Poppy Barley: Shoes Made to Order

The Facts
The Poppy Barley website is full of interesting facts and numbers including a statistic that claims “60% of women can’t find boots that fit.” Seems high, but when you open your shoe closet and have a quick look, this claim seems a little more reasonable; just consider all the shoes that you don’t wear because they’re too tight, too loose or just ill fitting. 

With the amount of money that many of us spend on shoes we could probably pay off a small business loan if we weren’t constantly replacing less than desirable pairs every six months. If you’re ready to have that glass slipper moment from Cinderella, then it’s that you start shopping with Poppy Barley.

The Idea
It all started with a trip to Bali when Justine Barber, one of the co-founders, came across a pair of boots she wanted but they didn’t fit. When a pair of shoes don’t fit in North America, a sales assistant usually just shrugs and says, “sorry, no luck.” But in Bali this isn’t the case. When the boots didn’t fit Justine, the owner quickly suggested that he just make a pair in her size. That’s when a light bulb went on.

A trip overseas had proved to be the genesis of a winning business idea as Justine realized there just might be an opportunity to provide the craft of custom shoewear to anyone with access to a tape measure and the Internet. So in November of 2012, Justine and her sister, Kendall, launched Poppy Barley, a unique shoe company out of Edmonton that provides its customers with smart and elegant footwear that’s made to order.

The Fit
Not only are your boots made with high quality materials, they’re totally tailored to fit. Every pair of shoes from Poppy Barley has been carefully crafted and measured to account for the shape and size of your individual. If you’re ordering boots, then you’ll also have your calf measured.

With Love From Mexico
Once you place the order, an artisanal shoemaker gets to work. The girls searched out many locations to find the best suppliers and crafts people but landed on Leon, Mexico (often described as the shoe capital of the world), a city that has attracted shoemakers from Italy, Spain and Argentina. The people who make your shoes are some of the best in the world and some of them have been making shoes for close to two decades.

Even more impressive is Poppy Barley’s dedication to provide every artisan with fair salaries and good working conditions. The website has lots of great pictures and tidbits of information on Leon and the people behind the product.

The Look
As a smart business move, the girls have strategically sought out brand ambassadors in Calgary, Edmonton and even Portland who are lucky enough to wear Poppy Barley footwear around town. If you haven’t spotted these beautiful shoes in your city, just take a look at their website – one look through the collection and you’ll be sold.

Some of our favourite looks include The Classic Point Flat in Ruby Red and Green With Envy and The Foxhunt Boot.

How To Order
In the spirit of marrying classic craftsmanship and technology, you can order these fabulous shoes from the comfort of your own home. The company website has step-by-step instructions on how to measure your own foot before placing your order and you can always call or e-mail the Poppy Barley team if you have any questions about how to ensure you’ve correctly measured your foot size. If you live in Calgary, stay tuned for news on a Poppy Barely pop-up shop that will be taking place this October.


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