Hello Again My Horse Hippie Tribe! I haven’t blogged in a long time and I MISS you! After reading this post, you might have a hint as to why I’ve been MIA.
All I can say is “Wow! Just wow!” what a year…..
If I ever start to doubt my strength and resilience again, I can just remind myself of this past year.
Well, actually the past two years because 2020 was really when things started to unraveled, but with the support of my Horse Hippies, I made it through. I survived the Covid lock down, losing my lease on my cute little shop, and having to move my business during the busy Christmas season. And that was just the beginning!
Then came 2021! Hold your horses because the ride is about to get rough.
My 96 year, WWll veteran, wheelchair bound, father moved in with us in October of 2020, before I knew what was about to happen, so everything that came after was filtered through providing him with the best care I could. My Dad has always been my biggest cheerleader. When I was young he found a way to get me a horse, even with 4 other kids to provide for. He is my business mentor, my most honest critic, and a big part of the safety net that makes me believe that I’ll be okay, even if I fail.
Losing my thriving brick and mortar shop and having to move it all online was a lot harder than I could have ever imagined. Since my website would now be my only connection to my customers, I wanted to get it right, so I hired a professional web designer/marketing guru. It couldn’t be just anyone though, it had to be someone that “gets” the brand. And she does! Bridget from Epona Communications, is not only a horse lover- she’s a hippie too!
She is so easy to work with, and with her help and my amazing right hand gal, Phyllis, the three of us created a site that truly reflects the vision for my brand.
We spent months curating goods, shooting and tweaking images, adding them to the site, then launching it in March. And your response has been awesome! The biggest of THANK YOUS to all who ordered from Horse Hippie this year!
I am still finding my way back to my roots of Horse Hippie. Offering exclusive designs, embellished bohemian tops, kimonos, extenders and cool chunky jewelry. With as much of it being handmade by women artisans, and Fair Trade, as possible.
We have loads of ideas for this new year too—so STAY TUNED!
All the while I was re-creating Horse Hippie online, I was creating The Bay Hippy Boutique in what used to be my Horse Hippie mobile unit in a parking lot in the quaint little town of Deale, MD. My new brand embraces the same eco-friendly, ethically sourced, products but with a focus on “life by the water”, instead of “life at the barn.” My two loves; hoses and the water.
Starting a new brand, and new business, in a new town, was super fun! But super hard too. Trying to figure out my ideal customer, my product selection, and being the only employee, challenged me- to put it mildly.
But I did it! And they love it!! WootWoot! Thank you to all the Bay Hippies that supported my new venture.
In September, my Horse Hippie sidekick, Sally (my sister), took a leap of faith and moved up to my neck of the woods to help me run The Bay Hippy. She is also a huge help in the Horse Hippie warehouse; pulling orders, steaming, and basically whatever she needs to do to lighten my load. We’ve been doing this together from the start and she is crucial to my success. So things started to fall into place just in time for a HUGE holiday season.
Wearing a thousand hats has always been my style, but I am not a spring chicken anymore, so something had to give, and unfortunately it was my riding. ☹ I barely managed to ride a few times a week, but that’s about to change!
My first goal for 2022 is to find a new horse. Probably my last horse. So, if any of you know of a good one, let me know! 😊 No, seriously, who better than the 80,000 Horse Hippies that follow my page? Email me at Laura@HorseHippie.com if you want to help me find my forever horse!
My other goals for 2022 are: (It’s always better to write them down to hold myself accountable)
- Continue to expand our Horse Hippie product selections, using your input! If you would like to help me choose our future designs and products, sign up for our email list, and join the Horse Hippie VIP Facebook group. I will be posting ideas and options there.
- Find more amazing women artisans to represent. So if you are one, or know one, send her my way! Laura@HorseHippie.com
- FINALLY finish the Horse Hippie Mantra Daily Gratitude Journal project I started two years ago,
- Start doing more product videos again.
- Look into Facebook LIVE events…this one is so scary to me! Any tips?
- Blog at least once a month- do you have any topic ideas you'd like to explore with me?
- Continue to grow The Bay Hippy boutique.
That should keep me busy! HaHa!
I really do appreciate EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. YOU. Without your support, there wouldn’t be a business. Without you reading and sharing my Morning Mantras, the business would not have grown like it has.
I hope you all have a Horsey, Happy and Healthy New Year!
With So Much Love,