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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Katie Gallagher

Pippa O'Connor says Olympian brother Cian is her inspiration to be the best in the business as she launches own vodka

Model turned business tycoon Pippa O’Connor has shown she’s got a lot of bottle by selling her own vodka.

From her early days modelling and book writing to becoming a leading name in the Irish fashion and beauty businesses, Pippa has been working on building her own empire for the past few years.

And as she has now branched out with another new project, as an investor and creative director of a new Irish vodka company, she says she is proud that she never let anyone pigeonhole her as just a pretty face.

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Crediting her family, including her brother, Irish equestrian competitor Cian O’Connor, as a huge help along the way, she told the Irish Daily Mirror: “I have a lot of friends and family that I look up to that are successful.

“They work in different areas, like my brother Cian arrived today and he trains and works really hard.

“He is the best at what he does and I look to people like him who are really good in their fields and I take inspiration from there.”

Pippa first dipped her toes into business six years ago when she launched her clothing brand, POCO, with her husband Brian Ormond.

Looking back she admits she never knew how far she would go and asked if she ever expected to be a leading businesswoman, she said: “Oh my god, no.

“When I think back to when I started POCO in 2016, I barely had the confidence to do it. You know the saying “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.

“I am really proud at how I have evolved over the last six years, because POCO was what catapulted everything.

The mother of three went on: “I wouldn’t think negatively of anyone who said something to me or underestimated me. But it is nice to see, for myself, that I did it and I was well capable.

“You don’t have to be one thing in life. Just because you are a mother doesn’t mean you can do anything else, if you want to.

“Sometimes people think “I can’t do this” or “my life is going to change” and it can change if you want it to.

“I always say to mothers who want to work and contact me that you can do everything. You might not be able to do it all at once, but you can do it.”

Pippa was speaking as she launched new vodka brand Istil 38, created by drinks industry veterans Shane Davey, John Reynolds and Niall O’Dwyer with investment from creative director from Pippa.

“I have been asked to do different drinks projects in the past but they were never right for one reason or another.

“When I met with the team, Shane in particular, I was so impressed with them. I felt so energised by his enthusiasm and his passion and I could see where they wanted to bring the brand.

“They wanted me involved somehow but we didn’t know what way that would be. After a couple of meetings I said to them that I wanted to invest in the brand, but I also wanted an active role in it. They asked me to come on board as creative director. The conversations happened gradually over time.

“The product itself is genuinely gorgeous, it is really stunning and you can taste that it is premium. I don’t drink vodka neat, but you could. It is very smooth.”

Among the VIP guests in attendance at the event in Dublin’s Westbury hotel were Pippa’s nearest and dearest including her husband Brian Ormond, and best friends Brian Dowling and Arthur Gourounlian, Anna Daly, Sarah McGovern, Nadia Forde, Clémentine MacNeice, Ruth and Cian O’Connor, and James Patrice.

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