If you would have told me a year ago that I would be here today in this very moment, I can tell you - I'm not sure I would believe you. In sharing stories with not only a dear friend, but talented founder of Poppy Louise Co., we connected over experiences and projects that have gotten us to where we are today.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Erin Pawlik and I am excited to share with you her journey not only show off the incredible company Erin has worked so hard to build, but to provide some insight for another eager and aspiring woman seeking to change the world! A beautiful example of, as cliche as it sounds, if you can dream it - you can do it.
Tell us a bit about you!
Erin: My name is Erin Louise Pawlik and I’m currently entering my senior year of college at Michigan State! I’m majoring in Communications with a double minor in graphic design and health promotion. I’m from Plymouth, Michigan where I grew up with my parents, older sister, and my dog, Sandy.
How did you get your idea or concept for your business?
Erin: Growing up I was in love with fashion. Like, IN LOVE. I always knew that deep down I wanted to do something in the fashion industry, but really didn’t know what. The fashion industry is extremely competitive and broad, so I knew if I wanted to eventually pursue something in it I would have to start early. I grew up extremely close to my grandparents and give all the credit to my grandma for my sense of fashion. She taught me how to sew, where to shop, what looks best on myself, and even how to get the best prices for the cutest pieces.
What was your mission at the outset?
Erin: For a long time, I honestly told myself I didn’t have the ability or talent to pursue a clothing boutique. Coming into Michigan State I changed my major 5 times until I decided communications was a general enough field for myself. During my freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to model for some local businesses, primarily in the wedding industry. From there the opportunities never stopped coming and I was able to model for wedding gown brands/stores, hair salons, makeup artists, small clothing boutiques, and represent some big name brands on social media. These opportunities allowed me to gain my confidence back within the fashion industry and inspired me to create my own boutique.
When did you start your business?
Erin: Originally, I planned on going live with Poppy Louise co. in the beginning of April of 2020, but due to unfortunate circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic I wasn’t able to go live until mid June of this year. Looking back, it kinda feels like I wasn’t meant to launch in early spring. I think I truly needed more time to develop my brand and reflect on my plans and goals. Everything happens for a reason!
What products do you offer?
Erin: At Poppy Louise Co., we offer various modern clothing pieces for young women of all shapes and sizes. We range from formal dresses, denim, to casual everything tops. In the future we plan on expanding to offering more varieties of pieces such as shoes, sleepwear, and activewear.
To what do you attribute your success?
Erin: Success is rarely sudden. I try to focus on the small daily victories that help add up to the big overall picture of success. Poppy Louise co. still had a long ways to go, but I would not be where I am right now without my faith, family and friends. I truly think I have one of the best support systems and cannot even begin to put into words how helpful and encouraging those around me and close to me are. My faith plays one of the biggest roles by far. I am so blessed to be in this position and make my small mark on the fashion/business world. I owe all my success to the big man upstairs. ️
What’s your company’s goals?
Erin: I have a lot of goals in mind for Poppy Louise co., but the biggest one of all is to help young women find those pieces of clothing that help make them feel extra special and confident!
What is unique about your business?
Erin: Poppy Louise co. is different from other clothing boutiques because of the pieces we carry and the love and passion we put into making sure our customers are happy with them. We offer so many unique pieces that you can’t find within many popular online brands. We also aim to have a personal shopping experience that many customer may not receive from other brands. All clothes are handpicked by myself and tested months prior to make sure they’re actually comfortable and versatile!
What made you choose this type of business?
Erin: I knew I wanted to start my own business because growing up I watched my grandpa run his own architecture company and always found myself hanging out in his home office going through his designs and blueprints feeling so inspired. That’s actually where part of my inspiration came for the name Poppy Louise co.! My family members and I call my grandpa Poppy and always have. I combined that nickname with my middle name Louise so that I could always carry around the thought of my grandparents with me and credit them for the important role they played in my life and inspiration for my business and fashion sense.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Erin: My biggest piece of advice to someone just starting out is to pray. It sounds so cheesy but I don’t even know how else to word it other than pray and talk to God as much as you can during your process! Often times when you first start out you try and search the internet for a step by step list of what to do- until you realize that it doesn’t exist! Your business is uniquely yours and you have to create your own path and steps. Don’t pressure yourself to be perfect or have everything be in line all the time. Nobody and nothing is perfect! Most of the time people don’t even know what they’re doing. I still don’t know what I’m doing! Being able to allow yourself to make mistakes, laugh at them, and move forward will get you further in life than most.