied for in 1975, when she returned from study leave. And thank you for letting her carry out a children’s clothes survey instead!

“It was extremely useful when I joined PO.P instead, back when it was still just ‘Pyret’. I’d just learned all there was to know about children’s clothes and immediately put this expertise to good use in my new job,” reports Katarina.

Another talent she brought to us was her impressive logistics experience.

“At first I was afraid it would be deadly dull, but instead I found it fascinating and it’s an area I’ve always felt extremely passionate about. At one time, I could have found my way to each and every warehouse and shop PO.P had – in my sleep!”

Work - a family affair

Not long after Katarina started working for us, Gunila Axén, our now-legendary first designer, joined us too. Together they created the basic clothes concept.

The combination of Katarina’s business sense and Gunila’s design was a winning formula. Not many people are aware that they’re also sisters-in-law.

“But there was truly no nepotism involved. When we took the decision to develop in-house designs, I knew that Gunila would be the perfect choice, but I didn’t dare suggest her myself because I was afraid of how it might look. But I attended a meeting and her name was put forward by someone else and I shouted ‘YES, she’s great!’ And the rest is history.

“It soon started to feel like a family business anyway. When I leaf through catalogues from those days, half of the models are our own children or their cousins, with our own homes as backdrops. Sometimes it feels like looking through family albums. But actually there were sound financial reasons – it was a whole lot cheaper!”