A: Back in the day when we were picking kid’s names, Poppy was the name we chose for a girl. Of course, we had an awesome little boy instead so we never had the opportunity to use our girl’s name. We figured that since this is a creative endeavor we are birthing together, it makes sense to name it “Poppy”! The “Bee” comes from our last name, Barboza.
Q: Why vinyl???? Does it actually work as a photo surface without looking cheesy?
A: We hear you. As a longtime food photographer, Clare was highly skeptical of shooting on vinyl, too. And, honestly, there are lots of types of surfaces that don’t look awesome when printed on vinyl. However, there are lots that look amazing and the benefits are numerous: vinyl is lightweight and portable (no more lugging that insanely heavy piece of marble to your shoot!) Vinyl surfaces are easy to ship and really affordable, making them more accessible to hobby photographers as well as pros. Also, cleanup of most spills on vinyl is easy! Clare has many stories of surfaces of hers getting ruined because of a spill and, luckily, that’s not the case with vinyl. Melted ice cream? Oil? No problem! Most foods and liquids wipe right up on our surfaces. That being said, there are things you’ll want to be careful of with your vinyl surfaces. See next question.
Q: How do I care for my vinyl surfaces?
A: So glad you asked! First, you’ll want to either store your surfaces lying flat OR rolled in the tube with printed side on the OUTSIDE. The surfaces can get crimped so you’ll want to be mindful. Second, be careful of heat around vinyl. One of Clare’s surfaces got ruined the day her food stylist used the heat gun on a dish that was sitting on the vinyl. So, be careful. Third, treat your surface with care. Certain things do have the potential to stain (turmeric and pomegranate juice come to mind) or scratch or damage the printed part of your vinyl, so please be aware of that-- don't cut things directly on the vinyl, don't use a Brillo pad on it, etc. Just be smart. :)
Q: Do your surfaces have any sheen to them?
A: NOPE!!! Our surfaces are completely matte so shooting on them is a dream!
Q: How do I use my surface as a vertical background?
A: Easy! Simply apply double stick tape to the BACK (non-printed) side of the surface and hang it on a wall or something rigid.
Q: Why does the texture of your vinyl feel slightly rough?
A: After printing, we apply a matte liquid laminate coating to our surfaces, in order to make them stronger and more stain resistant than they normally would be. After a whole lot of research, we opted for a vinyl product and printing process that far exceeded the image quality of others we had found. However, the material we use can scratch, so the laminate we apply helps protect against that, (but not entirely--you do still need to be mindful when using.)
Q: Is the printed surface going to look exactly like what I see on my computer screen?
A: In short, probably not exactly like it. Why? Because every single computer screen is different and we don't know what you are seeing on your end. Our job is to make the surfaces look excellent on our end and to represent that as accurately as possible online.
Q: Do you ship to other countries?
A: Yes, we do!!
Q: Where are you guys based?
A: We live and work in Southern Vermont
Q: What is your turn-around time?
A: We print all orders on demand which means: printing, quality checking, applying a coat of matte liquid laminate, drying, sanding, applying another coat of liquid laminate, quality checking, drying for another 24 hours, flattening and then, once again, quality checking each print. We are very hands-on over here at Poppy Bee and we want to make sure you LOVE your photography background when you get it. So that means things don't leave our studio until they are right. Because of that, we aim to get you your surface in 2 weeks-- hopefully sooner-- if you are within the continental USA. International orders will take longer.
HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO THE COVID PANDEMIC, SHIPPING CAN TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL. PLEASE KNOW THIS IS ENTIRELY OUT OF OUR CONTROL AND WE APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE.
Q: What if the vinyl really doesn’t work for me?
A: We have a 15-day return policy. Just send the surface back to us within 15 days of purchase and we will issue you a refund, minus the shipping fee.
Q: Will you be adding new surfaces to your collection?
A: YES! We have so many ideas and can’t wait to roll them out. The best way to be kept up to date about our new collections is to sign up for our mailing list. You will be the first to see the new batch and will receive special offers and discounts to use on your purchases.
Q: Can you make other sizes?
A: Not at this time. Stay tuned, though. :)
Q: Can you make custom surfaces?
A: Yes! Please email us to discuss what you are looking for.