At first glance, Equestly seems like just another top-of-the-line equestrian apparel company fighting for space in a competitive market. The products are high-quality, the prices fit most budgets, and the fashion is cutting-edge and stylish. According to COO Carlos Hernández, the silicone on their full seats is the best in the market. All of their products are tested and designed with help from their sponsored riders, which includes eventing riders such as Diego Farje and Woods Baughman.
But it’s not the high-quality clothing or the support from top riders that sets this company apart. What’s really different about this up-and-coming clothing company is their dedication to giving back, to supporting the eventing community and their sponsored riders. That’s the real heart of the company: making their sponsored riders’ and customers’ dreams come true.
The clothing is simply a means of making that mission a reality.
Carlos emphasized this point of view when I sat down and talked with him and CEO Sam Potter over the phone on one rainy afternoon. “One thing we really wanted to focus on, is delivering and giving back. Delivering a really good experience, while also not being strictly focused on being the most profitable company in the world. At the end of the day, we feel like if we’re giving back, we’re basically perpetuating the circle of giving, really.”
One way the company gives back is through their carbon neutral initiative. The amount of carbon that each shipment releases is calculated and then carbon offsets are purchased to make the shipment carbon neutral. According to Carlos, “We contribute financially to the green initiatives by offsetting every single shipment with some sort of carbon neutral purchase. In addition to that, we went to recyclable packaging to ensure that we are trying to stay as true to carbon neutrality as possible.”
Carlos and Sam aren’t just focused on giving back to the earth through Equestly — they’re also focused on going above and beyond for their sponsored riders. And when I say above and beyond, I mean it.
For example, sponsored rider Cindy Anderson Blank recently had to move farms. Carlos and Sam saw it as their chance to help out. “We saw it as a perfect opportunity to give Cindy the opportunity and the space that she needed. So, we leased a barn in Berryville which she operates out of. As part of the sponsorship, we really want to help these athletes achieve their goals.”
We all know that there isn’t a ton of money in eventing for most riders. So, to be sponsored by a company as generous as Equestly can be life-changing for an eventer. This cycle of giving back came up many times throughout our call and it was clear that it was truly something that both Sam and Carlos believe in wholeheartedly.
For their part, the sponsored riders have a lot of say in the creation of the products themselves. According to Carlos, “We were just in Aiken last weekend with Diego [Farje] to give us the final ‘okay’ on a project that he had a direct hand in, which is the development of the men’s ELITE breeches. He might say, ‘Hey the inseam needs to move one inch up, or I really don’t love where this button sits, or I wish the cloth was just a hair thicker.’ You know, these are all things that we take into account because at the end of the day, the professional athletes ride twelve horses a day. Amateurs might ride once or twice a week. If they hold up and the professionals like them, then we almost guarantee the amateurs will love them. So, we work directly with our sponsored riders in the development of our products before they even hit the market.”
All this is to say that when you buy a pair of Equestly breeches, you can rest assured that they’re professional-approved.
This cycle of giving also benefits their customers. The company’s origin story is one that many riders are familiar with. Sam had decided to get back into riding and went to the tack store to buy some essentials. She wound up spending $500 on only three items.
Carlos tells the story: “With all of our cumulative skill sets that we have, we can deliver a really really great product and experience to people that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. You know, because she spent $500 on just three things and I was majorly confused. So that was really the start of Equestly. It was just the two of us trying to figure out how to deliver a really great product at a great price.”
Carlos and Sam’s journey to creating a great product at a great price resulted in Equestly’s high-quality breeches at a price point lower than the average luxury breech brand. The two of them hope that this will allow those who may be new to eventing to be able to try the sport and look fashionable without overspending their budget.
Next time you’re shopping for a new pair of breeches or a new riding shirt, stop and take a look at Equestly. When you support small businesses like this one, you’re not just getting high-quality products. You’re also supporting the riders, owners, and eventing community as a whole.
The Eventing Nation team is proud to be powered by Equestly on the road this year. Stop by and check out their full line of comfortable and stylish apparel by visiting equestly.com. This article is brought to you with support from Equestly.