No matter what clothes you’re wearing, your shoes have the potential to completely change your entire outfit. With that being said, having a well-curated collection of shoes that match a variety of outfits, can bring your wardrobe to a whole new level.

Enter Poppy Barley, a Canadian luxury footwear brand that’s rethinking every step of the fashion industry—from design to factory relationships to retail experience, founded by sisters, Kendall & Justine Barber who stand by the motto of “buying less, and buying better”.

We had a chance to catch up with Poppy Barley’s Co-CEO Kendall Barber on what inspired the brand, the three shoes every woman should have in her closet and more. Read the entire interview below.

RfR: Can you tell us about Poppy Barley, how did your idea come to be?

KB: After a light bulb moment at a handcrafted boot shop in Bali, my sister Justine and I launched Poppy Barley in 2012. We saw an opportunity to create better fitting, more luxurious tall boots – and eventually ankle boots, flats, handbags and leather accessories. We had no experience in the footwear industry. Our first task was to find partners with deep footwear expertise. We travelled to León, Mexico in search of a leather shoe factory that prioritized its people and could offer flexibility in sizing and inventory through small-batch manufacturing. Collaborating with factory owners and artisans, Poppy Barley started producing beautiful footwear and accessories designed for modern life.

Photo Courtesy of Poppy Barley

RfR: How did you manage to stand out in such a competitive space?

KB: We have a philosophy that people buy from us because they share our values – they believe it’s possible to wear beautiful, comfortable shoes without sacrificing the environment, people or ethical standards. This is our definition of #luxuryforthepeople.

A size inclusive brand, we offer Women’s footwear in sizes 5 to 12 and Men’s in sizes 5 to 15. We also provide an exclusive made-to-order service that delivers luxurious, calf-fitted tall boots, as well as extended width footwear from narrow to wide.

RfR: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received and why?

KB: Just get started. I’m a recovering perfectionist. If I waited for “perfect”, Poppy Barley would have never happened. There’s something liberating about believing, starting, and learning/improving as you go is the only way forward.

RfR: What brings you the most joy at work?

KB: Our company value of business for good. This is rooted in the idea that business is a platform to do amazing things. Poppy Barley is a B Corporation, meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. We donate 1% of our sales back into our communities. Growth as a company equals more impact in our communities, factories and the lives of the people of Poppy Barley.

RfR: What are some of the key advantages of starting a business with a sibling?

KB: We share a lot of the same values. We trust each other. We love each other first as sisters, second as business partners. We take care of each other as humans first. It fuels our belief that work only works when life works.

RfR: What’s one thing you haven’t accomplished yet?

KB: There’s a lot I haven’t accomplished yet – and I hope the list is always long. There’s a lot to strive for in life. As I get older, I’m very motivated by the future world I’m creating for my daughter and nephews.

Photo Courtesy of Poppy Barley

RfR: What are the 3 pairs of shoes every woman should own in her closet?

KB: 1. A pair of ankle boots that you can do your whole life in., 2. A great pair of flats. #fasterinflats, 3. A ridiculous pair of shoes – bright colour, bold design – that make you unbelievably happy when you wear them.

To learn more about Poppy Barley, visit poppybarley.com.