Daphne Mallory (born in Liberia) is an aspiring television producer, founder of the Daphne Mallory Foundation, media personality and columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine, The Huffington Post and Times News Magic Valley. She has been featured on ABC, NBC, Fox News, CBS, Billboard Magazine, Essence and more. She hosts "Family Business with Daphne Mallory" on 103.9 FM KDKI. She is an advocate for senior citizens and organized the first ever Senior Advisory Commission in Twin Falls, Idaho.
your business a family business? (w/ spouse and/or
We’re sisters, as well as the co-founders of Poppy Barley.
2.How did you come into the business?
(transferred, hired by parents? Founder?)
Growing up as runners, we constantly struggled to find boots
that comfortably fit our calves and wide feet. Then in 2012, I (Justine) traveled to Bali where I discovered the art of
custom-made shoes. I was inspired by the concept of having shoes specifically
designed for my feet. When I returned from my trip, I immediately shared this
notion with my sister, Kendall. We noticed a void in the marketplace and agreed
that beautiful, custom footwear should be accessible – and attainable – to
anyone with access to measuring tape and the internet. We set out with a
mission to create beautiful, made-to-order shoes that would fit better, feel
better and live better and a few months later, Poppy Barley was born.
your family business experience unique? How is it different from
running a "typical" small business?
4.What makes Poppy Barley unique?
There are a few key factors that set Poppy Barley apart from
other companies, including:
·The Very First – Poppy Barley is the
first fashion company in North America to offer made-to-order boots online.
·The Transparency – Poppy Barley engages in
an open, honest dialogue. We welcome questions about where our products come
from, artisan wages, factory conditions, prices, etc. At Poppy Barley, we will
always reveal the “why” behind our decision-making. We believe in transparent
order to create an elevated customer experience and a better fitting shoe.
·The Belief – Poppy Barley believes in
“Luxury for the People,” valuing craftsmanship, thoughtful design, fair
profits and human connection.
·The Footwear – All Poppy Barley
footwear is meticulously and ethically handcrafted with the finest
materials and all-leather components sourced within a 22 mile radius of “The
Shoe Capital of World,” León, Mexico.
·The Price Point – Poppy Barley believes
in justified pricing. Our footwear is offered at unheard price points in
the custom goods industry. This is made possible by cutting out the middlemen
in traditional retail models.
·The Materials –At Poppy Barley we choose
only the top materials and methodologies to create our shoes: Full grain
leathers--from cow, calf and goat to deer and bison--sourced from a family-run
tannery; padded leather insoles; meticulous craftsmanship; made-to-order processes.
·The Fit – We share a firm belief
that “one size DOESN’T fit all.” By
providing an easy, multi-step measurement process, Poppy Barley shoes fit
better, feel better and live better.
5.What do you love
about family business?
When your personal relationship existed long before the business
relationship, you have a clear sense of who your business partner is – there’s
an established sense of trust, respect and honesty that can take years for
non-related business partners to establish. Most of all, you care first about
the person – this value extends across the company culture and putting people
before profits is deeply engrained in your actions as a company.
6.What do you hate
about family business?
You know each so well you can read each other’s expressions; it
makes “hiding” your thoughts virtually impossible and doesn’t allow time to
think through a scenario and re-approach with a clear head.
Sometimes work is too integrated into life. Family dinners and
holidays become venues for discussing the business instead of a break from
7.What's a myth
about family business you'd like to debunk?
Myth: There’s lots of fighting in family businesses. We do not
argue or disagree any more than other business partners. And, we have an
advantage when we do disagree – we know how to fight. We’ve been disagreeing
and resolving issues together for 30+ years.
8.What three things have been key to your
a.Shared vision: As
co-founders, we have a shared vision for Poppy Barley and, as siblings, never
doubt the other’s commitment or contribution. This is critical. It allows our
disagreements/discussions to be rooted in a difference of perspective, and not
something petty like who’s working harder, or worse, about entirely different
end-goals for the company. Beyond an alignment of vision, we share a passion
forbuilding Poppy Barley. Our
passion drives our discipline to execute our vision—to discuss, debate, argue,
and move forward.
b.Clear Division of Responsibility:We’re
on the same page about vision and strategic decisions, but we each have
decision-making authority and responsibility over our own areas. This is vital
for getting things done.
c.Excelling in Uncertainty Together: Entrepreneurial
companies are in the business of inventing themselves. Uncertainty hits every
part of your business. Constant uncertainty takes an entrepreneur to the edge.
We moved a lot growing up. Every couple of years our dad was transferred for
work and we’d be whisked away to a new town, new school, new environment, etc.
We braved this uncertainty together. Being in an unknown situation with Justine
feels completely normal; it’s something we’ve been doing our entire lives.
9.Has being a family difference made a
difference in your sales?
Yes, we believe being sisters allows us
to better a team. For all the reasons above – shared vision, people before
profits, great in uncertainty, ability to debate/argue – we are building a
better company and sales is one measure of success.
10.What difference has
your family business made in your community?
We are active participants in our
community. We guest lecture at local universities/colleges on topics of
entrepreneurship, marketing, supply chain management and product development.
We are active advocates in our community’s startup scene. Through our company
(and personally), we make donations to charities. We mentor students and recent
graduates. We truly believe our company is platform to make a difference. We
make a difference everyday with every decision we make in our business.
11.Would you advise siblings to start
a business together? Why or why not?
Some siblings should start a business
together; many should not. Being related does not make you well-suited to start
a business. Just like any other founders, you need to explore the possibility
of working together and have some serious, hard conversations.
Interestingly, in Mexico (where we make
our shoes), most people work in a family business – it’s very normal. There’s a
lot we can learn from them.
a day in the life of working with your sister? (share a rough outline of
your family and business daily life… Do you have meals
together? How much of your actual work day is spent together?)
We spent a LOT of time together! 3-4
times a day, we meet at 6am to run together. Then by 9am, we’re back in the
office together. Our desks are 5ft apart from each other. Throughout the work
day, we spend approximately 25% of our time directly working together. The
remainder of the day, we work with our respective teams. Outside of work we
socialize together 2-3 times a week with friends and family. Plus, we travel together
frequently for both work and leisure.