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So many months ago I was struggling to find new bags for my boots and helmet. I had just purchased my first MIPS helmet and brand new boots…and wanted to take care of them better. My previous helmet just hung out in my tack trunk unprotected…and I needed a second bag for my newer boots (my old boots are still wearable and need their bag still after all). I was looking EVERYWHERE. It was impossible to find anything I liked. They were either silly patterns that absolutely didn’t match my style or not my favorite color combos red/black, orange/yellow/black, blue/red, etc. Or looked like cheap crap that would fall apart in a year or so. Where were the classy solid color bags from years past?
Hell…the choices were so limited I started looking in Europe. I found one brand I was like…okay…these are fantastic…but they didn’t ship to the US. I considered going and using one of those 3rd party shipping services to get them…but I would have been spending well over $300 on a set of 2 bags of unknown quality to do the work around to get them. No.
There was also another beautiful set I found through some boutique shops in the US…but I could never seem to find a whole set available in the same color. And each bag was $100…so getting up there.
Then I made a post on a Facebook group and someone suggested Etsy. Duh Rachel. Then I found DKEquestrianGear! While the photos in the samples weren’t exactly my style…I was like…these are custom. Let’s give it a try.
She offers a boot bag, helmet bag, bridle bags, a garment bag and a saddle cover. I picked a boot bag, helmet bag and bridle bag (as that’s what I needed most). I REALLY want to order a garment bag and another bridle bag, but I’m not sure we can get the ribbon to match unfortunately as she had a limited amount of the gray one and I think we used it all up.
Paula was awesome to work with for customization which is super nice. She gave me some ideas, I basically liked none of them but liked one ribbon. We played around with various ribbons and trims (about 16 different options) until I decided I really wanted to use a blush velvet and she special ordered exactly the ribbon I asked for. As you can see from the photos, it turned out beautiful (or at least I think so). She was also willing to adjust the height on my boot bag if necessary for my very tall boots. They JUST fit, which is great. So make sure if you have any odd measurements or extra big foot size to let her know measurements before hand.
This level of customer service/customization isn’t always the case with custom stuff unfortunately. I recently bought another custom product and pretty well the person didn’t listen to me much…and pushed one design on me…and I ended up giving in and going with it. I like it okay…but it’s not what I really wanted unfortunately. Oh well. But having someone like Paula who felt it was really important to find exactly what I liked, it was awesome.
Back to the bags…I was excited when I got photos of the finished bags, but that in no way prepared me for getting the actual bags. They are GORGEOUS. The materials used are beautiful. The detailing on the bags is wonderful, with piping, the contrast stitching in places, the trim design we came up with, hidden pockets in the boot bag, the mesh panels for breath-ability, beautiful zippers and zipper pull charms… They were even more beautiful than I thought they would be. She really has thought through all the details with this bag.
The quality is really good as well I think and the materials are holding up well and they washed super well (look brand new now). I had a couple of discolored areas from getting leather cleaning products on the bridle bag and with some stain spray and a wash, they were gone. I did have one issue on the bridle bag with the nylon holders in the bag and I just sent the bag back to Paula and she reinforced it for me and sent it back (at no charge). Because of that I’m going to give a little mark down on durability until I know how long these will last. I expect now with the reinforcement they will last for years and years.
The price on these is I think is excellent for the quality and customization…and maybe even a little low for some of them. The bridle bag is $35, helmet bag is $50, boot bag is $75, saddle cover is $70, and garment bag is $120. I paid $185 for the three custom bags including tax and shipping. Not bad! You could easily pay more than that for three non custom bags at Dover…just saying.
However…Paula is a person, not a manufacturing company…so she has a wait list. Sometimes she just takes breaks from sewing for a while (she has a real job and a farm to take care of). So if you want your bags next week, these are not for you. Make sure to message her first before purchasing from her shop to check the timeline for getting your bags!
The only thing I wish was different is that I had asked for a little pocket on the boot bag to slide my dressage whip into (like the store bought bag I have). I didn’t realize how much I like that little pocket until I didn’t have it on there. That’s literally the only thing about them that’s not perfect (and I’m certain Paula would have worked with me on getting one on there if I had asked)!
I’m in love with my bags from DKEquestrianGear… and in the course of writing this review I reached back out to Paula to see if there was any way to get the materials to do another couple of bags for me. Ha! They really are something special and exactly what I had dreamed of!