This year our trade show was held in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas Market Center. The venue was amazing, with 15 floors of not only equestrian vendors but also jewelry, housewares, accessories, footwear, and apparel. Of course, the first order of business to start any busy morning starts with caffeine. Sara and Dylan along with many others in need of a caffeine fix found themselves in line at an onsite Starbucks. Thankfully Noreen and I take our caffeine cold and carbonated in the mornings! Giving us a quick chance to look around the first floor and familiarize ourselves with the layout.
Once caffeinated we made our way to the express elevators which shot us up to the top floors of the venue. Stepping off the elevator was nothing short of amazing! We came in a little early so many of the vendors were still in the process of setting up their booths. We had scheduled 2 hours in the morning to simply walk around, so the 4 of us split up in an effort to divide and conquer the huge layout and make notes about pieces we wanted to share and new vendors we wanted to visit. After a quick meet and greet with our friends at the Tucci, Ego 7, and Hannah Child's suite, we split up and I ducked around the corner to start my stroll. With so much to see it’s hard not to stop at every single suite. But when I turned the corner I spotted some apparel and gear from a company that I had not seen before.Chestnut Bay had a beautiful setup but what really caught my eye was the show shirts. The company has put a spin on the dark show shirt with white collar and cuff trend that the jumpers are wearing. They took the design a step further and created a similar look that hunter and Eq riders can enjoy! They offered a selection of conservative and rich colors with a traditional hunter wrap collar and a white front placket, accented with white cuffs and beautiful contrasting prints on the interior collar and cuffs. Slide on your show coat and you’ve got the perfect white shirt underneath, when you're done showing you’ve got an elegant casual shirt with lovely detailing.They also had a collection of gear bags in several fun colors. It’s refreshing to see companies getting away from black and navy helmet/jacket/ saddle bag collections! Chestnut Bay offered a fun dark purple plaid and a navy plaid as well as some solid colors with accent piping. These pieces were very thoughtfully constructed for the active equestrian. I can’t wait to share these pieces with you this spring!!
From there I met up with Dylan and we strolled by the Jacks manufacturing suite. Jacks is a family-owned distribution and manufacturing vendor. Jacks supplies us with our Baker plaid blankets, sheets, totes, bags & accessories. It should be noted I have a beautiful vintage Baker backpack that has been out of production for many years that I often use as a purse. While admiring their display of Baker goods, we were approached by Chelsea, a third-generation member of the Jacks family. After a brief chat, I suggested they bring the backpack back into the collection and showed her my bag.
Her eyes opened wide and she called Dede, another member of the Jacks team over to check out my bag. They knew a backpack had been made but had never seen one up close. They were very excited about the idea of bringing the backpack back into production.After a detailed examination of the logo on my bag, Dede determined the bag was produced by a Baker manufacturer in the late 80s / early 90s. I had no idea the bag was that old, a friend had one that was a slightly different style, I really liked it. I knew it was no longer made so I searched high and low until I found one. Turns out Dede - is the current owner of Jacks. After much discussion, with many pictures and measurements of my bag taken, they are excited at the prospect of putting the Baker backpack back into production. They even offered to send me a sample for feedback once they have a prototype ready. - I’m super excited to show this to you guys once I can confirm the piece is going forward! Jacks has also started carrying CBD products for horses, companion animals, and humans. We are going to partner with Panacea Life Sciences on a blog post introducing how CBD works and how it can help you or your animals to feel and perform their best. I personally have taken small amounts of CBD before my classes at horse shows. Occasionally I let my nerves overwhelm me to the point of getting in the way of riding effectively. I have found the CBD to be quite helpful in settling my nerves and helping me focus on my riding in my classes. Keep an eye out for this post coming soon!Next, we went to Tucker Tweed (some women collect shoes, I collect bags and after working at a tack shop for 15 years I’m also now a leather snob) Jill Tucker of Tucker Tweed has by far the most amazing collection of handbags I have ever seen! They vary from small wallets and handbags to beautiful deep totes, and let's not forget the overnight bag - SWOON! Her beautiful display of bags spotlight new colors for the season that include a lovely soft blue paired with a rich brown, known as Sky blue with chocolate. So pretty!!Then we all met up at our appointment with Hannah Childs to see the latest in her athleisure wear collection. We loved the vibrant colors, soft fabrics, and summer feel of her collection. Her pieces easily go from street to stable and then the gym, so comfortable, durable, and good looking! You’re going to love her sun shirts coming next spring!After meeting up with Hannah we went to the booth next door which was KONG - for horses!! The toy pictured is called the Kong Wubba for horses. It's a sturdy toy made for horses who play hard. They are now offering a unique line of toys for horses sure to entertain even the most inquisitive steed! Even Sara and Dylan had fun playing with them!On to a quick cruise through Michel McNabb jewelry, beautiful, intricate highly detailed bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings