I am passionate about good design – I believe objects that are beautiful enhance one’s life. Making and selling beautiful items that are functional delights me. Early in my life I followed a path toward fine arts. Somewhere along the way I veered onto an entrepreneurial one instead, one where I could design and sell things that would bring pleasure to others. Over the years I’ve learned how to use the left and right sides of my brain to build brands by blending my creativity with business skills and market savvy.
My first entrepreneurial endeavor was a knit hat and sweater company called Mountain Ladies & Ewe. When I started the company, commercially made ski hats were offered in basic colors with stripes or simple two-color snowflake designs. I introduced the earflap hat to the ski industry infusing them with original multi-colored motifs such as leaping tigers and gypsy dancers and playful tassels. Soon the other established hat companies were doing the same. It was fun being a trendsetter and growing a business. Ten years later I was itchy to do something new so I sold Mountain Ladies & Ewe to Turtle Fur and went skiing.
I spent the next few years working as a freelance designer specializing in knitwear and textile design and as a trend and color specialist for the ski and outdoor industries. I founded Women’s Nordic Skiing Clinics in Stowe, VT offering all-women learning experiences in telemark, classic and skate techniques.
In 1998 I co-founded Isis, the first women-only outdoor clothing brand in the U.S. Isis was born out of personal frustration at not being able to find apparel suited for my outdoor endeavors. When the Isis line was first introduced it made an immediate impact on the outdoor industry with its bright and feminine colors and non-unisex sizing. Isis changed the attitude of manufacturers and retailers within the industry toward women customers and their needs. It was a hard sell at first but now women specific products are the norm and outdoorswomen have a lot of great choices when looking for gear and apparel.
As Chief Design Officer at Isis my role was to drive the brand by designing authentic outdoor apparel from concept sketches to final product while managing the product development team. My responsibilities encompassed developing color palettes and prints and designing everything from technical outerwear to seamless body layer and all categories in between. My unique color selections and sense of functional style were important Isis differentiators and are often emulated by other brands. Color fuels my spirit and over flows into my work.
One of my greatest pleasures has been working with my design and development teams. Mentoring and developing each individual’s potential means a lot to me.
Nothing sparks my creativity, or brings me more joy than being in the mountains.
As a woman who spends all her free time outdoors regardless of weather conditions or seasons I am uniquely qualified to bring a realistic perspective to women’s outdoor apparel design. I thrive on combining function and aesthetics.
Currently I am the owner and creative director of my own full service design studio. We specialize in technical outerwear and sportswear design, knitwear design, color palette development and merchandising, prints and graphics and trim design. If you would like to learn more about my work, please visit www.PoppyGall.com or email me at poppy@PoppyGall.com. If you’d like to learn more about me see my first blog entry “Why Am I Writing This Blog?”. I look forward to hearing from you.
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