Sisters Bridget and Kylie are the creative duo behind the vibrant, hand-painted accessories label with a cult following, Poppy Lane Designs.
Poppy Lane was born in 2017 after a family tragedy saw the sisters find joy in healing by splashing colours on a canvas to discover their signature bright, relaxed style.
With seven children between them, all are involved in the painting process and make it their mission to have some serious fun along the way.
Based in Toowoomba, Queensland, the Poppy Lane team are proud of their local roots. Bridget and Kylie work to bring their colourful vision to life alongside nine talented local women who paint, make and sew their highly sought-after goodies.
Poppy Lane products can be found in over 80 stores around Australia and internationally in London, Italy, America and New Zealand.
We sat down with Bridget for a virtual chat to talk all things Poppy Lane and our newest collab range of five stunning designs for the Park/Life collection.
Q. You are a woman of many talents! You have a background in interior design, which we can see used to great effect in your light filled Toowoomba home. What led you to make the career change to artist and handmade accessory and jewellery designer?
So sweet of you, thank you! I was on maternity leave with our first daughter, Poppy, when we lost my Brother-in-Law in a gyrocopter accident, leaving my sister Kylie, pregnant with their fourth child. This saw our little family relocate to Charleville in outback Queensland to help support Kylie however we could. I wondered what I could do creatively to stay sane, and a series of very cool events later, a fabulous local shop Charlotte’s Nest asked me to make a few things for her shop that she had seen me pop on facebook. The rest is history!
Q. Poppy Lane is famous for your use of bold, bright colours. Tell us why everyone needs a little bit of colour in their lives?
Colour makes everyone happy and brings out the big kid in all of us!
Q. At Picnic Season, we are firm believers that art isn't just for walls, and we love that you share our sentiments. Your range includes statement earrings, clutches, laptop cases and keyrings. Tell us how you came up with the idea for your own range of products?
Complete trial and error! Lots of hours playing with different ideas to see what worked best. Being open minded enough to let new ideas in but stubborn enough to stick to my guns about what I thought customers would love.
Q. What is it about small biz life that motivates you?
The flexibility to work to my strengths, and around the kids.
Q. What's been your biggest Poppy Lane Designs moment so far?
I would have to say the community it has built for me. Not just customers, but fellow women who care, share advice and back each other. I love that aspect of having a small business on Instagram.
The biggest pinch me moment was probably when we supplied our first international wholesale order. That was pretty cool!
Q. One piece of advice you'd give to other makers wanting to grow their handmade brand?
Start. Just start! You won’t start with a million followers or customers, but you’ll never get one if you don’t start. Often people say to me, “oh, I need to get my ducks in a row, then I’ll do this or that”. Let me tell you, no ducks are in any rows over here, just get started and things will fall into line. Back yourself and go for it!
Q. Where did you find the inspiration for the Park/Life collection?
Two fabulous and very talented artists paint for Poppy Lane; Kylie, and Hanalie who is a beautiful friend. These women are mums who paint in and around their kids while juggling home schooling, single Mumming and everything else life in 2020 has thrown at us!
Inspiration comes from far and wide. Kylie’s in the bush, Hanalie lives at the beach, I’m in town in Toowoomba, so we have a wonderful mix. What we have in common is that we all find solace and sanity in getting out and spending time at the local park. As anyone with young kids will know, the park is basically your life!
Q. If you could sum up the collection in one phrase, what would it be?
Fun! In what has been for many a not so fun year.
Q. Are you a Podcast person? What's your fave?
Not so much Podcasts but look, I’m guilty of a little Netflix while I work away making earrings. At the moment it’s Good Girls!
Q. Guilty pleasure TV show?
Any and all Reality TV. Don’t judge me.
Q. What is your most favourite thing about going on a picnic?
That good friends and good times are usually involved, and that the kids don’t leave a giant mess.
Shop the Picnic Season x Poppy Lane collection here.