Hardy ETC is a family run online business specialising in modern, bright and refreshing cross country base layers and equestrian fashion.
- How long has Hardy Etc been running? August 2016
- How do you market Hardy Etc? We’re lucky enough to have 4 sponsored riders and brand ambassadors who do a great job. Seeing my colours competing at Badminton Horse Trials this year was a very proud moment. Our marketing has focused on social media. Luckily, I already had a captive audience with my equestrian background so I roped in friends to test and model my products and once my social media pages went live the sharing started and the notifications haven’t stopped since.
- How long did it take to launch Hardy Etc once the idea was planted? I started creating my designs towards the end of 2015 and got my first prototype in February 2016, four weeks before I jetted off around the world for 3 months. On my travels, I researched the market in Australia, I looked at materials in Thailand and Singapore and worked on my business plan in Fiji before heading back to the UK and deciding on my first six colourways. I placed my first order in June 2016 and my website went live late August 2016
- What experience did you have in your sector before starting Hardy Etc? Horses have always been my passion. I joined my local Pony Club when I was 8 and started eventing when I was 17. I went to Hartpury College to study Equine Management before joining Countrywide as part of the agricultural sales team at the head office then moving on to a Buyer role in a family business. My business experience was limited and whilst I was never academic at School, my practical experience of the market having worn equestrian clothing for so many years meant I had a pretty good idea what was missing and what I wanted to see.I have always been a hard worker and determined to work for myself and generate an income that would support the expensive hobby that is horses. Mix this with my practical experience of the market having worn equestrian clothing for so many years I had a pretty good idea what was missing and what I wanted to see.• Many start up businesses start from their kitchen, spare room or dining table – was this true for you? What point did you ‘upgrade’? Initially I was designing from my kitchen table before the clutter and scraps of material got too much, at that stage I took over one of the spare bedrooms to set up office and studio. Drowning amongst the quickly expanding design range and stock quantities, my products along with the ever expanding trade stand materials took up residency in our newly renovated garage.
• What’s your major goal for 2018? To secure retailers in Australia and the States, to double my design portfolio and to hold a trade stand at Badminton. Why have one when you can have three.
- Where would you like Hardy Etc to be in 5 years? It’s paramount to me that my business remembers it’s premise, to step away from the traditional clothing associated with eventing, to push boundaries and be a breath of fresh air. So in 5 years when I’m still designing for local pony clubs, national retailers and professional riding teams from all over the world, I hope Hardy Etc is still the same family run business that changed the equine market.