September 25, 2011 02:00 PM

Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

When Emily Procter and boyfriend Paul Bryan decided to name their now 9-month-old daughter Philippa Frances — a.k.a Pippa — they thought they had spared her from having a common name.

“As an Emily, anytime I’m in any sort of a giant store, I hear it 60 times and I never know if it was for me or someone else,” she tells PEOPLE.

“We were thinking it would be really nice for her to have a name that’s not everywhere. When Pippa Middleton showed up, we realized we maybe picked a name that is more everywhere than Emily all of a sudden.”

And much like her famous namesake, Pippa, who was born in December 2010, has developed a fan following of her own: mom’s coworkers on the set of CSI: Miami.

“We have a crew that has a lot of children,” Procter, 43, says. “I’ll set her down for rehearsal and they’ll all watch her. It’s great to see these giant grip and electric dudes playing with a baby.”

Striking a balance between career and motherhood has come easy for Procter, who returned to the set only four weeks after giving birth, and has proven to be an exciting learning experience for her little one, as well.

“The first time I went back to work with her where she was sort of sitting up and present, she tried to pull my lashes off. She was very confused as to what I had on my face,” Procter jokes.

“But now she’ll sit in my lap when I have my makeup put on. I feel like it’s a good experience for her because she gets to be around so many people and it’s interesting and she does enjoy it. She always seems very excited.”

With her first birthday fast approaching, Pippa’s personality has also started to assert itself, sometimes to disastrous results.

“She discovered how to unroll the toilet paper the other day,” Procter shares. “I had her on the floor in the bathroom and I’m getting ready and I know that everything is picked up and I think I’m totally safe and I turn around, and there is a big pile of toilet paper. And of course she’s trying to eat it.”

“I absolutely just love it,” she adds. “It’s just such a fun thing to do, to be with her.”

Her status as new mom also inspired Procter to partner with clothing manufacturer No nonsense to launch the Socks for America campaign, which aims to donate one million pairs of children’s socks to the charity Kids in Distressed Situations.

“When I was in college, I had an after-school program with kids that were below the poverty line that I worked with, and I noticed with them that several of them never even had socks,” she says.

“That was the first time I had experience with how important an item this is. I just felt like if I can be a part of a team that’s helping people, that is my goal just after becoming a mom. I’m really hoping that the message will get out there.”

— Kiran Hefa

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