Founder Update: Poppy Barley

In celebration of our 5th anniversary at the Mercer Warehouse, we had the opportunity to chat with some of our alumni founders about how things have changed for their companies since our downtown community hub opened. We're thrilled that our milestones often coincide with exciting news from our alumni companies! Over the next six weeks, we'll be sharing updates from some of Edmonton's hardest working founders. 

This year marks Startup Edmonton's fifth anniversary in the Mercer Warehouse. To celebrate this occasion, we had the chance to sit down with some of our city's hardest working founders & catch up on the growth of their companies.


Poppy Barley ( 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.

Put this post into action

  • Poppy Barley was one of the first participants in our Preflight program. Learn more and apply today for this hands-on program that provides you with mentorship, guided sessions, and access to corporate partners. 
  • Check out Poppy Barley's exciting new flagship store opening in just a few weeks at Southgate Centre. You can catch up on our blog
  • Justine and Kendall Barber helped assemble the furniture in Workspace 1 when we opened! We have workspace available for just $125/month. Connect today for a tour!