PoppyBarley-Founders-Justine-Kendall-2I was so excited to meet Kendall and Justine, the two sisters who started Poppy Barley, an Edmonton startup that makes made to measure boots and shoes for all the shoe lovers out there, which basically means the entire female population of the world. Ambitious? Yes, but definitely possible thanks to all the hard work and long hours the sisters have invested in starting, developing and growing their business.

It all started in her trip to Bali, where Justine came across a pair of boots she loved, but were not available in her size. To her surprise this was a total non-issue for the shop owner who started measuring her feet and legs in order to have a custom fit pair made specifically for Justine. It’s a great story, but how did it go from just another travel anecdote to a successful business? While observing an important religious ceremony in Bali, the idea seemed to linger longer than usual and it was then that Justine made the decision to explore this at greater length. With limited access to the internet Justine had to wait to find a connection to share the news with Kendall, her sister who was back in Edmonton at the time.

Upon her return, there was so much to learn about an industry they both knew little about. What had began with an idea that run in the neighborhood of $200k to get it going, narrowed down to the minimum viable product required to get started, which also created a feedback loop where the two sisters could put out a product and quickly measure and learn from customer reactions if they should proceed, tweak, revise or abandon an idea. Thankfully, market reaction to Poppy Barley has been extremely positive, and brand awareness has increased significantly since the launch of their Fall 2012 line a year ago. Not bad, considering that it was only January 2012 when Justine had her epiphany while vacationing in Bali. Though their vision started big and narrowed down, the trend is on the upswing again, with Kendall and Justine looking to expand their North American market bringing their treasured pieces to cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Chicago with the overall aim of becoming their customers’ shoe maker for life.

Justine describes the last year as an exciting adventure, like walking through the woods, looking up at the mountain they have yet to climb armed with her secret power: belief in herself. Whatever dream you are chasing, Justine advices, you have to be the first and strongest follower, and only then will others join you. In Kendall’s words, “To inspire others, you first have to inspire yourself.”

IMG_4875 IMG_4867 PoppyBarley-Founders-Justine-Kendall-5 IMG_4866PoppyBarley-Founders-Justine-Kendall-6 IMG_4871 IMG_4878

Hats off to these two brilliant ladies who have managed to bring a perfect fitting pair to ladies across North America, grow a business and inspire us to go after our dreams full speed ahead.

Thank you for believing in yourselves, and inspiring us to do the same, and for that we celebrate you!

Check out PoppyBarley on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Thank you for reading!


Tell me what you think ;)

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: