Kathryn McNally is on a mission. Speaking from Small Point, Newfoundland, where her namesake store Poppys Collection was born, Kathryn grew up in a family of entrepreneurs in this small town of just 70 people. After studying at Dalhousie University, and starting her retail career at TJX for a few years working retail and learning the ropes Kathryn always knew that owning her own business was her true calling.
Must be the Jeans (Genes?)
Taking the name from Poppy, or grandfather, Kathryn grew up surrounded by family, the youngest grandchild of 30 grandchildren. Of course, being the youngest of 30 meant a lot of hand-me-downs, clothing from the 60’s and 70’s weaving into 90’s attire, and Kathryn wouldn’t have it any other way. Timeless, well-made and certainly well-loved, the clothing was a reminder of shared family history, so when her nephew Sam came into the world and her mom struggled to find comfortable, quality clothing for her grandson, Poppys Collection was born.
Tired of seeing crappy clothing hauled over from overseas, Kathryn knew that there was a better way to wardrobe a child. Basics, like adorable cosy jammies from Petidoux are meant to be loved and loaned, while mom and me matchy looks like fringe coats from RYLEE + CRU are worthy of a photoshoot and a treasure chest.
With an online shop and two seasonal storefronts in Muskoka, Poppys Collection is a reminder of how clothing and fashion can seem so temporary, but good clothing is not only comfortable but timeless too. And a good reminder some things never change. “Boys are pickier than girls. A girl will still wear a dress if it is a little scratchier- boys won’t wear anything that isn’t comfortable.”
From The Desk of Kathryn McNally
Always looking to give others a leg up, we approached Kathryn, as a seasoned entrepreneur herself, what advice she’s received over the years to bolster her business.
Best Advice- Do not be afraid of failure, it’s going to happen, especially when you try new ideas!
Worst Advice- Corduroy is coming back in. I knew I should have left that in the 90’s.
She also hires younger people and pushes them towards discovering their own passions. “I got a lot of opportunities growing up fairly young, with internships and such. I got so much experience trying out so many jobs, that’s one thing I really try to help with my employees. I really try and help them, push them to try it out and figure out what did and what did we learn from doing that.”
Images courtesy Poppys Collection.