Poppy Barley

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Founder's Letter

Shoes that Take You Places

Poppy Barley’s Spring/Summer ’16 collection isn’t simply about boarding planes to far away destinations; it’s about the confidence to board the daily flights of life. It’s about going places in life. Since starting Poppy Barley, life has been on the move for Justine and me: two weddings, launching a company and the recent arrival of Justine’s baby, Jude William.

In between life’s moments, I’ve been boarding every plane possible – travel fuels my life. I’ve boarded planes to Morocco, Hawaii, Hungary, Panama, the Netherlands, Mexico, New York, Italy, Turkey and more. Travel takes me to places of discomfort, discovery and escape. Travel pushes me to consider I know nothing; and drives my creativity. Travel, we’ve realized, is at the heart of everything we do at Poppy Barley.

Volume Five Founder's Letter: Kendall Barber

Poppy Barley co-founder Kendall Barber in our travel-themed showroom on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue.

Poppy Barley would not exist had Justine and I not boarded a flight to Mexico. Just like that flight, our S/S ’16 is about taking chances – it’s our boldest collection yet. Here, Justine breaks down all the new styles and leathers, which we shot in a 12-hour shoot with Nicole Ashley at the Edmonton International Airport (#PoppyBarleyxFlyEIA). When it comes to clothes, stylist Jessica Clark provides pointers for a spring wardrobe reminiscent of a time when travel stood for one thing only: luxury.

Few of us get away as often as we’d like. Instagram gives us the ability to live vicariously through the travel of others. Luxury travel and lifestyle photographer, Kirsten Alana, has over 188K followers who travel across the globe with her. Recently, Kirsten Alana flew from NYC to Edmonton to hangout with us – she packed her Poppy Barley boots and handbag for the trip, just like she does for most trips. Meet her here.

Another Instagram account teasing me to run away is El Camino. Founded by Katalina Mayorga, El Camino is my type of travel company: cool trips where you live in the moment and put your phone down. You leave all devices (cameras, phones, selfie stick) in your room and simply enjoy your day while a professional photographer captures the whole experience for you. Every morning you receive social ready photos. As they say, be a traveler, not a tourist. Read about the “a-ha” moments that made Katalina decide to start El Camino.

When it comes to travel, I’m in the carry-on-only camp: a perfectly edited wardrobe, beauty essentials and the mantra that a dress, jeans, black t-shirt, swimsuit, a great pair of shoes, credit card and passport is all one really needs. Fittingly, it was on a plane that I first read about Sonja Salmon’s company Ebby Rane, makers of the most beautiful carry-on luggage, The Quartermaster. I immediately followed on Instagram and an entrepreneur-product-company crush formed. The Quartermaster flew to Edmonton for our spring photoshoot at the Edmonton International Airport and shot by Nicole Ashley. And both Caroline, our community manager, and I were inspired by our conversations with the very smart and warm personality of its owner. Here, Sonja tells us how she went from working in law and corporate finance to launching a product with a global reach.

For style and travel inspiration, and dreamy scenes of Vancouver, Alicia Winnett tops our list. Months before Poppy Barley launched, Alicia sent me a little email: “I think you ladies have a really great idea here, been saying for years that it’s ridiculous that no one makes boots for large calves.” Poppy Barley boots are finally on Alicia as she whisks off to London and writes this volume’s Fit post on wide-calf boots.

Let’s travel back in time to 1966, when Pasquale DeLuca left his hometown of Grottaminarda, Italy to fly to Canada where he set up the Expert Shoe Clinic. Four generations later, Pasquale and his son Luigi run the best shoe repair in Edmonton. Luigi is our most trusted cobbler. He understands and works beautifully with luxury leather shoes. In conversation with Yvonne, Luigi details the care required to protect, care and repair shoes, including routine resoling.

We also had a conversation with digital marketing guru Adam Rozenhart (who is actually the voiceover for our Poppy Barley Men‘s measuring videos!). Whether he’s YouTubing, podcasting, or crafting the next big ad campaign, he’s an ideas man you need to know; simply follow #YEG. Or, read this Q&A to find out why the heck he’d like to be Donald Trump for a day.

For the next two months, our brand design manager Monica, is on an adventure of her own. Along with her boyfriend, Kevin, they loaded up their SUV and started driving south to spend two months living, working and, for KevLa, making music in Austin, TX. It’s so easy make excuses – time, work, budget – and then there’s actually making it work with months of planning, asking big and choosing to live life to the fullest. Poppy Barley is for every person who acts confidently and says yes to going to places in life, people just like Monica is why we design products.

For everywhere you dreaming of going this spring, put on a pair of Poppy Barley shoes and take that giant step forward (follow #PoppyBarleyPassport to see what we mean).

Cheers to going places.

Baby-Jude-Instagram

The newest addition to the Poppy Barley team: Jude William, born Jan. 19th, 8.2 lbs.

Kendall Barber

Co-Founder, Poppy Barley
Kendall is the co-founder of Poppy Barley, a company redefining luxury footwear with its focus on style, comfort, ethical manufacturing and materials--not markups. Kendall is a marathoner and lululemon run ambassador, a self described "pretend chef" and "cookie monster", and a morning enthusiast (you'll find her running trails at 6am). She lives in Edmonton, AB with her husband, Ross and puppy, Whip.