The Tale of a T-Shirt

My husband thinks it’s hilarious that anytime someone rings our doorbell when I am home, I quickly duck, take cover, and hide! I usually then creep towards a window, navy seal style, and check to make sure it’s not a delivery or neighbor. There are two very good reasons I do this…first, I hate saying no to people who are trying to sell me something, whether it’s steaks, public policy, or religion. And second, I hate that they are putting me in a position in the comfort and safety of my home to have to say no! It’s the same reason I never answer my home phone when I don’t recognize the number. I really don’t need that “free” monthly credit report that is going to eventually cost me $11.99 a month for the rest of my life. So because I have a hard time saying no, or I can’t take the look or sound of disappointment when I do say no, I have learned it’s best to just avoid those situations!

Being a retail owner I am faced with the same dilemma. Luckily over the years I have developed better business skills to turn people down when I really don’t believe in a product, because in the end I have to take the product and try and sell it to other people. I honestly have a hard time selling something if I wouldn’t use it or wear it myself. Yes, we do carry items at LA Saddlery that I don’t personally like, but there are many people in the Equestrian world who do like them, and I have to honor their tastes and preferences. But I have been known to tell customers in my own store, “No, you don’t want that…try these instead!” For example I am a bit of full seat snob. Some of the inexpensive full seat breeches are made with the most hideous synthetic full seat fabric. It literally doesn’t allow you to move and it feels like you are riding on cardboard. My butt is just too sensitive for cheap breeches.

I am the exact same way with t-shirts. I hate a stiff over-sized t-shirt that basically makes you feel like you are wearing a burlap sack! I am also not a big fan of crewneck…I just feel like I am being unnecessarily suffocated. But t-shirts are definitely a staple for any eqgirl’s wardrobe, and I always encourage my customers to buy ones that are more form flattering so that you and your trainer can actually see your position when you ride. And I have mentioned before, a huge pet peeve of mind is ladies who come to ride in a gigantic ugly t-shirt, with the excuse that they don’t want to mess up their regular clothes. I will never understand this mentality because for me going to the barn has always been such a “regular’ and integral part of my life, and riding is one of the most aesthetically beautiful sports to participate in…not to mention the importance of being disciplined in your approach. And how you look when you come to ride is such a big part of that discipline. Ok..enough of the lecturing…back to my story…

Now we get lots of people “ringing our bell” at LA Saddlery, and sometimes my instinct to flee takes over. But like I have said before, I have to stay open-minded as a small business owner because you never know, the person at the door may just have the next big thing to hit the equestrian fashion market! I of course am also a huge supporter of other small businesses, especially those started by women.

So when Kate approached me at my mobile store in San Juan Capistrano I gave her my full attention as she presented me with her story and her darling little line of t-shirts.

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I loved that her approach to the Equestrian t-shirt market was simple, soft, and fitted to the body.

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I was thrilled that the shirts were printed here in Southern California, and happily surprised that $1 for every t-shirt sale goes to the non-profit children’s organization, Compton Jr. Posse, which provides inner-city kids the opportunity to get involved with horses.

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Now sometimes you really like a product, but the person who is behind the product is what ends up making the sale. This was true for Kate. She was just as sweet and lovely as her shirts, and it was my pleasure to ask her if we could have some of her shirts to sell on our website. So for a limited time www.lasaddery.com will have her line of t-shirts available for our wonderfully fashionable customers!

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paula Parisi
    Jul 21, 2012 @ 18:18:50

    Love that you give as much attention to equestrian casual-wear as to expensive full-seat breeches! You guys can make anyone stylish, whether mucking or in the competition arena.

    Reply

  2. Kate Harvey
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 21:26:30

    Thank you so much for the kind words!!! I heart LA Saddlery!! 😉

    Reply

  3. Stefanie
    Jul 28, 2012 @ 04:03:16

    I love these adorable shirts! Great article

    Reply

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