Earlier on this summer, we shot our AW17 collection against the industrial backdrop of the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.
The campaign was photographed by Ash Johnson (who also shot SS17) and we’re very excited to reveal the faces of our new collection as Sarah Griggs of Peas in my Pod, her lovely partner Ben and the couple’s youngest, adorable baby Loki.
Sarah is also a photographer and is based in Cambridge. She has worked with clients including Net-a-porter, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Marks & Spencer, to name but a few. Together with her husband Ben, she has three children: Theo (10), Mia (8) and Loki (1) and the family also have a cockapoo, named Wooki.
Sarah tells us “We moved out of London to Cambridge 10 years ago to start a family and I spend most of my time walking Wooki around the beautiful commons or cycling around Cambridge. It is such an amazing city, the perfect balance of city culture and parks with a beautiful river (full of punting enthusiasts and rowers) running through the middle and the main method of transport being bicycles.”
Sarah documents their family life at @peas.in.my.pod. If you haven’t come across her beautifully edited feed before, go and check it out.
We chose Sarah for the campaign as we love her super-cool style. Effortlessly capturing the laid back but luxe spirit of our new collection, she mixes casual basics with statement fashion pieces – such as a tee and frayed jeans with a beautifully tailored coat, or a dressy jumpsuit with a puffa jacket and high tops.
Find out more about Sarah in our interview below, where we ask her about her style and her family life…
Thank you (to you, Ben and Loki) for being the face of the Jem + Bea AW17 campaign! What do you love most about the new collection?
It was a real privilege to see the collection before launch. I have admired Jem + Bea since discovering the brand whilst I was pregnant. Such innovative design – combining style, practicality and quality, the 1st of its kind. I have worked with luxury brands for years, it is so nice to finally find good quality and style in bags that are super practical inside. You need to be able to find things easily and with one hand once you become a mum. Who wants to fumble around looking things when you have a crying baby? Also the thermo bottle holder is so useful. I have had several incidents where I’ve open my handbag only to find it full of water! And the pouches are so handy too, anything that makes life easier and looks stylish has a big thumbs up from me.
And did you enjoy the shoot? What was it like being in front of the camera, instead of behind it?
The shoot was so much fun. I was constantly thinking of what the photographer could see from his side, and product placement. Getting the right angel on the bags, when really I should have probably been thinking more about my facial expressions! But so much fun.
You share a snapshot of your family life at @peas.in.my.pod, what made you want to start your feed and what do you love most about doing it?
While I was pregnant with my 3rd I realised that I hadn’t taken many pictures of my 2nd child Mia. Life seems to speed up once you have children and I want to hold on to every moment (I say this while getting ready to head out the door with Theo to a secondary school open evening! Can’t believe that’s come around so quickly). So I started the feed to document our transition to a family of five and keep a record of all the little things that make me laugh, cry and burst with pride.
What’s it like being a mama of three?
Challenging at times but our family now feels complete! I crazed my partner for (7!) years for a 3rd and he finally gave in (despite thinking the dog would fulfil that need). So I have a big gap, which I was worried about at first, but actually it’s been great because Theo (10) & Mia (8) are such helpful, caring siblings and Loki adores them. My elder two are really close in age, so those early years were a whirlwind. It’s been so lovely to have the time to enjoy the baby stage with Loki and being older I feel like I kind of know what I’m doing this time around.
You’ve worked with so many incredible fashion brands, what have your favourite moments been?
I have been super-lucky to work with some amazing brands throughout my career. When I was pregnant with Theo, I was creative content photographer for Net-a-porter. I was shooting Fashion Week and wasn’t really interested in the photographing the runway, I wanted to snap the magic that happened behind the scenes. So I would sneak backstage hoping that security wouldn’t see me!! But being heavily pregnant wasn’t really the best blending in look! I lost count of the times I got chucked out!! I consulted for some of my favourite brands when fashion e-commerce was just taking off which was amazing. Meeting designers on a shoot is pretty mind blowing. Now I’m starting to shoot with childrenswear brands, which has been so much fun, it’s an area that’s expanding fast. I spend way more on my kids’ clothes than my own. Mini me trends are irresistible and dressing them is fun, they wear all the things I cant get away with wearing - but wish I could!
What are your go-to pieces? Do you tend to have a more practical wardrobe for days when you’re with your kids? And do you think your style has changed since you became a mother?
My style has definitely changed since becoming a mother. I tend to stick to classic pieces that I know I’ll wear for years. We live in Cambridge, so we cycle or walk everywhere, comfy shoes are a must, so Nikes and jeans are my staples. My Rains parka is also an essential I couldn’t live without! My go-to pieces are my leather trousers with a tee or knit and sneakers. My Penelope Chilvers Cubana velvet ankle boots are a fave I bought over eight years ago. Since becoming a mother my style has become more monochrome and I vent my creative fashion needs through what the kids wear instead!
What are your absolute favourite places to shop?
French flea markets are dreamy (I am drawn to linen and baskets), also garden centres! I am desperate to visit Marrakesh, all the rugs and textiles are divine. I don’t really shop in one place I like to search around for things.
What do you love most about being a mama?
Having a bustling home full of laughter (and mischief!). Never a dull moment.
Where are your favourite places to hang out as a family?
We are always so busy in the week, on a quiet weekend (which don’t come around very often) we love hanging out at home watching movies, playing board games and having big suppers (we’re big eaters so meal times are important to us) and of course we love long walks with Wooki our cockapoo.
And finally, what are your 5 essential items to keep inside your Jem + Bea bag?
1. Water bottle
2. House keys!!! (you won’t believe how many times I’ve locked myself out, you really wouldn’t!)
4. Mac bright lippie… you never know if you’re going to be whisked of for dinner!!! Actually I don’t think has happened yet but I like to be prepared!
5. Aesop hand sanitizer