Arion - Meet the Owner
This is the first blog post for Arion so I thought I would introduce myself. I'm Alice - the owner/director of Arion Equestrian - and today is my birthday! Today also marks the 3rd official birthday of the business!
Over the past few years I've regularly been asked about the business by our lovely customers so I thought I'd give a bit of background into how it all got started.
Why did I start Arion Equestrian?
There were so many reasons I felt I had to start the business. The most important, I would say, is that I have grown up with horses my whole life. I was 4 years old when I was first taken to a riding school and had possibly one of the worst introductions to riding. I sat on a small white pony (named Boris) when he decided that he didn't want to be ridden that day - he rolled 2 minutes after I had mounted for the first time. Naturally I spent the rest of the lesson crying at the side of the arena, begging to go home. Thankfully my mum forced me to go back the next week. The more I went the more my confidence and addiction to riding grew.
My first pony was a 11.2 strawberry roan called Minto. I have owned six lovely ponies and horses over my time riding and spent most of my time showjumping in my local area. Until recently I was jumping Newcomers with my 16.2 grey Irish Sports Horse mare. I only recently sold her and she is now on the eventing circuit with a great young rider. Not having a horse genuinely feels like a huge hole in my life and it feels so strange not getting up at 5/6 am to go muck out, I mean who in their right mind misses that sort of thing (me)!
The second reason for starting Arion is that starting a business is always something I have wanted to do. When growing up I always imagined being able to work for myself. After school and college I did a Business IT and Entrepreneurship degree. I worked in a few regular type jobs after graduating - but I always new that starting a clothing business was my goal.
I would say that Arion was partly born from my frustration that the term "affordable" in the equestrian world didn't seem to mean the same thing as it did in other aspects of my life. Growing up with a passion for horse riding was expensive and wasn't leaving any money left over for meals, the cinema or just generally socialising outside of the yard.
Arion's objective is to provide what I wish was available when I was younger - actually affordable clothing that's still great quality, something fun and fashionable that doesn't break the bank.
Once I had decided there was a need for Arion Equestrian it took a long time to build up the courage to start the company. Luckily for me my now husband was super supportive and helped me to realise it was the right time to do it. So ... I took the plunge and launched a small collection in 2015.
Since then the business has grown every year and I now spend my time on the other side of the arenas holding trade stands locally around the North East and Northumberland and nationally. This year I am hoping to attend Hickstead, Horse of the Year Show, Your Horse Live and Liverpool International but we will be confirming the schedule closer to the show dates. Feel free to come say hi - I'll be the blonde one surviving purely on caffeine.
At the moment I spend most of my time working on the business and walking our lovely dog Mae, you will see her in photo shoots and at some of the outdoor trade stands.
I've included a few photos of me, my horses and Mae the dog just so you get a little insight into who's behind the computer screen. There is a lot changing with the business this year so I will try to keep posting about it as I go. Our next Blog is going to be about our sponsored riders and then some information on the people behind the scenes that help run and manage Arion. So that's it from me for now. Hope you all enjoyed reading!