Free x Rein Co-Founders Andrea Vogel and Dana Schwartz sit down with Lucy Davis and Lindsay Douglass of The PonyApp to chat Equestrian Start-ups and dressing for success in and out of the Grand Prix ring.
Lindsay : First question for you guys, what is the best part and the worst part of starting a company in the horse industry?
Andrea: Well, the best part is that we get to integrate our lives with horses and still have our lives in New York, and be able to be around the horses all the time. Even if we're not riding, we're always at horse shows or thinking about horses.
Andrea: I think the worst part is that people hear "equestrian" and they automatically think it's not for them, or put it in some sort of bucket with whatever they think of as equestrian-wear. Everyone we talk to, is like, "Oh my God, I love that look but I could never wear it 'cause I don't ride. So trying to show people that even if you don't ride or you just love horses, it's for you too.
Dana: And the other cool part has been this idea that women and girls who ride horses fall into two categories. One, you're either a spoiled princess, or two, you're a barn rat and you're in the mud all day. I think for us, it's been actually ... We're ... We live in New York City and we design these clothes because we ride, but we're actually extremely tough and motivated people. I think there's something really cool about women who ride professionally or as a hobby, it's ... there's something very fierce about that but also very feminine. You can wear it all day at the barn and get messy and get dirty, but you can also wear it as something that's ... looks great and polished and seamless, and that's been fun for me to explore that.
Lucy: That's funny. My mom always ... I used to be more of the dirty barn rat side of things, and she'd always, "Brush your hair before you walk the course." And, "Make sure your boots are clean." I'm like, "Mom, it's fine. Nobody cares." And she's like, "No, it's just ... You don't have to look like a slob. Just because you might be shoveling poop doesn't mean you have to look like ..."
Lindsay: And now, Lucy yells at me when I show up for the course walk and I'm not wearing my jacket, my boots and my helmet.
Dana: When you guys are walking the Grand Prix courses, I feel like it's a runway. Everyone is dressed and looking so good.
Dana: Right? But the thing about it is exactly what you just said. You're wearing your uniform, you've polished your boots but the fact ... the outfit itself looks so good. That ... You're doing something very serious, you're very focused, and you're about to get dusty and dirty, but it still looks immaculate, everyone walking around in their perfectly tailored outfits. I love that.
Dana: I feel so much more competent when I am putting on exactly what I wanna look like. Feeling good in your clothes makes you just that much more powerful.