I have had a lifelong passion for both horses and art. I once almost failed an art class because I refused to choose another subject other than horses for all my projects! I knew that I had to somehow fuse those two passions together and if I could, I would be successful. While pursuing a degree in Equine Science, I started drawing commissioned horse portraits to make extra money to pay for my horse habit. And then one day, my ever supportive husband randomly brought home a t-shirt press he had bought from someone at work. It was an intimidating piece of equipment and I eyed it with much trepidation, but finally with the help of a glass of wine to lower my inhibitions I tried using it and immediately became addicted!
My very first thought was of creating t-shirt designs which would appeal to horse girls like myself, because there wasn’t a lot of “cool” horse themed apparel out there. One of my first designs was the “Boss Mare” as I had personal experience with a boss mare who taught me so much about having a relationship with horses (and particularly mares). The graphic that I created for the Boss Mare design is so recognizable and relatable that people say all the time that it looks just like their own mare.
My biggest challenge owning this business has been transitioning from doing everything myself, to finding the right people to hire on to do certain things so that I can focus on what I do best and that is designing. I was so afraid to hire help with printing and fulfilling orders because what if they didn’t have the same discriminating eye for detail and quality as I did? What if their communications with customers weren’t as service-minded as my own?
It is difficult to let go of some of the control over something that you created and see as “your baby”, but I have done so a little bit at a time and have found that some people don’t do it as well as me, but some do it BETTER than me. So it’s a learning process and I’m still trying to get better at managing this aspect of being a business owner.
Tell us about some fun things customers can expect to see in 2023.
Some big news that we just announced is that we are moving! We have been in New Mexico since the beginning (2015) and now I am moving back to my native Pennsylvania. I am super excited to get plugged back into the horse community in PA! So over the next few months while we are transitioning, fulfillment times might be a little longer so please bear with me. I am also going to lose my staff here who help me with production. It is a big move, but one that I think will be well worth it in the long run.
Some other exciting news that I haven’t announced yet is that I am working on a book. I can’t even believe I just said that out loud! I hope that it will be an entertaining read and relatable to many of my fellow horse girls. Watch my Instagram for more details when I have a release date.
Use code DAPPLE10 to get 10% off all Equestrian Creation products until the end of July 2023! Also, don’t forget to enter the Dapplebay/Equestrian Creations Giveaway over on Dapplebay social media to win some great prizes!