PRO’s PERSPECTIVE: THE EQUINE STARTUP

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I’d seen posts on different social media sites for this company, and thought it looked adorable. Who doesn’t love to play dress up with their ponies? The owner is a connection of mine through LinkedIn, she reached out to me to talk about her business, and I’m so glad she did. These are the stories I love to share, and the kind of businesses I want to promote… thanks Michelle!

Michelle’s company, Equidivine (www.equidivine.com), was started just a year ago. She found inspiration in a mare she rescued from slaughter three years ago, who was in terrible condition. Michelle and her team created a variety of balms to soothe her unhealthy hooves. Her daughter, now seven, acted as a chief product consultant in her play with My Little Ponies. Michelle took the ideas of adding color and sparkle to their otherwise boring hoof balm, and the ideas started growing from there. The line now boasts hoof balm, glitter tattoos, pony paint, and plenty more items, all safe and non-toxic for people and their ponies.

With such a playful palette of products, the company is a great fit in the youth, special needs, and awareness markets. “It encourages children to bond with their horses, through the use of creative grooming, and it works wonders with riding for the disabled,” says Michelle. “We work with the breast cancer pink ribbon foundation, as we donate 5% of our RRP to their charity, and our ponies attend their events all covered in pink.”

I asked Michelle, how do the horses react to your products? What would they have to say? “Horses and ponies don’t react at all, other than the enjoyment of being groomed and fussed over. All products are holistic and as we all know, horses are used to wearing boots, rugs, and other accessories. The products are no different. As a vet in ITV said, horses have no sense of embarrassment, so it’s all for the pleasure of the owner.” Considering my boy made all his public appearances with his “hair done” and makeup on, it’s good to know he wasn’t nearly as embarrassed a I always thought he was! He probably figured all the other horses were as trussed up as him, so why fuss? When in Rome!

Michelle and her products were lucky to appear on ITV This Morning, a national UK television show, and have been in the national press. “We have over 20,000 Facebook likes, and it’s been a great experience, opening our own equestrian business.” Michelle was recently nominated for a South Wales business award, as well as Great British Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Congratulations, Michelle!

To anyone considering starting their own equine business, Michelle added,” do your research, and never let anyone tell you you can’t achieve your goals. It’s important to believe in yourself!”

That’s great advice for any endeavor, Michelle! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me, and sharing your story, I can’t wait until I have my next horse, so I can try your products out! (Or maybe I’ll get some anyway, and sneak into a friends barn for a little “redecorating…”)

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