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Poppy Barley

The Idea

Like many great ideas, this one began with a plane ticket.

Destination: Bali. Justine Barber, Poppy Barley’s co-founder, experienced the luxury and comfort of handcrafted boots made just for her at a shop in Seminyak. Inspired, she returned to Canada with a vision to bring custom footwear to the masses.

The Movement

Gaining her first follower, Justine convinced her older sister Kendall to help build a movement.

The pitch: luxury products, attainable price points, and an elevated customer experience through transparent manufacturing and a better fitting shoe. One size doesn’t fit all.

Diving into the history of shoemaking, the sisters settled on the company name, Poppy Barley, for its roots in England during the middle ages. Cobblers used poppy seeds and barleycorns as a unit of measurement; one barleycorn was equal to 1/3 inch, and four poppy seeds equalled one barleycorn.

Four Women Form a Partnership

Weeks of research and another plane ticket later, Justine and Kendall travelled to León, Mexico, known as The Shoe Capital of the World.

Their first touchpoint at the airport was with Laura, an English professor, translator and shoe broker, who helped Poppy Barley find a home at a rare custom shoe factory and currently acts as Poppy Barley’s operations manager.

Following an exciting meeting with the factory owner, Lupita Lyons, the four women formed a partnership with the mission to rethink every step of the footwear industry.

Stories That Matter

Ask questions about where our products come from. We’ve always been prepared to reveal the story.

This has lead decision-making and laid the foundation for Poppy Barley. Whether it’s artisan wages, factory conditions, prices or the reason we choose particular collaborators, you’ll always know the why. Why? Because shoppers are intelligent. Our stories allow for a connection to the makers, the founders, and the rest of your Poppy Barley tribe.

Materials, Not Markups

We believe in justified pricing.

Full grain leathers–from cow, calf and goat to deer and bison–sourced from a family-run tannery; padded leather insoles; meticulous craftsmanship; made-to-order processes; we choose only the top materials and methodologies to create our shoes. Welcome to a new relationship between quality and price point. The comfort speaks for itself.


These shoes fit better, feel better and live better.

Thoughtful design permeates every stitch of Poppy Barley, whether it’s the online experience and customer interaction, or product aesthetic, packaging and function.

Collections are divided into classics–the staples of your wardrobe–and monthly, limited edition releases–styles and leathers that are adventurous and one-of-a-kind, without wasted materials.

These are shoes to live by.


To us, luxury is not a statement to the world about riches.

Luxury is a commitment to craftsmanship, thoughtful design, fair profits and human connection.

Join the movement.

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The Backpack in Black/Black Nubuck is on backorder until January 2017. Check the box below to receive a placeholder card for under the tree so you can still gift this product.