Oh!!!! An online selling platform for equestrians similar to Poshmark or Mercari? Tell me more! I was so excited when I recently heard about Equestrian Closet that I had to reach out to founder Hannah to learn more. I have started playing around with listing a few things, so hopefully I’ll see you on there!
What inspired you to start Equestrian Closet?
As an amateur equestrian myself, I consistently wanted new riding clothes but didn’t like the price. After growing out of some of my riding clothes and having no dedicated place to sell my items online to an equestrian audience, I realized there was a unique opportunity in our industry.
Truthfully, I really wanted to have a career where I could still ride, work remote, and be surrounded by the equestrian community. Maybe it was the optimist in me that thought that’d be “easy” to do, little did I know I’d be starting my own business to make that happen!
What is your professional background? Is Equestrian Closet your day job? If not, what else do you do?
In 2018, I graduated from Chapman University in Orange, California with a BA in Strategic and Corporate Communication and Minor in Entrepreneurship. I am a California native, born and raised. After graduating, I decided to start a new chapter and move to Texas, where I currently reside in Fort Worth. Since 2019, I have been in direct sales for a very well-known skincare brand, Rodan and Fields.
Up until starting Equestrian Closet, I worked in many different job fields – weddings and events, retail, marketing, etc. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to do. I know myself too well, if I didn’t love my work, my heart wouldn’t be in it. It was like trying to find the right puzzle piece, nothing was quite the perfect fit.
What makes Equestrian Closet different from other consignment type shops available?
Equestrian Closet was thoughtfully curated for equestrians by an equestrian. Our marketplace allows our community to engage personally with one another while creating an exclusive retail experience.
What makes Equestrian Closet different from other consignment type shops available is that we give equestrians the freedom to list their items as they please. With a super simple listing process, equestrians are able to sell their items on their own time and at the conditions they choose.
Can you explain a bit about how it works?
Equestrian Closet was built out of a desire to make the equestrian lifestyle more affordable. We provide an online marketplace designed exclusively for equestrians to buy and sell apparel and tack and ultimately, to share in the joy of the equestrian lifestyle. Whether you are looking for a gently used show coat or looking to purge your closet and start new, Equestrian Closet is here for you, the equestrian community.
With a super simple listing process, equestrians can upload their item(s) immediately. Once item(s) are sold, sellers can access and print their pre-paid shipping label that Equestrian Closet provides. We ask that sellers ship out their sold item within 5-7 days of it being sold. We process payouts on the 1st and 15th of the month, so depending on when the buyer receives their item, the seller will receive their 80% from the sale via direct deposit to their bank account on the closer payout date. Shopping for items on Equestrian Closet is also super simple. With a range of categories and filters, buyers are able to browse through listings as they choose.
What is the ultimate goal for Equestrian Closet?
I hope to see Equestrian Closet being the go-to place for equestrians to sell their new or pre-loved items as well as shop for particular pieces they can’t find elsewhere. Yes, I would love to have an app for Equestrian Closet. Initially, I had thought about doing an app versus a website, however, with the budget and funds I had, creating a website was the best option. I still feel confident that that was the right move. I see a lot of equestrians are accessing our site from their mobile device, so it was important that the site was designed to be very mobile friendly.
While my business is relatively new and we are still in the beginning phase, I have quite a few ideas of enhancements and features I’d love to add to Equestrian Closet in the future. Stay tuned!
Where do you see Equestrian Closet in 5 years?
That’s a good question. I’d love to see consistent growth on the site, with more items being listed and equestrians finding items they love. I love bringing people together and would love to have pop up events at the horse shows, etc. Right now, of course that is a little hard but I’m hopeful we are heading in the right track to some normalcy. I love a good get together!
While the Equestrian Closet is an online marketplace, I want our brand to be more than that. I love how close knit the equestrian community is and I’d love to help further connect and create a warm environment for equestrians.
What is your horse story? Tell me about some of the most important horses in your life.
My love for horses and riding started at a very young age. I remember taking my first lesson like it was just yesterday. From attending horse camp in the summers, to lessoning once a week, to leasing my very first horse, the equestrian lifestyle slowly became my world. I was around 12 years old when I started riding consistently and began showing. I rode with Elvenstar Farm up until I moved to Texas in 2018 at age 22. During those 10 years, I went from doing short/long stirrup to adult equitation/hunter classes. While I didn’t ride for a team in college, I continued to ride and show with Elvenstar’s second location in Huntington Beach. When I moved to Texas, I connected with Brawley Farms and moved my horse there. Fast forward to 2021, I have three wonderful horses and currently show in the hunters and jumpers.
If there is one thing you learn about me, it’s that I love my horses. I love on them hard. Each horse that I’ve had the privilege to ride has undoubtedly helped bring me to where I am now. That’s the beauty of riding, horses have so much to teach you and you’re constantly growing and learning. That’s what I love most about this sport, the partnership between rider and horse. It’s something unexplainable but every equestrian understands it.
I’ve been very fortunate to have had some pretty incredible horses. Wodan, the first horse my family purchased, was a fresh import from Europe that my trainer at the time, Jim Hagman found for us. Being our first horse, there were so many questions and unknowns, but Jim could not have picked a better horse for me. Wodan was honest and took care of me every stride. He brought me from 2’9 up to the junior 3’6 medals. I had him for about 4-5 years.
When I started my amateur riding career, I had this beautiful big bay, Connor. Connor is my heart horse. If I could’ve kept him forever I would. Parting ways with a horse is never easy, but to know they are going to a good home where they can teach somebody new provides some comfort. I swear this horse has enough personality for a classroom of kids! He’s quirky, goofy, and he just loves people. I’ve never felt a horse love his job so much and wear his heart on his sleeve as much as Connor did. I’ve been told many times from my trainers “You need to find a boyfriend like that,” if only it were that easy! Connor and I had great success showing in the adult equitation and hunter divisions.
As I mentioned previously, my family and I just recently purchased three young horses, two hunters and a jumper. I’m very excited to help develop and grow on these horses with the help and training of Bob Brawley. They are very special.
What parts of running a small business do you find the most rewarding?
If someone would have told me that at 25 I would have my own business I probably wouldn’t have believed them. While owning my own business has always been a dream, it’s never one I had imagined coming true. It’s very surreal to see what once was an idea in my head transform into real life. It’s true, hard work pays off, however, I still have a lot left to do.
I would say it’s the small victories that I find the most rewarding! One of the first few orders happened to be breeches I was selling. I remember thinking “how funny is that.. one of our first orders is my own items”, but truthfully I loved going through the process as the seller. It couldn’t have worked out better. Watching my printer create the label was so satisfying and dropping off the package at UPS, I thought “wow this is so cool.”
What I’ve really enjoyed most so far in my first few months of business is seeing the love and support of the equestrian community. I feel so grateful to have made so many lifelong friends in this sport.
What parts of running a small business do you find the most challenging?
There is so much that goes into starting a business, I am constantly learning, growing and asking questions. Throughout the process of starting this business to now actually running it, there have been many hiccups along the way. That’s just life! I’ve learned to just keep moving forward and problem-solve. I’ll be the first to admit that problem-solving is a skill that has never been a strong suit. Running a business has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and I’m working to make myself and my business better constantly.
Being in your 20s is such an interesting time because you feel like you need to have everything figured out. I think if there’s one thing that has helped me along the way of starting Equestrian Closet, is that no one has it all figured out – all you can do is show up for yourself and keep moving forward. Don’t sweat the small stuff.