A typical day may involve launching her latest season of children’s wear, trekking through Nepal for charity, and making time for the most important job of all, being a mother. Karena Simpson, CEO of Pappe, is the busy Melbourne mother challenging the notion that style and comfort don’t go hand in hand.


At the young age of 19, Karena dropped out of University and started her first modest business venture – a small child care centre which developed into a profitable business with over six locations. This was only the start for Karena who went on to pursue uniquely innovative business ideas in the areas of hospitality, property, design and share trading.

Despite jumping significant hurdles to get to where she is today, the loving mother of two, now aged 33, admits, “becoming a mother is the hardest thing anyone will ever do.”  From sleepless nights with her newborn to making time for herself, she experienced first-hand the worries parents have for their little ones and the challenge of reprioritising life as a mother.


While it is important to separate work from motherhood, it was this important mothering role that fuelled Karena’s next creative endeavour. As a new mother, she and her husband noticed a gap in the Australian market for high-end baby and children’s wear. Parents in Australia were not being treated to the same level of premium quality products available overseas.

Trusted materials such as pure wool blends, soft silk and long-lasting cashmere were largely unavailable.  Children’s clothing with a fitted minimalist aesthetic and fashion forward gender-neutral palette was unseen in a market dominated by mass produced brightly coloured clothing.

With this gap and her own children‘s apparel needs in mind, Pappe was born. 



Pappe is Karena’s most cherished brainchild yet providing parents across Australia with stylishly comfortable luxury clothing and accessories. From handcrafted Italian leather shoes with soles designed for those long-awaited first steps, to plush cashmere blankets which can be passed down from generation to generation, Pappe is taking on Australia with some big names like Kate Ritchie, Teresa Palmer, Giaan Rooney, Clarice Van Houten stocking up on goodies on offer.

A warm winter

After years of sampling the most premium materials from all corners of the globe and meticulously overseeing the design of every piece, Karena’s Pappe pieces are available for purchase in its online boutique store.

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“There are some really unique pieces within it and it is lovely to hear parents loving them as much as I do,” Karena explains. “My favourite piece from Pappe so far is the Tucker Scottish Cashmere Sweater. It’s been a favourite since I first dreamt it up.”


Fresh newborns to budding toddlers can expect be kept stylishly snug this winter with Pappe’s range of premium knitwear and cosy organic rompers and wraps. Visit the Pappe Instagram page or website to find out more.