Our Story began in the Fall of 1985 when two young girls embarked on college life in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Although both from Central Iowa, they had never met before and both chose to pursue a degree in Fashion Merchandising. They would soon meet and spend countless hours in the classroom together dreaming of their careers in the fashion world. When not in class, they both worked retail throughout college, Paula at K-Mart and Lea at Younkers.
After graduation, they lost touch with each other, and both eventually stopped working in the fashion industry. Both spent many years working in “Corporate America”, Paula in Mortgage Underwriting and Lea in Health Care Operations. Although they enjoyed their respective careers, they both knew that they would eventually end up where they started… Fashion merchandising and sharing their passion for fashion with others.
Paula was the first to make the move. In August of 2017, she quit her job and opened Purple Poppy Boutique in Johnston, IA. It is a wildly successful independently owned and operated retail store that offers women’s clothing, accessories, and gift items. Paula loves coming to work every day and it truly shows. The attention and service she gives each of her customers are outstanding.
In October 2019 Lea walked into the Purple Poppy Boutique and was met at the door by Paula. They reconnected and immediately fell back into the easy friendship they had all those years ago. Lea began working at the Johnston store and knew that she had, indeed, found what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. With the mentorship of Paula, Lea opened Purple Poppy Too in Ankeny in May 2020.
While similar to the Johnston store, the Ankeny store offers Men’s, Infants and Toddlers in addition to Women’s lines. Paula and Lea will continue to work together to offer all of our customers the very best shopping experience they can have.