Poppy Barley
Magazine  v
Founder's Letter

A Travel-Inspired Collection, Rooted In Canada

Growing-up, my summer vacations never involved planes, foreign languages or far-flung destinations. Every summer, my parents loaded up our Dodge Caravan to explore Canada. My sisters and I would stakeout our territory in the mini-van and we’d drive for hours. As a family, we river-rafted down the Skeena River in Northern BC; swam with jellyfish at Cavendish Beach in PEI; discovered our nation’s history at Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia; rented houseboats in the Shuswaps; and slept in tents under big vast skies of stars in countless Provincial parks. Summer in Canada is synonymous with open highways, cool blue lakes, lively festivals, campfires and days that never end.

At Poppy Barley, we basked in summer memories during the coldest days of winter to design sandals for every Canadian summer destination. While inspired by Canada, our summer collection was led by Leah, an American (gasp!). Originally from Michigan, Leah knows the bursting joy of summer after a long winter. Having lived in New York City for the past eight years, working in accessory design for a rapidly growing company, Leah knows design. Leah brings experience and a unique understanding of how to create beautiful footwear and leather accessories, and it has been a joy to collaborate with her. 

To bring our summer collection to life, we went to the heart of summer: Brazil. As Poppy Barley grows, we envision on-boarding factories around the world while staying committed to our roots in Mexico. Different factories in different parts of the world allow Poppy Barley to explore new ways of working and experimenting with different footwear categories. Like Mexico, Brazil is an emerging player in the shoe game. It’s exciting to work in countries where their shoe legacy is just beginning – there’s a shared value of doing things differently, of taking risks and making beautiful shoes that’ll put a country on the map. The factory in Brazil is owned by two brothers who founded their factory 39 years ago and currently employ 43 people. The Brazil factory has deep knowledge of crafting sandals which cleared the path for Poppy Barley’s largest-ever collection of open-toed sandals. From Mexico, we brought back our best-selling Strappy Sandals and newly-released Niagara Mules.  

As you explore Canada this summer, please bring us along for the journey with #CanadaAtYourFeet.

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.