Creating camaraderie in the equine world and in the world in general is a great idea. You give a little, they give a little, you combine forces, and maybe you all come out on top. I'm talking about cross-marketing. When you have a business, it's all about cross promotion and getting your name out there. There are some amazing businesses out there as well. The Northern California horse industry has been booming for the last few years. Demand is high for quality products and services.
The best bet when you are looking for a great product is to ask around. Maybe you like to shop online. Maybe your trainer lives right down the street from your house. Is that really a reason to choose a trainer? Perhaps that equine bodyworker you had before didn't show up on time, but you like to stick with what you know. Or the farrier can't stay on the schedule you like but you love his angles. There are a million "first world problems" we could discuss here, but I'm not going to.
Instead I want to talk about businesses that I love. And you can decide for yourself if they are worth checking out.
Ponies And More Ponies
Have you ever secretly wanted a pony to eat out of your fridge? When you were little, you probably would have loved a pony in your room. And now as a mom or dad, don't you want the best top of the line pony for your child?
Check out Stardust Pony Dreams. This boutique farm in Lincoln, California has the highest quality ponies on the market. I know, because I've worked on them and seen first hand the diligent care that goes into every equine.
From a small snuggler to an elegant large you can compete on at Pony Finals, Hali Durand has them all. Her sales and show ponies travel well, are sweet with children and are beautiful movers. These Posh Ponies are given the best care from feed, to supplements, greats rides and equine bodywork. If you are in the market for a small, medium or large carded pony with a great mind, check out this farm.
Want Some Awesomeness?
Do you want to buy creative products from a full-time mom and fellow horse trainer? You will want to check out these cute custom bows and more from Awesome Accessories By Audrie. Busy moms don't just stay at home anymore. They don't even work one job. They have side hustle. And Audrie has this in spades. Her company is just starting out. And it could be something big.
From one of a kind show bows for your kids to anything crafty, Audrie can do it all. With a little momentum, we as a community could really help this business achieve success. And isn't what this is all about? Sisterhood. Brotherhood. Supporting each other in our new ventures. Every person who has ever owned their own business has had a push and needed it.
When she isn't making her craft, she is a horse trainer and instructor out of Newcastle, Ca. She is also a full time mommy to two young kids. Can we get a round of applause for multi-tasking? Put Audrie in your "tribe" of local horse people to know.
As a new ambassador of the Just Strong Movement and clothing line, I'd love to share with you why this brand is so special. Empowering women on a large scale, this UK business is out to win you over. Their products are simple and cute for working out, lounging around or even riding in. But more importantly, they stand for something.
Check out their instagram page and even become an ambassador yourself. It's a chain affect in place with this business. If you like taking care of yourself: mind, body and spirit, I would get on board with what this brand is trying to accomplish. No they aren't located in Northern California, but their reach is world-wide. You can profit from their profit and that is really cool as well.
Can we take a moment to celebrate an ultra-entrepreneur in our industry? The only male-owned business on this list, JB Horse Standards is a flourishing company based out of Sacramento, California. You will see this company making everything from jumps, standards, rails, mounting blocks, farm signs and much more. All custom! And all very affordable for the quality of the product. I am hoping to get my hands on some custom woodwork very soon!
The thing that impresses me with this business is that it was not only a great idea, but there was a hole in the market for something like this. And obviously it's paying off. It seems that this business is busy! But don't let that stop you from checking them out and keeping them in mind for your next custom jump. The warehouse is located in the Sacramento area. But the service is spread far and wide.
Take a look at what your barn might be missing and check out this local innovator and his product.
I might just be a horse bodyworker, but I know a well made piece of wood when I see one OK? Don't take my word for it, check out how many businesses are using JB Horse Standards. I hope he likes this little blast because we sure could all use more great business models like this one.
The Mighty Warehouse
Anyone who rotates around at the local Northern California horse show circuit knows of Tack Warehouse. This business seems to be everywhere. It must feel so good to know that your business is not only flourishing, but is well-loved by the community. One of the reasons this business is on my list, is because I bow down to the business skill and persistence of this company. They are easily accessible, having multiple mobile stores and of course their stationary store in Woodland, Ca.
Marketing and customer service are top notch and you can always shop until you drop with the selection of product. Something fun that trainers get to do is have private parties at their home store in Woodland. The parties create a discount opportunity for trainers and their clients to shop. At the same time it gives a strong boost to Tack Warehouse sales. What a genius idea.
When I am doing my equine bodywork at local horse shows, I see the quality in appearance of this business and I am impressed. I take notes! We all should be taking notes from one another. We all start out from square one. Square one might look a little different to us all, but still- we need each other in this industry. You are never "too big" to look back and see where you started.
A Picture Is Worth...
I love pictures. My phone is full of them. I am a visual person. Visual learner. The next business that I want to talk about is Artistic Equine Studios. This lady knows the side hustle like no one else. From show groom, to professional braider and wonderful photographer, Elizabeth Ruiz has talent. Not just that, but she is thirsty for knowledge and always ready and willing to put in the time to make things perfect.
She often works local horse shows, but more recently has been doing barn calls to take beautiful portraits of our beloved horses. Capturing their essence in black backgrounds and stunning visuals. I think I love supporting this business so much because she reminds me of myself. Just thirsty for more business, wanting to give quality work, and happy doing what she loves.
Who knew that NorCal has so many well-run and fun businesses to check out in the equestrian world! It takes a gutsy person to establish a business from an idea. Momentum can be slow at times, but the inner strength must be there. Otherwise, we can turn on ourselves.
So go out and get that great photo. Have your custom jump made and buy a product from a hard working mother. We all need support and I am happy to pass that baton now to you.
Consume, you consumers. The horse industry is in full swing. And so are these great small businesses.