The Read | Behind the Business
Meet the Team: Laura, Operations Manager
Although this is the last instalment of our "Meet the Team" series (for now), it's definitely not the least. Meet our seventh team member, Laura, Poppy Barley's Mexico Operations Manager, and an expert in custom shoemaking. Laura makes it possible for us to keep our head office in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and manufacture our boots and flats 2,500 miles away, in León, Mexico. Connecting our Canadian team with all the suppliers, factories and cobblers we need, Laura leads product development and operations--from material sourcing and logistics, to administration and quality control. She also assists Justine with design, and is the last person to see, touch and review your boots and shoes before packaging them up in León and shipping them to your door. When we began making custom cheerleading boots for the NFL's Rams and Raiderettes, Laura visited 18 tanneries in just two days in search of the right type of leather. To put it lightly, Laura makes it all happen in Mexico for PB. Laura exudes warmth and happiness. As a shoe broker (and now PB's expert in custom shoemaking) and English professor for many years prior, she also educates us on León’s cultural beat and helps us with our Spanish. Her twin missions in life are to enhance Mexico’s international reputation by contributing to León’s development and prosperity, and, as a businesswoman, to be a good role model for her teenage daughter, Maria, and son, Ernesto. Find out more about Laura in our rapid fire Q&A below... Name: Laura Job Title: México Operations Manager My typical day at work means... Lots of lists! To-do lists, new material order lists, lists of people to call, lists of issues to solve, all kinds of lists. I juggle with a lot of different issues all day, from production, to material development, to the smallest things that PB needs from me. It requires a lot of lists to not forget anything. I go through each list probably 10 times a day to make sure everything is taken care of. That's the way I can be sure (or TRY to be sure ;) that I am not forgetting about something/someone, even with all the follow up I do. Also, a huge part of my job has to do with development of new products/styles, etc. I also deal with about 10 different suppliers with whom I work with on a daily basis to make sure we have every specific part we need to keep the best quality standards and can be on time with deliveries. Fit Issue: I have flat feet. Favourite Poppy Barley boot style right now: I have always been a fan of The Everyday-City-Boot Favourite Poppy Barley flats style right now: Tied: The Feminine Slipper and The Modern Mary-Jane Favourite online hangout spot: I know it sounds crazy, but I don't hangout online. I am usually too busy working online with our team, which is thousands of miles away. It requires a lot of really close communication everyday. So, after I am done working, I turn my computer off. I am a mother too! Item I never leave home without: My phone! It is my office and my notebook and my assistant and everything to me! I am totally lost without it! Indulgence: A chocolate bar every week or two. Favourite quote: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dalai Lama XVI Wanderlusting after: So many places. In México, the state of Chiapas. I have heard great things about it, but have never been there. South America: Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. And Africa! I can't wait to visit Africa. Tibet too! Favourite city to visit: It is not a city, it is a tiny little town in Mexico between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, and it's called Careyes. No one goes there, so it's very relaxing, with pristine sea, great food, quiet, in the middle of the jungle… It is definitely my favourite place to be. Lusting after: Poppy Barleys I have a weakness for: Things that smell good… lotions, candles, perfumes, flowers, etc. Fun fact: I lived in México City for 16 years and Houston, Texas for 2 years. If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be: Victoria, BC. Somewhere surrounded by trees, quiet, far away. Take me! When it's time to unwind I… Read What’s one Spanish phrase/word that doesn’t make any sense in English? “Ella es muy fresa”. It translates as “She is a strawberry”. It means that someone is fancy, trendy, probably rich, and a little spoiled. ...Strawberry?? What’s one English phrase/word that doesn’t make any sense in Spanish? There are a lot! Over the years, I have realized that I need my English words to express some things, or feelings, because although Spanish is really rich, sometimes our Spanish does not have the words (or I can´t find them?).