Justine Barber, Co-founder of Poppy Barley

Justine Barber

Justine Barber is the Co-founder of Poppy Barley, a local Alberta shoe company dedicated to social responsibility and designing for kick-ass men and women who always show up but don't have time for sore feet.

Their unique line of footwear and accessories is designed in Edmonton, and manufactured in León, Mexico at leather shoe factories that prioritize people while offering flexibility in sizing and inventory through small-batch production. In the pursuit of ethical fashion and accessible luxury, Poppy Barley became the first company in North America to offer handcrafted footwear online.

Poppy Barley screens its factories for positive working conditions, including fair Wages and Benefits, Worker’s Rights and Freedoms, Health and Safety, and Training and Opportunity. Transparency about manufacturing is the cornerstone of who they are.

What to expect from her keynote 6 things I've learned from 6 years of scaling a business in Alberta

  • How they grew their startup from an online-only retailer into a brick and mortar presence.
  • How they've built social responsibility into their bottom line.
  • Trials and tribulations of navigating a complex supply chain and collaborating with an international team.
  • The value of staying curious, asking questions, and challenging your industry's status quo.

The Poppy Barley story

Justine Barber's story

Justine Barber is the co-founder of Poppy Barley, an ethical, omni-channel e-commerce footwear and accessories company rethinking every step of the leather goods industry. Justine has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta and a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis from the University of Kent. Prior to starting Poppy Barley with her sister in 2012, she worked in diverse fields, from consulting and conflict prevention to Alberta's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Justine recently won the University of Alberta’s Alumni Innovation Award for her work at Poppy Barley, and was recognized in Western Living’s “Ones to Watch” round up at the 2014 Designers of the Year Awards, as well as Global Edmonton’s Women of Vision. Justine lives in Edmonton, Canada, with her husband and two sons, Jude and Elliott.