The Plaid Horse- April 2015- The Equine Business Issue

Page 84

84 • THE PLAID HORSE

Small Business Spotlight: Huntley Equestrian ALLYSON HALL recently left the corporate world to begin the next chapter of her life as an entrepreneur. Her new venture, Huntley Equestrian, aims to outfit riders of all ages in quality pieces that they enjoy wearing each day. Hall lives a very full life. Aside from building her new brand, she and her family own a boarding facility, ride and compete, and travel often. The consummate small business superwoman, Hall affirms our belief that a life spent around the barn instills drive, creativity, and a solid work ethic! ”I grew up on Wilmington Island, Georgia, near Savannah. Next door to our house was a picture-perfect cedar shake barn. I saw my first pony there as a small child and have been riding ever since. From local horse shows to competing at the National Horse Show in New York City as an adult, horses have been a constant source of joy in my life. I worked for a Fortune 50 company for fifteen years, but still owned and showed horses. In 2005, we built Towne Hall Farm near our home in Amelia Island, Florida as a commercial boarding facility. Being around horse owners every day, I hear what riders want and what is lack-ing in the market. My husband owns an international business and I

have often traveled with him to Europe and Asia. These trips opened my eyes to what can be made in various countries. During each trip, I would devote some time to finding the best suppliers for each equestrian product type. When I decided to leave my corporate job and start Huntley Equestrian, I had good factory contacts in place. It took three years from the design phase to the production phase of our first collection. When my daughter starting riding and competing at age five, I became interested in the children’s market. I quickly realized that there was room to put some fun and fashion in to children’s riding apparel. We use vibrant colors, embroidery, and playful horse-related themes in our children’s line, Daisy Clipper.

Huntley Equestrian is not only the name of our company, it is the name of our adult line of leather goods, accessories, and riding apparel. My thought

in creating the Huntley line was to cover everyday riding needs and to be more fashion-forward in our women’s riding apparel. The equestrian lifestyle has always been the way I’ve lived, even though I wore a business suit five days a week for fifteen

years. I wanted to create a brand that the rider could comfortably ride in and still look stylish outside of the barn. With our leather goods, the focus is on fit and finish. We are very particular about which leather works best for each product. The correct leather must be chosen in order to be durable enough for the intended use but soft enough to accept a high stitch count. For example, we use Sedgwick leather from England for our bridles but