What inspired you to start The Infused Equestrian? What year did you open the company?
I had been using essential oils for years and had an unfortunate experience with wind and fly spray! I decided that day to go home and try and make a non-toxic version that would work effectively for all flying pests, nats, mosquitoes, flies…and be safe to use on humans too. Swat was born. We started the company in December of 2016 with our first two products.
What is your background and how did that help develop the business?
I have a background in marketing and advertising, previously working with brands such as Weber, Rustoleum, Sears, and Pork, the other white meat. As an advertising executive, I knew that we needed a solid business plan and a strategy within the first few months. Of course, that has changed over the years, fitting the times and needs. My partner also has a strong background in email marketing and web design.
Is running The Infused Equestrian your day job? If not, what else do you do?
It is! I work out of my home office and hope to have a larger office as we grow. My partner has a day job, and helps me at night and weekends.
What was your first product?
All of our products were born out of a need and demand within the equestrian community. Our first product was Swat. A Fly Spray, followed by @ the in gate. Swat was from that unfortunate wind/barn event. Having fly spray in your mouth and making you gag isn’t pleasant.
How did you develop your products?
All of our products have been solution based. We had barn owners, equestrians or massage therapists come to us with a particular challenge with the “tried and true” products they had been using and we solved that challenge with our product. With the rider roll-on’s, we listened. We listened to the equestrian’s complaints about upset stomachs (O.M.G) from show food. We heard the nervous pony Mom’s wonder if their kid would make it around (@the in gate), we saw the pain in riders after No-Stirrup November (Recovery) and finally that lovely Horseshow Hangover (Hello Monday) that we all have after a long weekend.
We don’t have a plan for a certain amount of products. Our latest product Noggin was never planned, it was discussed and then put on the back burner and then finally the demand was great. We aren’t sure how long we will have that product available.
What product is your personal favorite?
Personally, I love @ the in gate! I have a few scattered throughout the house, and in the car. It calms and grounds me and after use, I feel like I can tackle anything! I’m wearing it now!
Do you have plans for new products in the line in the near future?
Currently, we do not. However, we are always open to hearing people’s suggestions which we do get quite frequently. In the midwest, there is a great need for a dry shampoo in the winters, so I won’t rule that option out. We have such a diverse product line right now that I’m not ready to add another product just yet.
Where do you see The Infused Equestrian in 5 years?
In a larger office! LOL. Ideally, I would like to outsource the manufacture of the products as currently I am making them in small batches. I haven’t yet found a way to keep the quality and still do that. We’d like to continue to service communities throughout the country in tack stores, and build our brand! I believe that every tack trunk should have at least one of our products in it, and that’s my personal goal.
What is your horse story? Tell me about some of the most important horses in your life.
Well, this is tricky since I don’t ride, so I will let the equestrian in the family answer that one! Emmy, my daughter is the rider in the family and shows on the A circuit.
“They were all important! My first project pony, Minnie taught me how to be gentle but still determined and confident. My second pony Junior, taught me to not give up so easily and a lot about horsemanship when he was hurt. Harvey, my current horse helped me gain back my confidence after Junior and we moved up 3 divisions quickly. My “every once in a while ride” Armada packed me around at Nationals and I’ll be forever grateful. My dad convinced me to ride at a camp in WI and I came back crying because I missed riding and 10 years later I’m competing at the national level!”
Describe a typical day running The Infused Equestrian.
Well, Covid has certainly changed the way we run The Infused Equestrian. Typically, I would be traveling to horse shows and having a vendor spot, visiting tack stores, and working in barns with essential oils and horses. Instead, each day can vary. Checking emails, responding to wholesale requests, making products, staying on top of social media presence, running to the post office and to the barn has me busy all day! Hopefully soon, I will be able to get back into barns and do what I love best, working with horses and seeing the progress with essential oils.
What parts do you find the most rewarding and most fun?
Clients sharing their stories! As a small business, we rely on customer feedback and take it very seriously. I LOVE to be at a horse show and introduce myself and have the person say that they follow us on social media. It’s a small thing, but it means that everything that we are doing is the right thing. Hands down, the most fun is working with horses. Each horse has their story and I love to read it through essential oils and educate the owners on how to use them.
Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurial equestrians that might want to start their own small business but are hesitant to take the leap?
Do it scared. Don’t wait until everything lines up because you will be waiting forever. Have a solid plan before you launch, and have a social media calendar. Don’t reinvent the wheel, do something that makes you and your brand or product stand out from the rest. The market is saturated with the same old products. Have fun!!