September always brings a return to habit. The nonchalant days of summer slip away and our cool-weather, life routines re-emerge. The structure is a welcoming return to the purposeful lives we’re building. Every fall, my ambition returns to me. I’m invigorated back to my roots of curiosity and plans to make everything better. During the process, I also become very aware of what’s not working. The same thing happens with companies.
At Poppy Barley, we reached a stage where we no longer recognized our company. We moved beyond a small, custom boot retailer from Edmonton. We liked who we had become. Six years later, we’re more passionate than in the beginning. We believe in what we’re building. We handle failures better. We have more critics and we’re better at filtering who we listen to. We’re OK with not being liked by everyone. We’re clearer on who wears a Poppy Barley shoe, and who doesn’t. We understand progress only happens while risking being wrong. We’re bolder. More vocal.
The time has arrived to share the more grown-up, more confident Poppy Barley. We needed a brand refresh – not just a visual lift, but an internal one too. To articulate ourselves as a company, Monica boldly stepped up to lead the process. We debated, argued, and went in circles, but more than anything, we dreamed together. I’m so proud of work done by our team to define Poppy Barley as a brand, culture and powerful force in the Canadian landscape.
For our community, we sought to express the evolved Poppy Barley brand at our flagship store in Southgate Mall in Edmonton. Initially, we signed a temporary lease agreement with the mall. We needed to explore, to test, and to be confident it was the right place for us. Once we knew we’d call the mall home for a long time, we committed to designing and building a beautiful store, bound by our philosophy of hiring the best people and letting those people be amazing. Keith, our architect, and Scott, our contractor, immersed themselves fully into our company to create that space. The results are stunning and a bit daring. The night the store walls were being painted blue, I questioned my judgment – maybe there is a reason all stores are white, grey and black? Instead, it proved to be a reminder that being interesting is never synonymous with boring.
Poppy Barley is inspired by kick-ass women and men. The people who step into PB shoes demand a lot from themselves and our products. It’s a challenge we eagerly accept; beauty, brains and function coming together. We designed. We edited. We went beyond black. We released a collection meant for many seasons of life. While we breathed new life into customer favourites, we also released a whole new category of shoes – high heels. For our heel collection, we wanted to highlight some like-minded women who we look up to.
Seasons change, and so do we – both as individuals and companies. This fall unveils a heightened version of Poppy Barley. We’re excited to share with you.