Poppy Barley

Magazine  v

Founder's Letter

Justine On: Business, Family + Big Dreams

When we began discussing the theme behind Volume Two of our new magazine, we started talking about Fall, babies (my first baby arrives in January), nesting, and all the warmth that comes with cooler temperatures. But once we started putting our profiles together, it ended up being about the “hustle + heart” of the people we were featuring. Subconsciously, unintentionally almost, everyone we talked to happened to be running their own businesses, balancing a busy family life, and making big dreams happen on their own terms.

Founder's Letter: Hustle + Heart - Magazine - Poppy Barley

Probably the biggest “must-read” profile this issue is, in fact, The Read. It’s a series on moms who run businesses and asks, “What you do you do when you own a business and then you add a baby?” Personally, I’m super curious about this; at almost seven months pregnant, I’ve been somewhat overwhelmed with mapping out how I will balance the demands of my baby and Poppy Barley (and keep my sanity!). For inspiration and advice, I reached out to five female founders from across North America (Giselle from the Duchess Bakeshop, Renée from OnBoardly, Rachel from Cricket’s Circle, Jenna from Plum Home + Design, and Jen from BRIKA) who have already gone through the early stages of making their businesses and newborns thrive. Their responses were honest, heartfelt and very helpful. I’ve shared my takeaways and “plan” here.

My husband, Connor, might pull inspiration from Chris LaBossiere, who’s already figured out how to raise two 20-something daughters while being the co-founder of Yardstick, one of Canada’s fastest growing companies, and an extremely active community leader. (What committee isn’t he on?) Take a walk In His Shoes to find out his philosophy on life, his one big regret, and how he is using hard work to transition back into leading his company after a failed bid for political office.

Our In Her Shoes profile encompasses hustle + heart in every sense of the word. Paula Findlay is a Canadian Olympic triathlete currently focusing big on the Rio 2016 Olympics. We photographed her in her Poppy Barley shoes when she briefly returned to Edmonton for knee surgery and a training break in early October. In a blanket of gorgeous autumn leaves, she talked to us about her training schedule, whose shoes she’d love to walk (or run) in, and how she cares for her feet.

As the co-founder of a footwear company, I hear an abnormal amount about feet, and something I have been warned about repeatedly is how pregnancy changes your feet (bigger! wider! fallen arches!). In The Fit, Catherine Bangel, owner of her eponymous PR company, explains the feet consequences of creating her two beautiful daughters, why it might happen to you, and how she adjusted to losing her “Perfect 10” footwear status–forever.

Erinn Trebaczkiewicz, with three kids under three, could be forgiven if she wore a mu-mu and bun every day. Instead, the entrepreneur-mother balances raising Jack, Theo, and Axel with her own e-tailer, The Skinny (a drool-worthy children’s clothing shop I have been spending increasing amounts of time on) while looking effortlessly stylish (and with perfect hair!) everytime I see her. In The Look, Erinn tells us What “Mom Style” Really Means and divulges her style secrets to the rest of us earthlings.

One of the joys of starting Poppy Barley has been getting to know Laura, our Operations Manager, in Mexico. During trips to León, conversations would frequently turn to Laura’s experience having and raising children (she enjoyed giving birth! crazy!) and exploring cultural differences between Mexico and Canada (in Mexico maternity is seen as a woman’s destiny). In The Tutorial, Laura tell us How to Be a Mom in Mexico, from pregnancy to raising teenagers, and why in Mexico “You can mess with everything, except with people’s mothers.”

In The Wanderer, Nicole Hudson, founder of Bot Communications and the brand[ED] workshops and cheerleader for small businesses everywhere, shares her fave 5 local Toronto businesses to shop. Yvonne and Kendall, who are traveling to Toronto for our pop-up shops next week, October 14 to 17, will be visiting each one (and I’m sure coming home with presents of chocolates, green juice, Peace Collective shirts, organic skin care, and books for the rest of us). Nicole hosted a workshop at Poppy Barley in the first weeks of October and provided one of my favourite messages of the month–that vulnerability equals authenticity.  

Lastly, I am excited to announce Gotham Grey leather is coming back in October and we are (finally) launching a mid-heel ankle boot. Sign up to become a PB Insider to get first access.

Happy leaves-raking! (In an Edmonton Fall, you definitely need some hustle + heart there.)

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.