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Finding a Spark in the Darkness of Winter

4-minute read

*Midnight photo by Anna Jacobs
January is sort-of awesome. After over-indulging and socializing for a month, it presents the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and to reset your focus on making the next year your best yet. I believe strongly in having a vision for your life and every year working towards "living the life you imagine." January, with resolutions, is the only month where we all collectively reflect and set goals towards that objective. Whether they are achieved or not, striving towards them will bring you closer to your goal, and hopefully happier with your life and yourself. If you are looking to make a big life change in 2016, you’ll find inspiration in this Magazine's The Read, focused on four stories about how to transition from a "Before" to a more rewarding "After": a plumber becomes a full-time adventure photographer (whose Instagram gives me wander-jealousy); an over-worked politico embraces fitness and balance by becoming an owner of a fitness company; a leader and author who shifts from viewing her career as a ladder to a true calling. Our four contributors all took the plunge in a way few ever do. Founder's Letter - Volume 4 - Justine Barber, co-founder of Poppy Barley A less lofty, but very pragmatic goal for 2016, is to organize your life. There is a reason a movement around simplifying our "stuff" and embracing the "fewer, better" mentality in our disposal consumer culture. (One reason why we embrace slow fashion at Poppy Barley). This month we are bringing in the expert, Lee Vosburgh, for a tutorial on 5 Steps to a Successful Closet Edit. (Another method I can currently vouch for: get pregnant and every month have fewer and fewer clothes that actually fit, until you are down to leggings and "the pregnancy sweater." :)) A staple that should survive most closet edits (and the rare pair of shoes I can still get on my feet) is a great pair of oxfords. At Poppy Barley, our oxfords are unisex so they are not just menswear inspired -- they are menswear. In Borrowed From the Boys: How to Wear Brogues and Oxfords, stylist Conni Jespersen explores the history of how women went from corsets to men’s brogues and shows two ways to style your oxfords. January can also be a great month to get away with the darkness of our long Canadian winters. On my destination list is beautiful Oregon, and this month, local Anna Jacobs shares with us Six Must-Stop-Stare-and-Awe Spots in Bend, Oregon. (She's also, of course, the creator of the most amazing starry night photos - as seen above!) There is beauty in the season though, and this month’s limited edition collection was inspired by the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, when the sun barely peaks out and the skies are dark and lit only by the stars and Northern lights. Launching January 18th, the Midnight Collection pairs the wonderful combo of black and navy in 5 styles of "15 to 30" of-a-kind luxury shoes. (Go behind the scenes at our campaign shoot!) We have two fascinating people featured in our In Her/His Shoes series this volume - Joseph Doucet, the Dean of the University of Alberta’s School of Business and Jennifer Wilson, the CEO and founder of the children’s clothing line VonBon. (Check it out -- it’s adorable and all ethically made.) Both Jennifer and my sister and co-founder, Kendall, get personal. Finally, jet-setting businessman Chris Hamill shares with us how his small feet finally found a home with Poppy Barley's custom dress shoes collection, after years of being directed to the kid’s section. Now one man’s resolution to find better shoes has been achieved. My 2016 resolutions are mostly about navigating + becoming mom -- and it could be any day now, as it's my last week in the office. (But as you know, I'll be back in no time.) Best of luck in 2016 and may it be your best year yet!

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