Natalie Dusome of Poppy & Peonies
Meet Natalie Dusome, founder and designer behind Poppy & Peonies, a handbag company specializing in affordable bags that can be worn multiple ways to suit the busy lives of the women that wear them.
Natalie studied Design at Ryerson University in Toronto and was recruited by Abercrombie & Fitch halfway through her fourth year, she took the position and moved to Ohio, which opened the door for other opportunities. She then moved to Dallas, Texas, where she got her start in handbag design at Fossil. Dusome later moved to New York City, and accepted a job at Banana Republic where she was able to design both men and women's bags. After 4 years in the US, she moved back to Canada and approached Aldo for a position as a handbag designer. She stayed at Aldo for 5 years before giving birth to her daughter, Poppy, and starting Poppy & Peonies.
Natalie had always dreamed of starting her own company, but it wasn't until she became a mom and experienced a total shift in lifestyle that the idea for Poppy & Peonies came to her. She struggled to find fashion that worked with her new life as a mom. She didn't have time to switch her bags out, and change her look like she used to. She needed functional fashion and couldn't find it. That's when the light bulb went off, and she had a vision for Poppy & Peonies.
A typical day for Natalie starts bright and early at 5:30 AM. She grabs a coffee and answers her overseas emails so that she can catch them with the time difference. If she's lucky, she'll squeeze in a morning workout before her 3 year old daughter wakes up, and then the two eat breakfast and get ready for the day. She then heads to the office, checks in with her team, and goes over her schedule for the day. A single day for her is filled with a mix of tasks, from reviewing the marketing calendar and posting social media content, to correcting design samples, reviewing budgets, and dealing with logistical delays. She finishes her work days around 5 and heads home to spend time with Poppy, completely disconnecting herself from work until Poppy goes to bed.
Poppy & Peonies sells online, as well as through customer-to-customer Influencer sales with Pop-Up Socials, where they bring the collection directly to the living rooms of their busy customers. She wanted to create an affordable handbag line that offered functional bags that you could wear different ways, but that were trendy, fun, and cute. A lot of the moms she knew rarely shopped or made time for themselves,so she thought that if she could make it easy, accessible, and bring fashion directly to their living rooms with a Pop-Up Social, her customers could have a built-in girls night shopping combo.
Natalie's favorite Poppy & Peonies bag is the Jetsetter. Because she's always on the go, this bag fits everything she needs and more. She travels a lot and uses it as an airplane carry-on, and because it's reversible, she can flip it and use it as a beach bag.
Looking forward, Natalie is working on extending the Poppy & Peonies product line and growing into accessories. She wants to introduce fun earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and sunglasses to start. She hopes to expand to new companies, reach a larger audience, and build Poppy & Peonies to be a globally recognized brand.