Our friends at Poppy Barley announced big news today! 1000 square feet of news with the opening of a flagship location at Southgate Centre in August 2017.
Congratulations to the incredibly hardworking team at Poppy Barley as they embark on an exciting new journey (and welcome 12 new members to the PB family!). Over the past five years, we assembled desks together as we moved into the Mercer Warehouse, you measured our feet in Work Space 1 for some of the first orders of boots, and welcomed hundreds of eager Poppy Barley customers at sample sales where lineups snaked down the stairwell and out onto 104th Street.
It's an honor to share in so many milestones with you & we look forward to much more to come.
It's a full-circle day here at Startup Edmonton! Fun-facts: Poppy Barley expanded from Startup Edmonton to an office on Whyte Ave that was formally home to Jobber. We just happen to have more than 40 members of the Jobber team at Startup Edmonton today for a hackathon and, later, we'll be heading over to the Jobber office on Jasper Avenue for the first Tech Ladies Edmonton Meetup! Justine and Kendall, Co-Founders of Poppy Barley, inspire many founders of tech-enabled companies and we'll be sure to raise a toast to them tonight.
EDMONTON’S POPPY BARLEY OPENS FLAGSHIP STORE AT SOUTHGATE CENTRE
Hatched from Startup Edmonton, the e-commerce fashion company will mark its 5th year in business in one of Canada’s most successful malls.
Edmonton, June 22, 2017 — This August, Edmonton-based leather footwear and accessories company Poppy Barley (poppybarley.com) will open an 1000 sq ft flagship store in Southgate Centre, recently ranked among the top 5 malls in the country by the Retail Council of Canada. Merging the online and offline experience, the Poppy Barley flagship will include in-stock women’s sizes, men’s footwear, and leather accessories, as well as interactive elements reflective of its ethical and transparent manufacturing in Mexico: an intimate made-to-order measurement lounge, communal iPads, a customer-meets-artisan photo display, and a tactile leather wall for customer exploration.
“It’s not your typical ‘Designed in New York, Made in Italy’ story,” says Poppy Barley co-founder Kendall Barber. “And there are no hard benches and shelves crammed with shoes. Our vision is to communicate Poppy Barley's main brand value, which is Luxury For the People. It’s designed to be fun, inviting, educational and community-centered. It celebrates transparency, quality, craftsmanship, Edmonton and Mexico—essentially, the foundation of the Poppy Barley brand.”
As such, the interior also includes handcrafted baltic birch millwork from Edmonton’s Oliver Apt. and eco-friendly encaustic cement tile in a traditional clover and star pattern from Edmonton-based River City Tile Company. From Mexico, a handmade leather cutter will be on display with lasted shoes and shoe-cuts. “There are over 20 steps to making a single pair of shoes,” says co-founder Justine Barber. “This is our opportunity to give Edmonton an in-person look at how we craft our products in Mexico, and why we believe they’re the most comfortable shoes in the world.”
Choosing a mall over a standalone boutique for the flagship location has much to do with the current state of retail. “Retail is changing fast,” says Kendall. “We explored both options and listened closely to our community. We found Southgate to be innovative in understanding our vision for a community-store within a mall. Southgate attracts Edmonton guests, and much of our growth over the last five years is due to support from Alberta customers. It just makes sense. We believe there's benefit to growing our brand in such a high traffic space.”
Customers can stay on the pulse of the Grand Opening details—and enter to win shoes for a year—by visiting poppybarley.com/southgate
ABOUT POPPY BARLEY
Poppy Barley (poppybarley.com) designs luxury leather shoes and accessories for kick-ass men and women who don’t have time for sore feet. Manufacturing ethically and transparently in León, Mexico, Poppy Barley was founded by sisters Justine and Kendall Barber in 2012 through Startup Edmonton’s incubator. Although they were relative newcomers to shoemaking, the sisters were raised to be creative, ambitious, industrious and ask a lot of questions. They utilized the breadth of manufacturing experience from their Mexico factory owner, Lupita Lyons, operations manager, Laura Obregon, and a talented pool of artisans to produce polished, everyday essential footwear and chic, functional accessories. In the process, Poppy Barley became the first company in North America to offer custom fashion boots online.