Two and a half years ago, Kendall and I quit the security of our day jobs
with their regular paycheques to try to bring our idea for a company, recently christened Poppy Barley, to life.
That meant instead of reporting to cubicles downtown at 8:15 am sharp, every morning we started coming to the just-opened Startup Edmonton
and squatting at desks in their common area. Being surrounded by entrepreneurs and those who, like us, aspired to join their ranks, did not prove we were not crazy, but it did give us a place to go and show that we were not alone.
In the Fall of 2012 we upgraded to two permanent desks in Workspace 1. Cam Linke, one of Startup Edmonton’s founders, lent me his old MAC laptop so I could quit being made fun of for using my clunky PC that I bought for $300 at Costco before I expected to need a computer for anything other than surfing the internet after work. (The $1500 to buy a new one did not seem like a reasonable expense for our launch budget.)
We opened Poppy Barley for sales on November 15th, 2012 at Startup Edmonton’s launch party. After our website promptly crashed (on launch day) we did our first sales in person in a back room of Startup. But we persisted and we grew, and we hired Caroline, Monica, and Daelan
and moved into eight desks in a semi-private corner. Eventually, we moved into our own office, all within Startup Edmonton. Along the way we’ve become a "real" company introducing things like health benefits, policies, and insurance coverage, and have been blessed with the growing Poppy Barley community.
Today is a milestone for the company because today is our last day in Startup Edmonton. We are moving to a new, larger, beautiful office that will also give us a proper showroom to host our customers in and throw fun events. Coincidently, our studio in Mexico
is also moving to a larger space this week so that they can accommodate our growing sales. Instead of making Poppy Barley shoes in something that truly looks like your grandmother’s house, we'll be making them in something that looks like a real factory.
We are excited, we are proud, we are sad and somewhat nostalgic. And we still need to pack.
We’d like to thank the Startup Edmonton crew for being so awesome and such a big part of PB’s first chapter.
We hope to see as many of you as possible in our new office. Just give us a few days to set-up :)
In other company news...
Press day is the best day! Check us out on:
Have a wonderful weekend! See you at the new office.
- Tomorrow is the end of Throwback Month. This is your last chance to shop our Off-Duty, Downtown, and Classic Point with Hardware styles. We mean this - they are never coming back!
Valentine's Day is only two weeks away. Gift Card Packages now available.
- Tonight we are having a partay to celebrate our move!
- We just had another party - one to launch Poppy Barley's first Men's Collection. Kit and Ace on Whyte Avenue graciously hosted our party with scotch and eats from MEAT. It was a major success, and a great-looking crowd. See for yourself on our Instagram feed and the Edmonton Journal's Social Seen page.
- The first round of people who ordered our men's styles while we were in beta-mode have been receiving their shoes this week. Including Edmonton's mayor, Don Iveson, and the Edmonton Oilers' coaching staff (see below!).
- I got back from Mexico and brought back some amazing options for Fall 2015 leathers. Stay tuned for Spring 2015 samples pre-viewing soon. I also brought back some shoes for fairies (see above).
- Next week we’ll be working with the amazing talent of 204 Park on decorating our new office.
- Shout-out to Meghan Dear, the founder of Localize, who has just been named a "Founder to Watch" by Women 2.0. Meghan started with a desk next to ours in 2012 and now her company has the office next door. Amazing to see her grow and succeed!