BIZ TALK: NATALIE DUSOME OF POPPIES AND PEONIES
On this edition of Biz Talk, we’re chatting with Natalie, the Founder of Canadian fashion and accessory brand, Poppy & Peonies.
Poppy & Peonies was born out of a desire to create functional fashion for moms and busy women on the go. What began as a line of handbags has since grown into a thriving fashion line that celebrates self-love and empowerment. Natalie has received business mentorship from our very own Co-Founder and CEO, Ashley, so we wanted to get the scoop on some of her learnings and learn more about the exciting things Poppy & Peonies is up to!
Our Co-Founder and CEO, Ashley has been a business mentor to you. What kind of advice did she give you? Now that you are a successful entrepreneur yourself, what guidance would you provide for people looking to start their own business?
Ashley has been such an incredible mentor to me. It still fascinates me how she has the time to mentor, but it speaks volumes about her character and how she prioritizes giving back. I’ve learned so many valuable lessons from her, some of my faves are (that I would also give to anyone looking to start a business):
- Collaboration over competition—we’re stronger together. Ashley is the Queen of Collabs. She has earned that title and has been guiding me through the ins and outs of successful collaborations.
- Don’t take no for an answer; no is up for negotiation, keep pushing and keep trying.
- Get clear on what your brand values are and align with brands and partners who share those same values.
Where do you get creative inspiration for your designs?
It’s a combination of so many things. I look at my customer and think about what’s happening in her life and what her needs are this season. I look at trend forecasts, the runway, street style trends and our past best sellers. I always get my best ideas when I let my mind wander and travel is another huge source of inspiration for me. Over the years I’ve learned to lean into my gut instinct when it comes to design. If I’m loving it, chances are my customers will love it too.
How do you ensure you make time for self-care in your busy schedule as a business owner and mom?
It’s hard! I wish I made time and incorporated self-care into my daily routine, but I often don’t, especially when I am busy and need it the most! I’m trying to get better and listen to my body, when I’m feeling stressed or anxious by taking a time out and trying to meditate. My favourite form of self-care is catching up with my girlfriends over a glass of wine and laughing so hard my cheeks are hurt. I think it’s good for the soul.
Sustainability is important to your brand. How is Poppy & Peonies working to reduce its environmental footprint?
Preserving the health and welfare of our planet as well as the people and animals who live on it is incredibly important to us. We’ve a cruelty-free vegan brand so that helps with our carbon footprint. We use recycled, biodegradable and compostable packaging for our products, but there’s still more we want to do within our supply chain the sustainability of our materials.
Describe your dream mommy-and-me day with Poppy.
If I could dream up any day, Poppy and I would be having a tea party at Giraffe Manor, feeding baby giraffes in Kenya on a real African Safari. Poppy and I love tea parties and animals and would love to see them in their natural habit.
What other Canadian fashion brands do you love to support?
We have so much talent in Canada. I love supporting female-founded brands and some of my faves are Omi Woods, Jenny Bird, Knix, Brunette the Label, Imagine Perry and Lesley Hampton is so dreamy.
When we can start to travel again, where will you be packing up your Poppy & Peonies bags and jetting off to??
I’ve been dying to spend time in Australia! I love the design aesthetic and vibe and dream about taking an inspiration road trip around Australia with Poppy any my hubby in a vintage VW Kombi.
You’re an entrepreneurial inspiration, Natalie! Thanks for sharing some of your wisdom with us 😊