Rosie Pope has had many callings in her life: ballet dancer, fashion model, neuroscientist, designer, entrepreneur. But her ultimate job and true lot in life is motherhood, tending to her two young sons, J.R. and Wells, while running a business catering to New York’s pregnant elite. In addition to her clothing line, Rosie Pope Maternity, she’s a coach to new moms and a soon-to-be reality television star on Bravo’s new Pregnant in Heels (premiering April 5).
Producers discovered Pope in 2008, very pregnant with her first son and about to open her first store on Madison Avenue. “I was screaming at the contractors because they weren’t going to be ready in time and I was literally about to give birth,” she said. “Right then a producer walked past and saw this insane combination of a hormonal and pregnant business woman.”
That combination made for good reality TV. Pregnant In Heels follows Pope’s second pregnancy as she indulges the outlandish requests of her clients via her concierge service, offering one-on-one coaching and all kinds services—however bizarre they may be. It started off reasonable enough, with requests for custom dresses or baby shower planning. “But of course this being New York, we got crazier requests like, ‘I want to give birth in a couture gown,’ or ‘I want to be painted naked on a horse,’” says Pope. “You name it, they ask for it.”
Each episode is filled with laughs, tears, drama and lots of hormones, including Pope’s own as she struggles through three rounds of in vitro fertilization. “If my husband and I didn’t show our personal struggle with being parents and our struggles with getting pregnant, it wouldn’t really be an honest story,” she explains. “If I didn’t expose my own story it just would have felt like a lie—painting this perfect picture without any back story.” Rosie Pope Maternity floral shirtdress ($195), Pret pants ($168) and maxi-mini dress ($125)
A Pregnant Pause
Now that Wells is born and the show’s wrapped up, things are a bit calmer. Pope often strolls two blocks from her Upper East Side home to the boutique and her MomPrep academy with baby in tow. The academy is regularly scheduled with classes like infant CPR, nursery décor, finding a nanny and child development. And the store is stocked with classic clothes that even women sans bump would wear. Instead of using Spandex, Pope works with the cut of a garment to create a flattering shape. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” says Pope, who chose science over design in college. “It’s like a mathematical game. We’re taking classic designs and lending them to maternity.”
Her favorite pieces are the Pret pants ($168), the maxi-mini ($125), the Palm Beach tee and the floral shirtdress ($195). Rosie Prep Maternity has garnered celebrity fans like Kelly Rutherford, Anna Ortiz, Kimora Lee Simmons and Vanessa Trump, yet Pope is quick to say that her store and MomPrep aren’t strictly high-end. “We’re soup to nuts for every pregnant woman.” Rosie Pope Maternity, 1265 Madison Ave., 212-608-2036; MomPrep, 1316 Madison Ave., 212-423-5815