One of my favorite things about running an equestrian blog is being introduced to new companies and small businesses (and of course buying and trying products). This week I’m pleased to bring you a spotlight on a newly discovered company – Enter At A, LLC. Enter At A, LLC is a small business bursting with creative, high quality products. I cannot wait to see the new Cavesson Collection when it’s released! If the browbands and memory bracelets currently being made are any indication, the Cavesson Collection is going to be beautiful and special. Please enjoy learning a bit about Enter At A, LLC and owner and creative genius Kimberly Phillips.
I never thought I would start up and own a business. Unless it was a horse farm. My degree is in Equine Science and that eventually led me to a career as a laboratory technician. I stayed involved riding friends’ horses as a hobby. I had several dry spells with marriage, and kids, etc but I knew I wanted to focus on dressage. As I was getting ready for one of my first dressage shows on a friend’s leased horse, I was looking for show supplies. I found a gorgeous silver and blue stone browband and choked when I saw the price. I also have an art background so I thought “how hard could it be to make one?”
So I made one. And then another. And then friends started asking me to make more. In 2009 Enter At A, LLC became official. I decided to make it an official business because I had ideas to bring unique products to the market. There were many flashy browbands out there, but I began with focusing on natural stone beads. One of my favorites is malachite, which my Haflinger mare wore in many shows. Since I was a (very) small business, I wanted to use other local businesses. I found a wonderful leather crafter here in Kentucky, and he makes all of our leather items to my specifications. I take pride in the leather and workmanship quality and I think that helps set my business apart from others.
For the first couple of years I only made custom beaded browbands. My next big product, and my favorite, was the Memory bracelet. It is a padded leather bracelet with an embedded horse hair braid. I had made a simple braided bracelet for a friend who lost her horse and afterwards I just felt that I needed to make a style that stood out but was practical. Everyone loves the padded bracelets with nameplates, so why not put your horse’s actual hair on there? There are a couple similar styles out there now, but hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
My product line has expanded to include dog collars. halters, belts, charms, and more. The newest and soon to be formally announced is the Cavesson Collection, matching sets of belts, collars, bracelets and spur straps made with gorgeous leathers. Can you guess where my inspiration came from?
Running a business has not been easy. My first year I used an accountant to help with filing taxes. After looking at my numbers he looked at me and told me this was not a business, it was a hobby. Sigh. I don’t have a large budget to work with so I am careful about where and how I advertise. I have found out what works and what does not. My husband helps me with my website and has helped put together ads. Word of mouth has been the best advertising for me. When a customer loves the product they purchase, and their purchasing experience was good, they want to tell others about it. I love working with customers to make sure they love the design of their custom browband. I feel very honored that so many have trusted me with their loved horses’ hair. Sometimes we are able to make a special product that is not even advertised. I am constantly talking with vendors at local competitions to see if they have interest in my products. The hardest part of my job is to stay focused and not get sidetracked. Working from home is great but there are so many other things going on here, laundry, kids, all the normal household stuff. Then add in social media. I tell myself I am just going on to Facebook to make a post. Then all of a sudden an hour has gone by!
I am fortunate to have several friends who help me with photography and modeling for photo shoots. My favorite model is my pony. Bailey TOF is a Haflinger mare I have had for 8 years now. We are schooling Third Level and I am looking to get my Bronze Medal. You will recognize her from the photos in which she is showing off browbands, halters, and even bracelets!