In Talks With.....Red Bear Equestrian
Following on in my "In Talks With..." series, I am talking with Hayley from Red Bear Equestrian. I have followed Red Bear Equestrian pretty much since the beginning on Instagram. It's been a lovely journey to watch and I can't wait to see where this goes!
When did you start Red Bear Equestrian and what was the reason behind starting it?
Red Bear Equestrian started during lockdown 1:0. I was meant to be purchasing a company which sold equestrian homeware, I had planned to add lots of lines to this, however, a few days before it completed the seller pulled out. I was gutted as I had so many plans. I have two other businesses but had always wanted a company within the equestrian industry as I have ridden since being a child and have my own horses. Horses have always been my passion. So after the sale fell through I decided since I had a bit more free time over lockdown I would launch my own brand and the business was born.
Where did the name Red Bear Equestrian come from?
The name is because of my children, my daughter is called Lily-May but I have always called her Lily Bear, hence Bear.
I wanted to add something in for both my boys, we played with several ideas and the red part came about as their favourite football team is Doncaster Rovers and one of my boys plays semi-pro for them and their kit is red and white. This is where the Red came from. The name Red Bear was born and we all love it. The company is a family business, we are all involved so having my kids involved in the name is so fitting.
What was the hardest part about setting up Red Bear Equestrian?
Covid. When I launched so many manufactures and craftspeople that we were using had such long lead times, we got put back again and again. We still have a slightly longer delivery time than I would like but as all items are made to order and we are still amongst lockdowns this is a work in progress and we are constantly looking to improve our service.
Did Covid 19 affect the way you do business eg going more online?
With the lead times for items and designs it has slowed us down and one of the products we planned to launch in 2020 we still cannot offer, although we are hopeful by the summer (2021) we can launch. This is due to manufacturing, lockdown and travel. However, it also meant we have worked with more local craftspeople and done a lot inhouse, using the family as models, myself and my kids did the photography. The artwork has been done by my husband and someone down the road from me. As much as Covid had its challenges it also brought us some amazing opportunities.
Do you have a favourite part of your job?
Seeing a product go from an idea in my head to being a product in my hand. It is such a sense of achievement and every product I sell is something I would and I have used. Hearing feedback from customers is also one of my best bits, listening to what they love and what they would love to see us do.
Do you have a favourite product?
This changes every week. Honestly, I love it all but currently, I am torn between the original base layer and the Bella hoodie from the clothing ranges, from the homeware it is the horse mug (although you can also get a hare, robin, highland cow and stag designs) and also the personalised herringbone throws. Jewellery is currently the clear quartz rope necklace, although my daughters favourite is the Amethyst necklace. She asked for this in payment for modelling our first range of clothing for our launch.
Do you have new products/launches in the wings?
There is a full 12 months of ideas! There is so much I want to do this year, however, let's see how it goes as I think covid restrictions may slow me down. I do have some ideas for over the next three months I am working on including some doggie items, a larger kids range (inc a boys range) and some leisurewear. There is also so much more coming up that I can't mention yet! So watch this space.
Thank you so much to Hayley for taking the time to answer these questions for me. I can't wait to see what other products are on the horizon! If you'd like to follow and find out more then head over to the website: www.redbearequestrian.com and follow on Instagram Red Bear Equestrian
(With permission I have used Red Bear Equestrian's photographs)