Poppy Barley
Magazine  v
The Product

Creating Comfortable Shoes for Women, Pt. 1

Mar 13, 2013

Developing the Poppy Barley Flats Collection

The big day is drawing near: our flats collection will be launching in just two months, but it’s been a months-long process that’s taken a lot of team meetings and research. Before we even hit the sketchbooks, we began to think about what kinds of problems we wanted to solve.


Problem 1

Flats that only take into account one measurement (foot length) often lead to scenarios like this:

Comfortable Shoes for Women - Pointed toe leather ballet flats - Poppy Barley

This is my slightly wide foot crammed into a flat with a standard width. It doesn’t look very nice (creates toe cleavage and makes me feel like one of Cinderella’s stepsisters) and it certainly isn’t comfortable. Conversely, some women have narrow feet and the opposite problem – their foot slides around and out of a flat that’s too wide.


Problem 2

Comfortable flats exist and pretty, fashionable flats exist but it is very hard to find a fashionable, comfortable shoe.

We don’t want to have to sacrifice fashion or comfort in the shoes we wear. Unfortunately, right now you can either emulate your granny’s comfortable shoes or wear a cute little leather slipper and have feet that are killing you by the end of the day.

In particular, our new Product Development Manager and mother of two, Cara, emphasized a need for flats that offer arch support and grip, and will hold up to a full day of running errands (and after children). Many of you echoed this sentiment.


Problem 3

Almost all flats feature standard design with no choices or input available to you, the buyer.

We want to be able to create shoes that reflect our personalities and wardrobes and can give us a unique, personalized product. We want options in colour and design choice so that every woman can be her own stylist.

It was with these three objectives in mind, that the Poppy Barley team created our debut Spring 2013 Flats Collection. Over the next two weeks, we’ll share how we launch a product line, from initial inspiration to final product.

 

Jump to Part II

Justine Barber

Co-Founder, Poppy Barley
Justine started Poppy Barley with her sister Kendall in 2012 after a seemingly endless frustration with boot shopping. An avid runner and reader, Justine shares her life in Edmonton with her husband Connor, son Jude, and puppy Quinn.