Written by: Erin Corbett
Stepping Into a New Business
In 2012, after visiting a handcrafted shoe store in Bali, sisters Justine and Kendall Barber embarked on a new business venture. Justine and Kendall’s ambition and creativity lead to the creation of the first North American company to offer custom fashion boots online – the name, Poppy Barley. Although both sisters were newcomers to the shoemaking industry, they were both driven by the concept of creating exceptional leather products for the masses. Improved quality, comfort and ethically made products that are available for all ‘kick-ass men and women who don’t have time for sore feet’ – now that’s luxury for the people!
Ethically and Responsibly Made
As the saying goes - all good things take time, and Poppy Barley has a lot of good things. But how can something as 'good' as luxury custom shoes be made in a way that is ethical, responsible, and timely enough to satisfy the demand for 'the people'? Is there a trade-off that is required? Poppy Barley has proven that there is no need to sacrifice quality, responsible working factories, or quantity, when delivering luxury leather shoes. The company carefully screens each of their factories in Leon, Mexico, to ensure positive working conditions, fair wages and Benefits, worker's rights and freedom, health and safety, and training and opportunity. As the fashion industry shifts to a more ethical and socially conscious era, Poppy Barley chooses to be completely transparent with their manufacturing productions.
In April 2019, Poppy Barley will be walking into their second retail location in Calgary Market Mall! Along with their new location, Poppy Barley has recently launched their new Spring 2019 line of leather shoes and accessories. The ‘New Neutral’ line includes all of the classic Poppy Barley staples, as well as some fresh spring colours such as Cherry Blossom and Flat Silver. Poppy Barley is all about making you feel good – feel good about the brand and employees behind the label. Feel good about buying shoes that are ethically and responsibly made. Feel good about wearing shoes so comfortable that you feel ready to conquer every single day.
Check out rapid-fire questions with Kate Wylie, Director of Retail for Poppy Barley. Part of School of Retailing's Careers on Purpose video series.