Did you know? October is small business month! While the month may be drawing to a close (and some of us equestrians are busy counting down the days to the Royal Winter Fair), that doesn’t mean we should forget about those great small business that inspire our life, and are (in some cases) revolutionizing equestrian fashion one trend at a time (#ooshiney anyone?!).
We love small businesses, and not just because we are one ourselves. Most small businesses are founded by entreprenuers that decided they needed to get out there and do something, there way. They may have been spurred into action by fluke, or identified a need that required filling, but either way — they stepped up and started something. Wether they have a become a world wide trend, or simply a local love, they deserve our kudos. It’s not easy being a small business owner, it’s long days, hard work, and sometimes a whole lot of fear … but its also about chasing your dreams. It takes tough stuff, and as all equestrians know — we’re tough people — so it shouldn’t be surprising that there is a stellar community of small business owner out there.
Why should you love small business (beside the fact that most of them — and their owners — are awesome)?
Here’s our top 5 reasons to love small business (in no particular order):
- They totally get you. You won’t find any faceless corporations here. These are real world entrepreneurs, often equestrians themselves (or have horsey people in their family). They get all your weird “horsey-ism” and they don’t judge.
- They support a positive community. Small business owners are plugged into the world around them, they know what it is to tough it out, and instead of looking at you as a potential competitor, they often actively work to support their communities and give others the tools and tips they need to achieve their dreams.
- Positive role models. You’ll find many small business owners use their brand not just as a platform for selling their products, but for inspiring their customers to be better people. From promoting kindness on social media to promoting positive communities through awesome brand ambassador programs, many small businesses are working to teach us to respect each other, our communities, and our horses.
- Awesome stuff. Who needs to be “on trend” when you can simply make a new one. Equestrian small business owners are all about innovating and bringing equestrian fashion and productivity to a whole new level.
- World domination … one step at time. Did we mention that these people are tough customers, because its one of the things that makes them seriously awesome. Some of them hold down multiple jobs to keep their on the side dream business alive, many of them balance the sometimes never ending demands of small business with family life, and generally they never quit. They’ll take over the world some day … and honestly we’re totally cool with that.
Now that we’ve hopefully got you as in love with small business as we are (as if you needed any convincing!), here’s some of our favorite small businesses! We’ve written about some of them several times, and some we’ve only recently discovered, but either way we give them kudos for what they do. Plus, if you’re looking to do some shopping, you should totally check them out.
Pony Express Girls
Subscription boxes are totally an “in” thing now (remember all those jokes you used to make about fruit of the month club … look who’s laughing now …), and PEG brought the awesome trend right to Canadian doorsteps (in the knick of time to, what with the terrible US – CAN exchange rate). If saving you some costly conversion costs wasn’t cool enough, they offer a range of horse and rider goodies dropped directly at your door on a monthly basis. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, they’ve expanded their brand to include some super cool equestrian socks and a range of accessory options.
My Barn Child
If you haven’t joined the MBC #oohshiney army you are seriously behind the times. This company revolutionized the equestrian accessory market with their original line of bridle charms which has since (significantly) expanded to include a range of other must have equestrian accessories. Accessorize yourself, accessorize your pony, the options are pretty endless. Plus, who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle?
MBC also has one of the most unique brand ambassadorship programs you’ll find out there. They’re encouraging positivity, building community, and teaching young riders some valuable life skills in the process.
Phyllis Stein Equestrian
Phyllis Stein is the equestrian tee company that lets you rock on in quirky and fun ways that only your equestrian friends are likely to understand. On top of unique tees you won’t find in any department store, you get excellent quality clothing for fairly affordable price. We’re totally in love, and think you’ll be too!
Annie’s Equestrienne Apparel
Comfortable and colourful breeches at a price point that won’t make your pocket book cry. This small family owned and operated business was selling brightly colored full seat and knee patch breeches before they became such a massive trend with the bigger equestrian clothing producers. Their also constantly evolving their product line, offering unique new colors and a few more traditional ones (still with some unique and sparkly flair) for those shoppers who prefer the quieter shades.
We may be a little biased about this one, as we personally know the owners, but it wouldn’t be in the spirit of supporting small business if we didn’t offer a shout out to a new local favorite. Offering completely custom bonnets at a digestible price range, the possibilities are virtually endless. Get a bonnet to match your barn colors, get something blingy to sparkle in the ring, or just pick your favorite color and support a small local business trying to make its mark in this industry. Plus the quality is great, and 100% handmade!