Poppy began in 1981 when Northern California native Barb McCormick realized there was no place to buy a handmade gift in her new town of Columbia, MO. She returned to California to travel the coast with her mother, Vera, in search of handmade gifts to start her small shop. Since then, Poppy has been bringing the best in handmade to the Midwest in order to delight and surprise their customers. After working for Barb since 2004, Liz Tucker took over the shop in 2011 (when Barb moved back to California!) to carry on the tradition of handmade...even traveling to Northern California at least once a year to travel the coast with Barb in search of new makers for the shop.
I met Liz on one of her trips to California back in 2014. She was a lovely person and I could not wait to get my jewelry into her shop!
To get ready for the event, I chatted with Liz to find out more about what made Poppy and the town of Columbia such a special place.
Describe the customer who frequents Poppy. What are they on the hunt for?
Our customer has a sincere appreciation for handmade, local businesses and supporting artists. They are seriously the best!
What requests or trends are you sensing right now?
All of the jewelry in the Midwest tends to be bigger in size, but smaller, almost minimal on the coast. I'm trying to bring that minimalist trend here!
How many designers do you carry?
We represent around 200 makers, designers, artists, small studios, etc.
What is interesting about your neighborhood in Columbia?
Downtown Columbia is sandwiched between three universities which means there is always something to do! Being in a college town also means that we have a natural ebb and flow...it slows down here considerably in the summer, so that's when all of the townies come out!
Do you have a favorite place for a meal or coffee nearby?
My favorite place to eat is Main Squeeze. It's a vegetarian restaurant that has been in business since the late 90s. The owner, Leigh, is an incredible human being who happens to serve delicious, healthy food. I always feel my best after eating there!
Is your store a part of any local organizations or charities?
We choose local non-profits each December to share our sales with. This past year we partnered with Greenbelt Land Trust, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and Citizen Jane (a film festival focused on women film makers, so cool!)
If we're in the neighborhood, what’s not to miss?