Settle in for our little end-of-the-year wrap up…

First show of the year at Red Hills HT in Tallahassee (ps. it was FREEZING and hurricane force winds arrived the day after we set up.

This year, we started off with big plans to go to big shows and pretty much did that. Because we drive to most of our shows, we spent a lot of time on the road and we recently discovered Buc-ee’s. If you’ve never experienced it, Buc-ee’s is what would happen if Hobby Lobby, Cracker Barrel and the biggest gas station ever had a baby. They sell basically everything. Kitschy signage, tee shirts, deer food, bar-b-q sandwiches, pretty much any beverage you could dream of, and enough gas pumps for a small country.

People love Buc-ee’s. And I get it. But I find it overwhelming and a little depressing. There is just so. much. stuff. Now that I, too, am in the business of creating stuff, I’m always thinking about it. How much do I buy? Where does it come from? How can I avoid waste and still have ample inventory? How can I support other makers out there and not outsource to vendors in other countries? Striking a balance between offering things at competitive pricing and also offering high-quality, responsibly manufactured goods is a constant challenge.

I know many of you understand this and choose to support small businesses like mine (and thank you SO MUCH for that!). I also know there are infinite alternatives out there. I shop at some of those places, too so this is not about shaming anyone! We all have varying levels of expendable income and the truth is, sometimes we have to choose Amazon over Etsy. But every time you choose small over big, you are helping support someone in your community. Someone who shares your same passions and wants to continue to offer products that truly bring you joy.

A wonderful year of meeting new people, connecting with old friends and building the biz!

One of the things I love about attending shows is that I get to meet a lot of you. I get to hear your stories and it means so much to me. It’s such a good feeling to know that a pair of socks helps you feel confident when you run cross country. Or that you got a special shirt for your kiddo who can’t afford a pony but loves horses, or that one of my stickers reminds you to be brave even when you’re scared. Hearing those stories is really what this is all about for me.

There are so many moving parts when you’re running a business. At times it feels like burning the candle at both ends and still not getting where you want to go fast enough. It can be extremely exciting but also scary – and let’s not even talk about how the world at large can play into all of those big emotions.

But at the core of this business is an inextinguishable passion for horses, for storytelling and for making my tiny corner of the world just a little bit better for anyone who’s part of it. And that includes each and every one of you.

As this year comes to a close, it is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank you all for being amazing and wonderful human beings. For sharing yourselves and your stories with me and for being part of a community of people who inspire me and keep my passion for this business alive.

Cheers to another year in the books and here’s to looking forward to a wonderful 2023!