Exciting things are happening for Rebekah Adams, CEO of Poppyseed. As a member of Fashion Group International, she has made the most of every opportunity to build her clothing line. From participating in our mentorship program to being selected to showcase her new collection at the Independent Designer Runway Show at Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection. We caught up with her at her studio in downtown Tacoma to learn more about her brand and get a sneak peek of what we’ll see on September 21st.
How did you come up with the name for your line?
It’s actually super personal. I was about six months pregnant at the time. We actually called our baby “Poppyseed” because when you’re four weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a poppy seed. One day my friend, who’s in PR and marketing, and I were at a café brainstorming ideas for the brand. The baby was kicking me and I said “Poppyseed, calm down. Mom needs to work.” I immediately froze and looked up to her and said, “What if we call it ‘Poppyseed’?” We both got chills. It was so perfect. Also, my husband and I are originally from California and the state flower is the poppy so it just has a lot of personal connections. It means a lot that even though we have a boy (Teddy), Poppyseed still lives on through the brand.
How do you balance your responsibilities as a military wife and new mom with the demands of producing a clothing line?
I’m learning new things every day. I’m actually on a break from social media for the next two months because I’m a sole entrepreneur. Being a military spouse and mother of a toddler requires me to focus on prioritizing my responsibilities. Social media is extremely important, but right now focusing my time and energy on my collection is more important so that I have quality products. I need to have time to take a look inside my brand to decide what I want to offer my clients because they’re who I’m doing this for. I want to make their lives better and easier with good products. It’s also important to be really honest about what I can and can’t handle and knowing when to ask for help.
Your “Watch Her Hustle” blog series does a great job of defining your brand and your target customer base. What inspired you to develop the series?
I love writing and I almost went to school for journalism, but design took over and kind of kidnapped me. I realized one day that I’m surrounded by plenty of female entrepreneurs. I think that’s really powerful and I love the idea of showing other people that. If there’s a girl in her teens who is considering becoming a writer, but she’s unsure of herself, having a blog to follow that features women who’ve had those same doubts but still managed to become successful is important to me. Having a place to highlight women who thrive in many different fields is a cool way to bring the community of women together and empower each other. Women are hardcore. We can go through a lot and come out on the other side and still be passionate, caring, smart and kick-ass. Just being able to showcase that is really cool.
Who was your favorite person to interview for the series and why?
My sister. She was the first person we interviewed. She currently in Hawaii starting a non-profit for international justice, Do Justice Coalition. She just completed her first school where women from all over the world traveled to Hawaii for two months to focus on international justice practices. She’s so humble about it, but it’s definitely a major accomplishment.
When and why did you become a member of FGI?
When I applied for IDRS in 2014, I met Marj Turner, one of the mentors and she mentioned how joining FGI would be a great way to join a community of local designers. I was new to the area and really excited to meet new people. I did some research on the organization and found that FGI was organized as a way for female designers to gain momentum in the industry. I joined because it’s a great way to network and I’m all about community. It’s really hard as a female entrepreneur to not compare yourself to everyone else and not feel like you’re competing with other designers. FGI is an open book in regards to the resources and networking that it affords its members. It’s definitely a cool opportunity to be a part of something bigger.
Having a place to highlight women who thrive in many different fields is a cool way to bring the community of women together and empower each other. Women are hardcore. We can go through a lot and come out on the other side and still be passionate, caring, smart and kick-ass.
What is the most important thing you learned from your experience with the FGI Mentorship Program?
To be honest, I was in a really vulnerable and fragile state because, at the time, I was contracting with another company, I was still trying to build Poppyseed, I just started the mentorship program and I was trying to get pregnant. Luckily, my mentor was Marj Turner. She basically swooped in, grabbed my shoulders and snapped me into focus. She was with me through the course of the pregnancy and afterward while I dealt with post-partum depression. The biggest thing I took away from it was that she was able to cross the line of mentorship to become a friend being able to speak into my life through love because she really cares about me. She was able to encourage me to trust myself to just go for it. Having someone there to be a guiding force reminding me of who I am and shaping me to become an even stronger version of myself was something I’ll always appreciate.
Congratulations on being selected as a designer for this year’s Independent Designer Runway Show at Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection! Overall, what has the experience been like so far?
It’s been really good. I’m very impressed with how they’ve changed in the last three years. I know I can trust the mentors. The marketing team for the show has also been great. Everyone is very attentive and there to support all of us. I feel safe and I know that I’m being cultivated to be a stronger designer. I hope that my collection is going to speak to that.
Hey guys! Sorry I've been a little MIA around here, but I've been busy working on my #idrs2017 collection for @bellevuecollection and playing with the most adorable toddler everrr. In any case, this is a big week for us with another installment of Watch Her Hustle coming atcha tomorrow AND selling at @fgiseattle 3rd Annual Designer Showcase at @roomandboard in @shopuvillage on Thursday! Hope you all have a great Monday, time to get back at it! xx, Rebekah #PoppyseedClothing P.S fav mom jeans ever from @uxctacoma 💁🏻👖🍑
What is your favorite piece from the collection that you’re producing for IDRS and why?
That’s a tough one. I really like the new zipper dress because it’s updated and I think it’s better. I’m excited to see the new version on the runway. I also really like the sheer dress with a full zipper, embroidery and screen printing. It’s a really nice layering piece and for me, that gives a lot of dimension to the look. I think that’s what I’m going for with this collection because I feel like I have so much more layers to my life now. Having a piece that represents that, but is still being cohesive to the collection is beautiful.
What are your goals for Poppyseed for the next three years?
Well, there’s the magic word, Nordstrom, but I’m not going to speak that over myself yet. For me, honestly, the biggest thing is making my current followers and true fans of the brand happy. Being really open to feedback and giving them products that they can love to use in their everyday lives. Hosting more pop-up shops and getting into more boutiques is ultimately what every brand wants. But I think wherever this takes me, the main thing is being true to who you are, being true to your brand and what you want your brand to give back to your dream clients. I think there’s a lot of pressure to do what other people are doing, but I’m really trying to hone in on what I’m doing and how I can produce products that can solve problems, make people happy and still feel gorgeous.
We can’t wait to see the new looks in action on the runway at IDRS this September. If you want to witness the collection first hand, be sure to purchase your tickets to the show at fashionweekbellevue.com. Feel free to shop the Poppyseed capsule collection at poppyseedclothing.com and follow Poppyseed on Instagram and Twitter.
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FGI Members: Interested in a feature on your collection or company? Shoot us an email and tell us about all the exciting things you’re doing! We’ll set up a time to chat about your fashion business.