Using $500 of childcare money, Taylor Lehde launched her online business Hazel & Poppy Boutique just two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered retailers, restaurants and more in March 2020 Even based online, Lehde was right to throw in the towel after that. obstacle; it was actually the second iteration of Hazel & Poppy, the first of which only lasted six months after she found out she was pregnant in 2017 at age 22.
In just a year and a half, however, Lehde has made Hazel & Poppy 2.0 a go-to store for residents of the fashionable metro area through a mix of savvy social media marketing, teasing and frequent drops of new newcomers, and partnerships and collaborations with locals. influencers, as well as selling eye-catching staples and basics in neutral tones and comfortable fits.
How would you describe the Hazel & Poppy brand and the style of the offerings?
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I am mom. I am practical; things are real; we aim for comfort. I hesitate to describe Hazel & Poppy as a trendy boutique because even if we are, we are much more. We focus heavily on neutrals, and most of our pieces aren’t meant for just one occasion – you can style them many ways and keep taking them out of your closet for day, night, beach, office , drinks, shopping. We lean towards the clasps on statement pieces. I say it’s “fashionable wearable” – items that an ordinary person will actually wear, look and feel good about.
What are some of your bestsellers?
Our seamless basics are impossible to keep in stock. Bodysuits, crop tops, biker shorts, leggings and more – everyone loves them. They have incredible elasticity and are super comfortable. And whenever we restock just about any of our flannels, including our early fall linen flannels, they’re back in seconds. They are so versatile and can be worn so many ways.
What trendy styles are you seeing this fall?
Collars on anything – bodysuits, dresses, blouses – they are in in a big way. I think it’s because they can so easily be dressed up or down or even worn in a professional setting, and they’re so flattering on everyone. And of course, slippers [shirt jackets] were huge last year and not going anywhere this fall. Leather is going to be even bigger this year – pants, skirts, tops, jackets – and split denim is another popular item with our customers. The blazers take off; lots of two-tone and monochromatic pieces also have their place.
I’m so glad you didn’t say low rise jeans.
I refuse. No. I am a mom; it doesn’t happen. I carried two children, and I will never carry them again. You won’t see those from me.
Do you have an early memory of falling in love with fashion or retail?
I started my first business when I was about 9 years old: I sold flip flops made with these pieces of knotted fabric… They were then ugly. They looked like mops on your feet. But it was a thing then! I sold them to all the neighborhood kids and moms – everyone had these flip flops.
I was never good at school or books, but I loved to create. I started an Etsy page with a monogramming business, which I loved for a while and was very successful, but it didn’t fill my cup and was very tedious. I switched to printing words and phrases on graphic t-shirts, and that’s when I realized these are clothes – it is what i should do. I’ve always been the person all my friends came to borrow clothes from for any occasion. I’ve always been a big buyer and had a love for entrepreneurship and didn’t want to work for someone else. It took a while for it all to line up, but I’m so glad they did.
How do you maintain clarity and stay inspired?
It’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others and pushing for more, bigger, better. I always try to keep perspective on how far I’ve come in such a short time. With my children and my family, women who do things for themselves – and honestly, just do things, do [things] to arrive and pursue their dreams – is simply the most inspiring thing for me.