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Posted by Kate Rise on

Poppins on Mackinac Opening Window Display 2022The 2022 season is off to a great start! We've already met so many wonderful people from all over the United States, as well as many countries around the world. As one sweet lady left the shop, she said, “I have filled my eyes with many beautiful things.” Ten years ago, that was the dream for Poppins--to offer products that you love as much as we do! 
This year we are celebrating the 10th season of opening Poppins, but really the story begins in 1992. That year, our boss, Kate, arrived from England with nothing more than a backpack and a strong work ethic. After working retail for a decade, she decided to open her first shop, Caddywampus in 2004. Caddy, as we like to call it, is a fun shop filled with quirky gifts. There are items for all ages and I bet you can’t make it through the shop without smiling! 
When a new space opened up on Main Street, Kate jumped at the chance to open the “pretty” shop of her dreams. In May of 2013, the coral door of Poppins was opened for the first time to welcome guests. A lot of dreaming, creativity, and hard work went on behind the scenes to make that happen.Poppins on Mackinac Opening Day
Steve, our handyman who is always quick with a smile and joke, worked wonders to help create a unique and inviting space. Kate explained her vision of a shop interior that was a combination of bright white, recycled wood and natural birch and Steve made her ideas a reality. Money was borrowed from Caddywampus, so the budget was tight. It was time to get creative! Thirty pallets that had been used by various island businesses were gathered and dismantled. The recycled boards were nailed to the side walls creating an interesting backdrop for the shop products. A tree farm in Wisconsin supplied seasoned Birch branches to line the back wall that so many customers comment on and enjoy. White lights added a sparkly touch. Used furniture was found, bought, and borrowed for display pieces and touched up with many coats of paint. Building the interior of Poppins on Mackinac
 For the shop name Kate wanted something short, catchy, and memorable. She was often seen toting a huge bag around town that was typically filled to the brim with “anything and everything”.  Her friends called this her Mary Poppins bag. Poppins it was! Poppins on Mackinac Shop interior construction
 At first, the displays looked a little empty as the inventory was purchased on three personal credit cards. As customers loved what they saw and began making purchases the displays gradually filled with lovely items from small, independent companies. 
Kate Rise at Poppins on Mackinac
There have been many changes and challenges in the past ten years. Poppins{Home}, located next door to Poppins, was opened in 2017. It features handcrafted jewelry, art, cool accessories, and home décor. The Pandemic offered its unique challenges and pushed us to open our online shop which is steadily growing. Customers enjoy receiving happy mail from Poppins when away from the island.
Thank you to our loyal customers! Kate’s dreams would not be a reality without you! Your support and kind words when you enter the shop mean so much. “This is my favorite shop on the island!” or “Everything is so beautiful!” encourages us to continue to seek out unique products for you to enjoy when you visit. Poppins on Mackinac Celebration Window Display
It has been fun to reminisce about the beginnings of Poppins. We plan to celebrate the 10th season of Poppins with an Open House, a branding refresh, and a special Poppins gift box. We will announce the date soon in an upcoming blog post or follow us on Instagram for updates.

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