A Woman of Many Hats
“You can have anything in life if you dress for it,” is the motto that Poppy McGovern shares with clients and it’s indicative of her own life story. Poppy is fearless in chasing her many dreams and has established herself as a savvy and diversified entrepreneur. “I grew up in Mississippi and moved to Amite 13 years ago. I’m not afraid to leap out there and open a business or try something new.”
When she arrived in Amite, her first venture was a small hair salon. “I enjoyed interacting with clients, but my real love is fashion. My mom would rather shop than do anything else, so when I was a child, she would take me everywhere from thrift stores to lavish boutiques in New Orleans.” Poppy took inspiration from those outings and opened a boutique of her own. “The store took off, so I focused on that. Seven years later it’s still thriving.” The boutique business also allows Poppy to indulge in another favorite activity – travel. “I go to market all over – Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta – they each have a different feel. Dallas is more country and western, Vegas is more contemporary and it’s my favorite.”
The mother of three boys, Poppy says her sons enjoy the adventures of traveling also. “We stay in the old part of town when visiting Vegas. I took my youngest son a while back and also visited the Grand Canyon. He loved the whole experience. It’s great to incorporate quality family time into trips that also support my business.”
While at market, Poppy’s objective is to constantly seek out the next big thing in retail. And if she can’t find it, she’s more than willing to create it herself. After not finding the perfect pajamas, the forward-thinking entrepreneur was inspired to create her own clothing line, Hello Gorgeous by Poppy, scheduled to launch this year. Working with a Los Angeles company, she focused on the perfect fit and feel of the fabric. “So much goes into development but it’s exciting. The line will be for high school girls to grandmothers and will have a very affordable price point.”
And her eye on the future doesn’t only apply to the clothes themselves. Her next leap involves how she will sell her products. 2020 will bring the online launch of Poppy Ann’s Boutique. Poppy says of her vision, “Many customers prefer shopping from home. We live in a world where Amazon is at our fingertips, so we’re shifting gears. My first love is the physical stores, but you have to change with the times. Our Amite store will remain open, but everything else will be online.” Poppy says what will stay the same is offering something for everyone—from menswear to fancy dresses and tennis shoes.
Never wanting to sit still, diversification is also a business principle the busy entrepreneur espouses. “I got my real estate license in Mississippi but put that on the back burner when I moved to Louisiana. About two years ago, I got the itch to get back into it. Like fashion, the type of home a person chooses is an expression of their personal style, and I like to help people with that.” Not afraid to get her hands dirty, Poppy also enjoys the opportunities real estate brings in the form of finding houses to flip. “In June of 2019, I took on a 70-year-old home in Ponchatoula and turned it into a beautiful, modern farmhouse home. I redesigned the kitchen and baths and did a lot of the painting and tile work myself. I’ve worked since a young age and have instilled in my boys the value of hard work. I get bored easily and need a lot of things going on to keep me happy. One of my first jobs was at a library. It was absolutely too quiet for me. I need action and excitement.”
Getting the job done is in Poppy’s blood, even if the job may seem non-traditional. “When my significant other needed help at his bail bonds business 12 years ago, I went ahead and got my license. My friends questioned that decision, but I wasn’t afraid to dive in and help. We were able to grow that business and now have five agents under us. And, I still have the flexibility to pursue all of my other interests. Even if everything else fails,” she laughs, “I’ll always have job security in that line of business.”
Reflecting on her journey, Poppy stresses the importance of giving back. “I donate to schools, churches and individuals in need. I’m a small-town girl that did it on my own. I worked hard to get here, and I want to go above and beyond to give girls jobs that are flexible so they can make money, pursue their education and live their own dream like I’m able to do now.”
Poppy McGovern is an enterpreneur and founder of several businesses. For more information, she can be reached at 985-517-6608 or by email at [email protected].