The Chronicle

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Designer Pip Edwards has revealed how she felt judged as a single working mum before learning to block out criticism and the expectatio­ns of other people. The entreprene­ur, who created the global multimilli­on-dollar brand P.E Nation five years ago, credits being a mother to teen son Justice as her greatest achievemen­t but says feeling conflicted about work and family was tough in the early days.

Edwards, who began dating former cricketer Michael Clarke in 2019 until splitting recently, tells Powerful Stories podcast host Tory Archbold that she sympathise­s with other mums who struggle.

“I felt that a lot in the earlier years,” Pip says. “I felt confused, I felt conflicted. I don’t know, because I know I’ve achieved what I’ve wanted to. My son has a great education, a roof over his head. He’s got a beautiful extended family. I just know there are other mothers out there, or whatever the judgment is, how hard it is on the other side too.”

Edwards, whose signature Lycra outfits are beloved by celebritie­s including the Kardashian­s, says her strong work ethic has helped rather than hindered her relationsh­ip with her son.

She tells the podcast: “As long as he’s okay, he’s happy, he’s healthy, he’s sorted. He’s got a structure around him that he’s safe with, I can come and go, tap in and out. He understand­s.

“I’ve taken him on the journey, though. I work a lot, I work long hours, I work hard. He sees that. He knows why, and he sees the results, and he knows that I do it on my own.

“I’m super vocal and communicat­e about that. Which, I don’t know, some people probably disagree, but he’s very well aware of everything that goes on and I like that, because now he’s 15, and there’s no questions.”

Edwards, 41, also reveals how she was destined for a career in finance after following in the footsteps of her parents but eventually left a job with Pricewater­houseCoope­rs to pursue her fashion dream.

She says: “I think back to my first transition of leaving … that was a massive jump outside of my box but I was following that path of authentici­ty, and each jump, each change that I’ve made, has further drilled into who I am.

“Academic achievemen­ts were really big on my parents’ checklists, so I definitely was living through a part of their dream or their destiny. I’m super discipline­d and I quite like academic achievemen­t.

“That’s quite in line with my brain, but my expression is very loud and flamboyant and gregarious. I think putting myself into a corporate sphere was quite interestin­g, because I’d still always have a fluoro orange suit, or I’d express myself through my hair.”

With her business booming globally, Edwards shares her tips for building confidence and integrity:


“I’m starting to really be aligned with my own values, and my own rules to life. That is not the noise of others.

For a long time, I took on everyone else’s noise, everyone else’s expectatio­ns. I could … appease everyone else, except (I) didn’t know what I stood for.

Now I know. The most important thing for me is to keep that alignment, to keep in my body and to stay connected to my gut. The decisions that I make from there can make things happen like this.

When the decisions come from my head that are trying to balance out pros and cons of everyone else’s noise, the confusion is so great. But that truth, when it’s aligned, is a nobrainer.


I have parents that help with the admin. And obviously, you have staff to help with the admin on the other side, but it doesn’t dissipate the pressure or the challenge, or the fact that you’re required to be in five places at the same time.

Or everything’s urgent, and everything needs your attention, and then there’s no time to breathe.


It’s hard in business. I mean, you’ve got to learn from mistakes. You do have to look at that but my thing is, never be about the problem or the obstacle and be about the solution. There’s always a solution. I’ll get around any problem. Here’s a problem, but the opportunit­y is this. Let’s go do it this way. And if it doesn’t work that way, let’s go this way.

You’re always moving. I don’t think you should ever be static. You should never go backwards, don’t look backwards but (use a) fresh lens. Be on the move because that energy creates new energy.

You need the problem to find a new opportunit­y, a new path, a new revenue stream, a new product, a new this, a new that. If we didn’t have problems, we wouldn’t progress.”

My expression is very loud and flamboyant and gregarious


Edwards credits Archbold, an entreprene­ur and business coach, with being able to tell her story: “I respect you, and your powerful story. Women that understand the journey, respect the hustle and are proud and encourage more,” she says.

The podcast releases two episodes a week featuring entreprene­urs, chief executives, media stars and influencer­s, with exclusive access to

their highs and lows, misses and wins.

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 ??  ?? Pip Edwards and son Justice wearing PE Nation UNI-form outfits; and (below) Edwards with Michael Clarke.
Pip Edwards and son Justice wearing PE Nation UNI-form outfits; and (below) Edwards with Michael Clarke.
 ?? Powerful Stories hosted by Tory Archbold powerful-stories/ podcasts ??
Powerful Stories hosted by Tory Archbold powerful-stories/ podcasts

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