Kathryn McNally, Founder, Poppys Collection

Kathryn McNally, Founder, Poppys Collection

Kathryn is the founder of Poppys Collection, an online site for unique and sustainable baby gifts in Canada.

What is your morning routine?

I have to be active – for my own sanity! Every morning I either spend an hour doing pilates, lifting weights or hitting a spin class. For me, personally, it’s so important to have an outlet for stress and just “me” time. It’s the one hour I take completely to myself, where I am not on my phone or a computer.

Tell us about your career path

I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur – even when I was a little girl, I dreamt of opening up the largest department store in Toronto. I pictured the store sprawling over large city blocks. I have now adapted this idea to better serve the market in 2017!

After completing a Commerce Degree at Dalhousie University, I spent my first few working years at large international retailers where I held various roles at both the retail and head office level. I started Poppys Collection in late 2016 to chase after my dream of having a successful store and providing quality goods to consumers.

I would love to see Poppys Collection as the top destination for unique and sustainable baby gifts in Canada. I really love developing partnerships with other female entrepreneurs/artisans and providing them with a platform to share their amazing talents. This season, I’m really excited about our new partnership with OVer and Frannie + Lilo, two incredible Canadian businesses with charitable ties.

What challenges do you or women face in your industry?

I think the biggest challenge I face right now is the perception that I have to be a mom in order to start a business for babies. I love children and look forward to becoming a mother someday, but right now, I treasure being an aunt to my adorable nephew. I am fortunate to be surrounded by strong, smart mothers and grandmothers that are able to give me insight on what products work and don’t work.

What advice would you give to young girls who want to be the NEXT you?

Make your own opportunities – don’t wait for someone to hand you one to you or to make it easy. Take initiative and own your successes, as well as your failures. Everyone makes mistakes, but people will respect you if you take ownership of yours and learn from them.

How do you separate work life from your personal life?

Ha… I am still working on this one! For me, it’s really a pendulum; there are days where I work too much and then there are days where my phone is off and I am busy enjoying myself either skiing or splashing around in the lake.

I think that balancing both work and play will always be a work in progress for people, and the key is to not be too hard on yourself when you swing one way more than the other. Everything is always in flux and it’s important to embrace it, especially if you decide to be an entrepreneur.

What inspires you?

My dad really inspires me. He has become an industry leader in his chosen field, but still, finds time to answer my daily calls for advice and guidance. I really admire that he has numerous asks of his time, but still manages to find the time to take a long walk and chat (and by a “walk” I mean, he walks and I must jog slightly in order to keep up with him).

When you’re off the clock, what are your indulgences?

Cottage time with friends and a great glass of wine.

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