Retailer Spotlight - Poppy Arts in Columbia, Missouri

Poppy Arts in Columbia, MO started in a living room in 1981 as a way for the owner to discover and buy beautiful handmade goods. Home wares, jewelry and cards come from all over with a focus on handcrafted pieces. This shop has become a gift-buying destination over the years (even for the owner!). Liz Tucker, owner of Poppy Arts took some time to answer questions about her history with the shop.

Poppy Arts - Columbia, Missouri

Tell me how you got started with Poppy:
I started working at Poppy very part-time in January 2004.  I had grown up shopping at Poppy and still have the first piece of jewelry I bought there when I was in 5th grade (a pair of fimo clay heart earrings---it was the early 90s!) I continued to work more and more at the shop until I became full time and started to accompany Barb {Editor’s note - Barb was the original owner of the shop} on buying trips.  Turns out we could walk into a booth and choose almost the exact same pieces.  I learned so much from watching her work and interact with artists.  In 2011 Barb retired and moved out to Northern California and that's when I took over.  It has been an amazing almost four years.  

Is there something that you are coveting for yourself at Poppy but haven’t pulled the trigger on yet?
Oh gosh, that's a tough one.  I try to invest in at least one piece of jewelry from each artist that we represent, partly as a token of thanks and partly as a little historical documentation of the shop and the style at the time.  My problem right now is that I'm drawn to the warmth of gold and rose gold, so naturally my favorite pieces are more expensive.  

Rose gold studs by Sharon Z Jewelry

What is your favorite place for lunch in the neighborhood?
My favorite place for lunch is a little vegetarian restaurant called Main Squeeze.  The owner, Leigh, is hustling healthy food day in and day out.  I feel like a better human being after eating there.

Tell me a little about the people who work at Poppy:
My right hand gal and partner in crime is Lili Johnstone.  Lili has a degree in theatre set design and applies that knowledge so beautifully to a retail space.  She can literally make a display out of anything, kind of like a visual merchandising MacGyver.  I have endless amounts of admiration for her talent (oh, and did I mention she's hilarious?  Keeps me in stitches.)

What is your favorite time of year at Poppy?
I love the ebb and flow of busy that takes place in a college town.  It's always nice in the summer when things slow down a bit, but I always look so forward to the return of the students in the fall.  It tends to cool down too so we have the shop doors open and can hear all of the action out on the street.  Students breathe so much life into our town.

Poppy Arts
920 East Broadway
Columbia, MO 65201

Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Sunday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Instagram @poppymadebyhand

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