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.  

As Seen on TV

You just might see these two Fashionista’s on “Hello Iowa” with Megan Ruether!

Paula Bierle, Owner (Johnston)

Paula is a long time resident of Johnston. She’s been happily married for twenty-seven years and has two grown children, Allie and Mason. She enjoys shopping, spending time with family and helping the women of Johnston look and feel their best.

Lea Fagervik, Owner (Ankeny)

Lea Fagervik is a long time resident of Ankeny, IA.  Recently retired from healthcare operations, Lea has joined the team at Purple Poppy Boutique to continue her lifelong passion of helping others.  She has a fashion merchandising degree from the University of Northern Iowa and worked many years in retail.

Paula Bierle, Owner (Johnston)

Paula is a long time resident of Johnston. She’s been happily married for twenty-seven years and has two grown children, Allie and Mason. She enjoys shopping, spending time with family and helping the women of Johnston look and feel their best.

Lea Fagervik, Owner (Ankeny)

Lea Fagervik is a long time resident of Ankeny, IA.  Recently retired from healthcare operations, Lea has joined the team at Purple Poppy Boutique to continue her lifelong passion of helping others.  She has a fashion merchandising degree from the University of Northern Iowa and worked many years in retail.

Meet The Team

Paula Bierle

Paula is a long time resident of Johnston with her husband, Todd. Their two adult children graduated from Johnston High School and reside in the surrounding suburbs.  Paula grew up in the Des Moines area and graduated from Hoover High School.  She attended the University of Northern Iowa where she earned her BA in Fashion Merchandising and Business.  After many years in the Corporate setting, Paula, decided to follow her dream of opening her own Boutique in the community that she loves!   Paula enjoys shopping, long walks, spending time with family and  friends as well as helping the women of Johnston look and feel their best.

Lea Fagervik

Lea Fagervik is a long time resident of Ankeny, IA.  Recently retired from healthcare operations, Lea has joined the team at Purple Poppy Boutique to continue her lifelong passion of helping others.  She has a fashion merchandising degree from the University of Northern Iowa and worked many years in retail.

Sheila Bower

Sheila grew up in Indianola and quickly wanted to spread her wings after college. She lived in Dallas, Texas for 10 years and then moved to Minnesota where she lived for 20 years. Now Sheila has found her way back to Iowa to be closer to her parents and sister, who live in Newton. Sheila works part-time in Newton at a Pregnancy Center. She became a stay at home mom when her twins were born prematurely in 1998. Before they were born, she had started her parenting “career” to an amazing 7-year-old step-daughter who broke her in really quick to the ins and outs of parenting and she was hooked. She’s also added Gigi to her title with 4 ornery little boys (well one is a sweet little newborn). And Sheila rounds things up with one final daughter. So, if you were keeping count, 4 kids, 4 grandsons. They’re also huge animal lovers at their house. Their current zoo includes 4 cats, 2 Schnauzers, and 1 black Lab. Sheila is so excited to be a part of the Purple Poppy Boutique and looks forward adding this to her resume of life’s adventures!

Jen Martin

In addition to working part time at the Purple Poppy, she is a stay at home mom to two little boys. Jen is also a part time student at DMACC starting her elementary education degree and training to run her first half marathon in October. When she’s not chasing little boys or her dog, Jimmy, she likes to run, read and SHOP! Working at the Purple Poppy is a great opportunity for her to help others find the perfect outfit or gift while fulfilling her love for shopping!

Britt Fritz

Britt grew up in Johnston and now resides there with her family of 7, plus two naughty little kittens. In addition to working at Purple Poppy, Britt works full time in risk management and is a “not so typical” competition dance mom. Britt’s favorite activity is spending time with friends and family on their boat in the summer and meeting new people at Purple Poppy!

Hailey

Hailey is our weekend fill in Sales Associate.  Along with her full time job Hailey has a puppy named Dozer who takes up most of her free time. Hailey has loved clothing since she was a kid, and has been designing for years. She is excited to be able to help people find pieces that they feel great in at the Purple Poppy Boutique!

Connie Maser

I was born and raised in Dubuque but moved to the Des Moines area in 1998 with my hubby, currently we reside in Urbandale with our 2 labs, 2 cats and our 15 year old grandson. We love this area for what is has to offer. My field of employment for 30 years was administrative but I retired in Sept 2021 however, like many retirees I wanted to do something I enjoyed while working with great people in a fun laid back atmosphere. So I texted Paula one day and fortunately she was in need of someone. I’m enjoying semi retirement, reading, walking my dogs and relaxing. I’ve found I’m very good at relaxing but working here at Purple Poppy is just what I needed and it’s great!

Kayla Smalley

Kayla Smalley

Hi my name is Kayla. I am currently a freshman at DMACC studying to complete my Liberal Arts of Associates Degree! After completing this program I hope to transfer to the University of Iowa to pursue pediatric nursing. Along with my studies and working I love to spend time with family and friends. I love being outside, whether it’s going for walks, bike rides or enjoying neighbor’s company! I am a huge “people” person. I LOVE helping people find their ways in life, what they are meant to be doing or if they just need someone to talk to, I’m your girl! I am excited to help find what clothes make people be the best “me” they can be at Purple Poppy!!

Carrie Summerton

Carrie is part of the Johnston team. Her family of four moved to Iowa in 2019. They live in Grimes with their very spoiled dog, cat, and hamster. Carries career history involves working in the dental field, cosmetology, and many years of retail and customer service.  She enjoys gardening, reading, and looking for new adventures to share with her family and friends. Purple Poppy is the perfect place to work, shop, and to be part of the community.

Brynn Nickle

Hi my name is Brynn. I am currently a freshman at DMACC studying towards my associates degree in Agribusiness. After I have completed my degree in Agribusiness I plan to transfer to a 4 year college and get my bachelors degree in Agribusiness and double major in Accounting. During my free time I love spending time with friends and family while also helping out around the family farm. I am very passionate about showing sheep and cattle and have been very successful since I started when I was a little kid. I am excited to join the team at Purple Poppy and help customers find clothes that make them feel confident.