for the horse enthusiast. The collection was elegant without being overly horsey. Perfect for gift giving or acknowledging a special occasion. After lunch, we headed over to Barbour to take a look at their new Spring offerings. I’m a huge fan of all things soft and fuzzy. They had a fleece vest and pullover in a faux shearling that was simply darling! If you know me, you know I live in fleece pullovers all winter long! Of course, the classic waxed outerwear collection is always beautiful as well. They also had a fun collection of hats and accessories that we loaded up on for next season.We found a new manufacturer of schooling breeches from Royal Highness. These entry-level breeches come in super cute colors with fun accents and piping colors. They also offered a collection of kid's sun shirts in adorable prints. Honestly, I’m a little jealous, I would totally wear some of those kid's prints! They also have a line of really well-built entry-level saddles we have found to be very impressed with. The investment is small but the saddles are well balanced giving riders the support they need when starting out. Ask us next time you are in the store, we would love to show them to you! We ended the day with Goode Rider’s spring line. Everyone loves the miracle breech, the design and fabric make everyone look and feel like a runway model! This spring they are branching out in a bold move introducing a new fabric called Lumiton. The Lumiton fabric takes sunlight and recreates it into red and near-infrared light which creates all kinds of healing benefits. Riders suffering from arthritis pain, muscle pain, acne, and other ailments have found relief when wearing this fabric. The fabric also offers cooling technology while supplying SPF 50 sun protection! This fabric is so new, fabric dying technology has not caught up yet, so for now these pieces will only be available in a collection of fun light, and bright colors.
What a day right? And this is only the end of day ONE!!! Wednesday starts us off at one of our favorite distributors, English Riding Supply! They distribute for a lot of top brands you recognize like Pessoa, Ovation, Romfh, and Catago just to name a few. We were shown several new pieces of bridle work, including some with rose gold buckles and rhinestones! One of the show stoppers is new FIR technology from Catago. Offered in a variety of pieces for both human and horse use, the textile used in these pieces is very high tech and similar to the beloved Back On Track collection of goods that has gotten so hard to get. We have another collaborating blog post coming with the tech experts at ERS to help understand the technology and how to use these amazing pieces. The long-awaited Samshield appointment did NOT disappoint!! If you like bling, this collection is for you! There will be several new schooling colors coming this spring to their breech collection, adorned with crystals or metal studs, both lines are evolving and updating. We love the new addition of a cell phone pocket, so riders can stop tucking their phone behind their belt buckle or in their sports bra. The pocket is well hidden, but also well sized to fit your phone and the case your phone lives in! Always amazing outerwear and show shirts from Samshield with fabulous details including lace, rose gold, crystals, and studs. They are adding on some fun new customizable options to the Flex-on Stirrup collection that includes bold glittery options, as well as the new Hunter stirrup iron, which has grown immensely in popularity over the past several months.
We spent some time getting to know more of the Arion leather goods - SWOON!!! So soft! These European pieces are highly detailed and beautifully constructed! We currently carry most of this collection at our TIEC and Ocala stores, be on the lookout for more pieces as we add to this collection! For our dressage riders, we stopped in for a look at the latest styles from All Tied Up Stock Ties. They have a huge selection of unique ties that our dressage shoppers can’t seem to get enough of. Whether you are into classic and conservative, or bold with bling, All Tied Up has just what you are looking for! We will be adding her new styles to our website shortly! We spent the rest of our final afternoon at the Dallas market Center checking out all the individual vendors at the market show. We found many unique pieces of jewelry, apparel, accessories, and gifts from small independent vendors. I’m in love with the new belts, bags, and jewelry we’ve got coming. Sara and Dylan found some great gift pieces and home décor items that will add a bit of flair to any equestrian home.
Overall, it was a fun and exciting trip! We all get so giddy seeing upcoming products and wish we could take them right home with us. Keep an eye out for when these goodies come rolling in!
<Side Story> I’m sure everyone at this point is familiar with shipping issues and product delay, well the trade show is no different. A primary vendor of the show with a huge suite was still awaiting display materials and product from Europe that was delayed. Buyers were walking by repeatedly to check and see if the boxes had arrived. In an effort to expedite things, the company had the U.S. warehouse send product so the suite would not be empty. This delivery was also delayed. The folks running the suite had nothing more than some chairs, tables, empty shelves and a tv running a promo of their latest product on loop. The shipping situation is leaving no one untouched! It really is happening to everyone - the next morning both the delayed packages from Europe and from the expedited U.S. warehouse packages arrived at the same time. They were surrounded by boxes, hustling to put out all the display materials so buyers who had rescheduled appointments could touch and feel the newest designs. There was quite a bit of demand to get by the suite to see the new products once they finally arrived. <Side Story>
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