Review: Poppy Barley

Soft-Oxford-Black-pair2_1024x1024Faithful readers will recall that I just posted a story on my latest Poppy Barley acquisitions… but that was before I had a chance to wear them. (Spoiler alert: They’re amazing!)

When Kendall and Justine Barber started Poppy Barley in 2012, I and my husband became enthusiastic supporters. We bought into their first kick-start fundraiser campaign, which provided me with my first riding boots. I became a Poppy Barley Ambassador (formally) and have been one ever since informally.

Since my first purchase, I have gone on to buy another pair of boots (black nubuck heeled), two pairs of ballet flats, one pair of smoking slippers, and a super comfy pair of block heeled booties. That was, until a couple of weeks ago.



I recently purchased the soft oxford in matte black, hands down the most comfortable flats that feel like slippers.

Super cute with jeans or ankle pants, these shoes are go-anywhere style and comfort.

I also bought the heeled loafers, which I wore just this week. Poppy Barley now puts squishy-comfy foam inside its shoes – and it makes all the difference. I wore these heeled loafers with a knit skirt and tights. Very cute. I will also wear them all winter with trousers because the block heel height is perfect. They’re very walkable.

Meanwhile, my wonderful husband owns a pair of men’s Edmonton oxford lace-up shoes in buffalo. He’s anxiously awaiting the day Poppy Barley makes a loafer style, without laces. He’ll be the first in line to buy!

Check out the amazing selection of shoes and boots at Poppy Barley.

(NOTE: I have received no compensation for this review – I’m just a huge fan.)


Introducing Duval artisan handbags

Duval handbags

Duval handbags may be relatively new on the scene, but it’s a dream come true for designer Esther Hempel.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet Esther and hear how she designs and manufactures her collection of handbags by hand.Duval tools of the trade

Yes, that’s right – everything is hand-crafted by Esther: hand-punched and hand-sewn.

These are gorgeous bags, made of the finest Canadian-sourced suedes and leathers. Esther’s care and attention to detail means that each bag takes about 14 hours for her to make. How did she begin her business?


“I learned to never settle,” says Esther. “Always go for your dreams.”

Duval handbags was launched in June 2016 and now includes a collection of eight handbags in styles including tote, cross-body, shoulder bag, wristlet and clutch.

“My collection is inspired with timeless styles, but with an edge,” said Esther. “They are versatile and go anywhere, from day to night.”

Esther also believes in giving back. “If we all do a little bit, we can make the world a better place,” she says. Esther donates 10% of her profits to the charity, A Better World Canada, which is currently supplying textbooks to Kenya.

Please visit her website, www.duvalcanada.com for more information and to purchase her well-crafted bags.

Another Edmonton fashion success story!