Hi! Clare here (co-founder of Poppy Bee), and I am writing to share with you an update about our surfaces. As a small business, we value integrity and transparency above all else, so we wanted to let you know that we have recently made a slight change to our surfaces.
Since you are a part of the Poppy Bee family, we want to share with you why we’ve made the change so that you can know exactly what to expect when you place your next order.
Recently, Joe, Hugo (our son) and I went away for our official summer vacation at a charming lake house in upstate Vermont. We were more than ready for some time away from work, for reading, sleeping in and swimming. Life, however, had other plans.
Since we are still a small company-- and, by small, I mean that it's just the two of us who do everything-- Joe planned to spend one day during the week at Poppy Bee studios continuing to serve our wonderful customers.
That day at the studio, when Joe opened the new containers of liquid laminate (the material we use to create the beautifully matte, protective coating for our surfaces) he discovered that the product was completely different. It had a strong odor, it was a different color and viscosity and, after drying, was no longer the beautiful matte finish Poppy Bee customers know and love. After calling the manufacturer, we learned that due to supply issues caused by Covid, they had discontinued the old formula and replaced it with this new one. There was no warning-- not to us, any of their other customers or to the many distributors who sell the product.
We started Poppy Bee specifically because as a professional photographer, I had a hard time finding surfaces that achieved the holy grail combination of being highly detailed, beautifully matte, and perfectly portable as well as water and stain resistant. After a year of research and testing, Joe and I developed our signature process for hand-making each and every product to create a photographer’s dream surface.
Our process of printing each surface individually right here in our little Vermont-based studio, applying an ultra matte vinyl and then hand laminating it-- is unique to our company, (as far as we know!) And, while it feels great to be doing something a bit different than everyone else, it makes it really, reaalllllly hard when something goes wrong because there isn't really anyone else out there doing what we do that we can look to for guidance.
Additionally, because liquid laminate is a very unique product with only one major producer worldwide, you can imagine how this situation quickly became our worst nightmare.
The days following the news were filled with countless phone calls, hours of research for product sourcing, many sleepless nights and a lot of tears.
HOWEVER.... I am VERY happy to share that there ended up being a light at the end of the tunnel.
After trying a vast range of products, many different application techniques and a whole lot of test prints, we have finally landed on a solution. And, I can't believe I am saying this, but I may actually love it even MORE than the original.
Here's the skinny about the new surfaces:
- Richer and truer colors: The new surfaces feature a more translucent finish, so the colors are richer and truer to our original designs, bringing out even more detail, especially on our darker surfaces. Check out the shot below to compare:
Extra Stain and Water Resistant: The new surfaces are smoother and less porous, making them even more stain resistant than before - a HUGE bonus!
Even More Durable: The protective coating on the new surfaces is made from a newer technology that creates an even more durable surface than before. Don't get me wrong-- you should still treat your backdrops with care-- but they are even stronger now than they used to be.
- Glare-free: Glare-free surfaces have been one of the most important and unique features of Poppy Bee surfaces since day one and, if you've purchased from us before, you know that our backgrounds have always been a very flat matte. With our new laminate, you may notice a slight sheen to the naked eye but I’ve personally field tested the new surfaces in a variety of lighting environments and, I can confidently say that they still shoot completely glare-free.
Want to see some examples? Check out the shots below. In each example, I used the exact same settings on the camera, the same lighting and exactly the same treatment in post production, so you can see a real, true comparison between the two products. Additionally, I shot overhead and 3/4, I experimented with both natural light and strobe and played with both light and dark surfaces. And, after all that, I am loving how the new product is looking.
Take a peek
As you can see, the new surfaces are just as fabulous (and maybe even MORE fabulous) than the old ones. I am really excited to share the new, and improved iteration of Poppy Bee surfaces with you. What started out as a difficult situation has actually made the product even better than it was before, and I am so grateful for your continued support.
On a personal note, I’ve taken the time to share all of this with you because Poppy Bee is a small family business, and you are an extension of the Poppy Bee family. You will always hear from us as soon as possible if there are even minor updates or changes to our surfaces because transparency and integrity is very important both to the business and to myself.
If you have any questions about the new surfaces before you place your order, or need any support after you receive your surfaces, please reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want you to know that your trust and support is always handled with care and is not taken lightly, and that I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve you with a product that I stand behind 100%.
Thank you as always for your support.
-Clare & Joe