Building a company is a brave move. It’s probably one of the bravest moments in an entrepreneur’s life. My father was an entrepreneur. Growing up, I watched him build and sell his businesses that were like his babies, come into some hard times, pick himself back up, and do everything all over again. And the joy he had while doing it all always inspired me.
My mom always told me, “Melissa, never depend on anyone. Stand on your own two feet, and stand tall. Do your own thing.” I suspect she was a big reason why my father got through all those tough times. And for years, that’s what women were – the “great support staff”. But in the last century, gender roles became blurred; and it could not have brought better results.
Women started building companies, they started building visions, and they started creating things for women BY women. And a lot of the times, they’re still handling most of the work at home. Their stories never cease to amaze me.
Poppy and Peonies is one of those stories. A story of a woman who begged her mom for fashion magazines growing up, dreamed big, and brought that dream to fruition. And boy, does it get my juices going.
Natalie Dusome is the woman behind the e-commerce store, Poppy and Peonies. She put in the years and has designs for Fossil, Banana Republic, and Aldo to show for it. She’s not just a fashion designer though, she’s also a mom. And moms are the people in the world who make (arguably) the largest sacrifices.
After becoming a working mom, she found a void in the handbag market – practical fashion. Something that was trendy, affordable, and versatile that could transform as quickly as a mother’s day does (or really, any working woman). The reality is that men really just don’t have to remember a compact, a lipstick, panty hoes, a refreshing mist, and… don’t forget everything in the baby bag.
Natalie’s daughter Poppy inspired the name of the company. Poppy and Peonies is also proudly Canadian. And that makes my heart sing like no other. I can’t imagine any better incubator than the country I call my home.
Poppy and Peonies’ story hits close to home for me – the belief that women can design their futures the way they want, not have to give up on their career aspirations to have a family, and the understanding of an often tough reality.
Not only does the philosophy of the company kick ass, so does their business model. You can become a consultant for the brand, host shopping parties, and make money on the side or as a stay-at-home mom. It’s proof that Natalie and her team’s work truly embodies female empowerment.
I picked up the Foldover Black bag, which is made of beautifully high quality vegan leather and hardware. To be quite honest, I was surprised when I received it. At an under $100 price point, I wasn’t expecting this level of quality.
The bag easily transitions from a shoulder bag, crossbody bag, clutch, or a wristlet. It also has compartments for credit cards and tons of zipper pockets. Basically, it’s the do-it-all bag… just like your badass #BOSSGIRL.
It makes me ecstatic to hear about brands like Poppy and Peonies. I truly believe that when we all start seeing more woman doing something uniquely matched to them, we’ll truly make a change