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#MyDowntownRochMN featuring Poppi Italian Leather

In Sheryl's #MyDowntownRochMN she shared that both her and her daughter share a love for shopping, particularly handbags and shoes! When asked where they like to shop, Poppi's was the top of their list for their unique pieces, along with the exceptional quality. So we decided it was time to catch up with Rebecca, owner of Poppi Italian Leather to get her take on holiday shopping, fashion trends, and much more! 

Samantha: Hello Rebecca, thanks for meeting with me today to chat a little bit more about your store, Poppi Italian Leather. I know that Sheryl had mentioned how much she enjoys your store, can you tell me a little more about what people should expect when they come into your store?

Rebecca: Thanks Samantha, I always say that POPPI Italian Leather is for the woman who likes to set her own style. You will not find cookie cutter looks here, just unique pieces of good quality. Plus, we provide individualized attention for fit, color and style whether it’s apparel or a handbag.

Samantha: I definitely agree, your clothes and handbags are beautiful and everyone that I have seen wear them and they truly make them their own. With that said are there any fashion trends people should avoid?

Rebecca: First of all, fashion trends should not be confused with fads. You may want to stay away from flash fashion or fads or at least invest minimal on them. Trends set the stage for future fashion. For example, Poppi started selling ponchos and capes in 2013 and now, they are bigger than ever. Another important style now trending on the European market is the wide legged palazzo pant.

Samantha: That’s a very good point and when you think of stables, what should ever well-dressed woman have in their closet?

Rebecca: Staple items would be a classic black dress, a well-cut pantsuit, one pair of designer jeans, a good Italian leather handbag, knee-high riding boots.

Samantha: The little black dress is always a classic! Since we are coming up on the holiday season, do you have any tips out there for the men that might be shopping for a special someone?

Rebecca: Tips for men holiday shopping, buy a personal gift! A pretty dress, a gorgeous leather handbag or eye-catching jewelry. DO avoid household items (unless it on the list). Even if the size or color is off, a personal gift shows that you gave it some thought.

Samantha: Thoughtful gifts do go along ways; do you have any fan favorites that you could share?

Rebecca: The Italian Leather Handbag, is always a favorite. People stop in year after year to buy a new bag from Poppi, there is nothing that can compare. Considering these are handcrafted, using the highest quality leather that is organically tanned, not sprayed with a chrome chemical tanning solution, our prices are often better than the mass-produced bags that you can find anywhere.

Samantha: So once someone buys a bag they are hooked! How do you source all of your products?

Rebecca: I find most people are surprised that I travel to Trade shows yearly in Milan, Italy. I meet personally with the owners to negotiate the best prices for our “Made in Italy” goods. This is why we can be so competitive with our prices.

Samantha: That’s impressive and a huge value to your customers! Other than going to Italy (which is definitely on my bucket list), do you have any memorable moments since you have gone into business?

Rebecca: It is beautiful there, but I cannot say there has been one defining moment, because there have been many, many rewarding moments working with customers on every level. I have prayed, I have cried, and I have laughed with my customers. You never know what the person is facing who steps through the door. It’s a very unique location to be in retail and you have to be prepared on a daily basis to accept anything.

Samantha: That’s very true, our Downtown is lucky to have you! So before we end the interview, is there anything else you would like to share?

Rebecca: What I would like to share is to be true to yourself and have the confidence that you know best what looks good on you. Its ok to get opinions but don’t base your final decision whether to buy with your co-workers, children, friends or husband. Trust your own instincts, if you like it there’s a good reason it should go home with you.

Samantha: That’s great advice! Thanks so much for sharing your store with us today Rebecca.

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Disclaimer: the views, comments, and opinions located within this blog are those of the community individual, not those of the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA).