Running your own business in the 21st century is SO much more than just selling a product. With social media, people are able to connect with brands and personalities more so than ever! Marketing has turned from having the best slogan and logo, to sharing your “why” behind what you do. In today’s age, people want to know your story, your “Why Behind the Brand.” Why? Because people can relate to a story in ways more numerous than any marketing genius could ever devise! I want you to know “who” Poppy Row is, not just “what!”
Poppy Row is more than a clothing line. It's a mission.
Growing up I always thought I’d run my own business. (Entrepreneurship runs in the family!) With its alliteration, my name, Crystal Cave, naturally seemed to lend itself to the perfect business name! But after a while of running my Crystal Cave Style business, I lost my passion for what I was doing and was at a crossroads.
I’ve always been a rule follower. As a child, I had to know what was “allowed” and what the expectations were for any endeavor. I was always looking for someone else’s instruction!
So, I went to design school! If you read my first blog, you’ll learn a little more behind the inspiration for how I wanted Poppy Row clothing to make a woman feel. I walked into design school wanting to learn how to create beautiful clothes for people to wear that were practical. I wanted the “Crystal Cave” clothing line to be a classic and timeless look, and that’s what I set out to create. I went to design school, again, looking for instruction, looking for someone else to tell me what to do.
In design school, I was listening to what my professors were telling me to do. Although I was making artful designs, I wasn’t happy with what I was producing. Looking back, I was creating the clothes they wanted in order to ensure that “A,” essentially. But I wasn’t listening to what my heart wanted! Halfway through design school, I had an epiphany. I decided I was going to stick to creating the classic and practical clothes I set out to design. From there, I began finding a creative passion. Through the whole process, I had been listening to other people, while entirely neglecting my heart. Listening to other people wasn’t getting me anywhere!
After leaving design school, I was continuing under the name “Crystal Cave.” But again found myself at a bit of a crossroads! When I was in Italy, I saw a way of life I hadn’t experienced before. The Italians are set in their ways. They don’t look to someone else to tell them how to dress or how to act. There was such freedom in that mentality! I began to realize that that freedom was what I truly wanted my clothing line to be about, the freedom to fully and confidently be yourself! I realized my mission wasn’t about me! It was SO much more! So, in choosing to listen to that, I needed to change my brand’s name.
I can’t tell you how many URLs and trademarks I tried that were either taken or just didn’t seem to fit. So, I took time to meditate. I asked myself, “Where is the place I want every woman to feel when she puts on a piece of clothing?” Suddenly, an image of the road sign, “Music Row,” where my family’s lake house is appeared in my head. This lead me to think of my grandfather, Poppy, who had recently passed away. Ever since his passing, I had been seeing Poppies everywhere! Poppy was always the example of true entrepreneurship to me. Though he’s passed away, his influence over my life is as present as ever, especially in that moment.
When I was 12 years old, Poppy asked me what I wanted to be, and I told him I wanted to be a clothing designer. He taught me I could do anything I wanted to do. He encouraged me to be a woman of both beauty and intelligence. Recalling his memory, suddenly things just clicked. “Poppy Row” made perfect sense.
I wanted to create a clothing line for women who know they are both beautiful and intelligent. So many women want to be a Marilyn or an Audrey, but I always wanted to be a Jacki O. To me, she’s the epitome of an original style icon, a woman of beauty and intelligence. The wheels of creativity started to turn…
In honor of Poppy, I was set on using “Poppy Row” as my new line’s name. Curious, I went on to research the word “poppy.” What did I find? On Urban Dictionary,“Poppy is absolutely stunning, although she chooses to deny the fact…She isn’t just beautiful, but intelligent as well…she is extremely quiet, due to the fact she is hiding something big….”
The culmination of “Poppy Row” has been an ever evolving process to check-in and listen to myself. Sometimes, we try to force the design process! But there’s so much freedom to be found when we allow ourselves to step back and listen to our hearts, to truly be ourselves. I stopped doing what the world tells so many of us to do. Especially with fashion trends, we’re constantly being told what to wear, what looks good, who to look like. “Poppy Row” is a clothing line for women who know they are beautiful, women who know they are intelligent, and who dare to live the lives they want, in clothes that makes them feel like their best selves!