Known for their outrageous adventures - like the one captured by SUITCASE magazine, above - that they mustn't reveal too many details of, but have apparently chronicled in a joint journal... Model-turned-actress, Suki Waterhouse and former MTV presenter Poppy Jamie, this time last year, added the title of entrepreneur to their ever-growing lists of creative career endeavours. First and foremost, each others best friends, their shared namesake brand ‘Pop & Suki’ is moving from strength to strength - much like their relationship - and from Robert Pattinson to Paris Hilton, it would seem the whole of Hollywood is behind their refined, no-nonsense accessories designs that are manufactured locally in Los Angeles.
From the moment their eyes first met on a crowded dance floor, it’s hard to tell when the duo actually reached “Best-friends status”, but we weren’t entirely surprised to hear that an astrologer had told them they had known each other in a past life - “In that moment, you know you’re more than ‘just friends’”. But it would seem it’s not just their past life that brought Poppy and Suki together, it was in fact also the fast life.
From Anita Pallenberg to Brigitte Bardot, the duo explains how they're endlessly inspired by the women around them, but the creation of the chic and elegant brand predominantly came from their quest for practicality. "We wanted to create accessories we both needed but couldn’t find. We travel a lot and we were losing belongings in all sorts of places!"
With that all-too-familiar charm, Poppy recalls the seemingly blasé moment that she and Suki decided to go into business together. “Suki was drinking tea having been on a night shoot, in the desert (filming The Bad Batch), so I suppose she was sleep deprived...I had just met a random man in a parking lot of a hotel who offered to manufacture some bags for me. On arriving home to recount the take to Suki; we decided in that moment, we should go into business together. I called the mysterious man and we continued to drink tea… Pop & Suki was born.”
Partnering with Leo Seigal, the young British tech entrepreneur - it’s no surprise their first year of trading has gone so well but it, of course, hasn’t come without it’s difficulties. “I think the biggest thing we have learnt is the power of communication. As soon as the team isn’t speaking enough, that’s when things can go wrong” and it’s no surprise that communication is hard to come by with both Poppy and Suki’s packed schedules.
“Connecting and creating with people is what makes me tick” says Suki on how she manages such a demanding workload. Even when films come with a disclaimer to “not audition for this if you’re a wuss”, like the recent, Ana Lily Amirpour film, ‘The Bad Batch’ in which Suki plays the lead. The film sees Suki take on a role, alongside Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey, as a multiple amputee called Arlen, who is flung into a dystopian Texan wasteland. Initially released to audiences in June 2017, it was nominated for a Golden Lion and for The Grand Jury Prize amongst other accolades at various worldwide festivals. “It is a privilege just to work. It's been my dream since school to travel the world and make things with people I admire. It has its challenges but it's mostly a privilege”. Which is no doubt recognised by both Poppy and Suki, and it is clear that they keep each other balanced, even with the simplest of activities.
Beyond the crowded dancefloors, they make time to clear their heads “When Suki and I are in the same city, we will walk for 2 hours every night just around the city we are in. It’s our favourite thing, phones at home, just us gossiping with some trainers on!”
With a combined instagram following that is larger some small country’s populations, the duo appreciates the power of the platform, but it’s no wonder they opt to leave their mobiles at home sometimes. Poppy and Suki don’t take this responsibility lightly and are most definitely conscious of the immense role the platform has had on their brand's growth, but are cautious to treat it more as a curated project.
“Recently, we have both really taken a step back by trying to limit our time on social media platforms. As we all know, social media can be deceiving.” You may have seen Poppy’s Tedx talk ‘Addicted To Likes’ which talks about the detrimental effects of social media. In the New Year, Poppy is set to bring out a new app, “Happy not Perfect”, that aims to counteract the negative pressure and induced anxiety around excessive use of these platforms, Poppy explains “Everyone I know, including myself, suffers from anxiety. It’s becoming an epidemic and now 75% of all people say they experience intense periods of stress. The rising rates in mental health problems inspired me to create something that could help.”
With guidance from her mother who is a trained psychotherapist, and a group of neuroscientists from UCLA, Poppy has digitalised 40 years of neuroscience and turned it into a simple game for users to play daily. The app will include exercises and mantras that help the user stay balanced.
Set on finding this balance themselves yet unlikely to slow down anytime soon, it’s compelling to see the trajectory of Poppy and Suki’s separate paths, but whether they’re dancing along by each other’s side, or off on separate endeavors, in the words of Marcus Aurelius and also Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse - who cite this as their joint mantra - "Very little is needed to make a happy life, it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking” and we think that if Poppy has Suki, Suki has Poppy and we have Pop & Suki, all will be fine - perfectly, compartmentalised in practical, luxury leather accessories.
By Kezia Navey for Semaine.