Anyone who follows me on Instagram has seen lots of pictures of my hot pink full seats lately, and a few of my Tiffany blue ones. I never would have expected to love bright colored breeches so much, but I have to admit: they’re awesome and I’m obsessed. So a couple weeks ago when I decided it was time to revamp my Small Business Spotlight series, Annie’s Equestrienne Apparel was at the top of my list.
Some of you may actually already know the company’s namesake, from this video – Annie meets Pepper – which seems to go viral every Christmas in the horse world. It’s so cute it hurts. While they started out making clothes for kids, they’ve also expanded to a ladies line. They have a color to suit just about anyone, from royal purple to red to hot pink to deep royal blue. Hermes orange? They got it. Apple green? Got that too. Not into bright colors? How about a black pair with skull and crossbones on the butt? If fun breeches are your thing you must get acquainted with Annie’s. Too boring for any that? Don’t worry, they have basic white too.
If you’re not a fan of full seats, have no fear. Annie’s has plans to roll out some limited colors in a knee patch version around mid-December. In addition to their awesome line of breeches they also offer a nice basic schooling shirt for women and several shirts and polos for girls (great Christmas gift for that pony-loving barn rat in your life).
To make it even better, right now Annie’s is offering a different promotional deal every week through the holidays. This week if you purchase a pair of Ladies breeches you get a schooling shirt for only $5 with the code “layerup” – a $40 savings. Definitely Like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram @anniesusa so you don’t miss any of their upcoming deals! Cherry on top – right now they’re also offering free shipping through the end of the year.
And now for the fun part – the Q&A! Annie’s mom Shannon gave us some more insight into their operation.
1) When did you start this business?
Annie’s Equestrienne Apparel launched in late January of 2014.
2) How many employees do you have?
We are a family business: my husband and myself, along with our three teenage sons and 9 year old daughter Annie.
3) Where did the idea for the business come from?
Annie and I had been trying to shop for schooling apparel, but we just couldn’t ﬁnd anything we both really loved. The options for young riders were either too little girlish, or just scaled down versions of adult clothing. One day Annie got out her crayons and drew what she thought would be “fun” clothes to wear while riding her pony Pepper. She had sketched a bright pair of pink breeches and a colorfully striped polo shirt. When she showed them to me I said “Those are really cute…somebody should make them”. This lightbulb went oﬀ in my head and voila…the concept for Annie’s was born!
4) What is your background in horses and design?
I grew up on a farm and have been around and shown horses periodically throughout my entire life. I also have always loved fashion, so combining the two just came naturally. Annie comes up with the basic styles and colors, I tweak them to make them a bit more “realistic”, and we have professional pattern makers and seamstresses to make the magic happen! It’s very important for us to not only have fresh, unique and fashion forward design, but to also have it withstand the rigors of the equestrian sport.
5) Any interesting notes about yourself, your business or your products that you would like for people to know?
When we launched earlier this year, we were speciﬁcally a children’s/tweens brand. However, shortly after our product made it into the market we were getting inundated with requests to make ladies sizes. In just a few short months, we were oﬀering ladies styles and even a boys breech! We’ve been so busy we haven’t yet changed the tagline on our website from “Sweet schooling clothes for girls” to “Colour your ride”! Colouring their ride is exactly what our customers are doing. We’ve heard time and time again (from ordinary riders to very high end clientele and professional equestrians), that they LOVE our brand, and are thrilled to ﬁnd such outstanding quality and fashionable riding apparel at aﬀordable prices. Some customers recently told us that our brand was “happy chic” and that we reminded them of the “Kate Spade of the equestrian world”!
We are beyond ﬂattered and humbled with feedback like that, as well as how well we’ve been received thus far. We are so thankful to have such a supportive and loyal customer base…many of whom cannot wait to see what the next color of breeches will be!
“Happy chic” is absolutely the best term to describe Annie’s… it’s impossible to have a bad ride when you’re wearing fun breeches. And how could you not love an entrepreneurial kid like Annie?
Eventually (one of these days when I’m not so horse poor) these Tardis Blue breeches will be mine. It’s a must-have color even if you’re not a big Dr Who nerd like I am. Or maybe the purple since they’d go perfectly with a bonnet and baby pad I already have? I’m beginning to understand how so many Annie’s customers become “collectors”.
Working with Annie’s has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. They’re so nice and so friendly and just so… darn pleasant. Must be a side effect of being surrounded by fun colors all the time. They’re exactly the kind of small business I love to support! If you’re looking to add to your breeches collection or buy a few gifts for the holidays, definitely keep Annie’s in mind.
Even better? Take it one step further and pair them with Mango Bay!