Welcome back to the Brand Spotlight series. Audrey Newbrey, founder of Paint Me Dappled has generously answered a few questions for TJE! Paint Me Dappled is an equestrian boutique like no other that sells scented leather balm, creative treats, and bit wraps! This company was started by a junior with a vision to be different. Keep reading to learn more!
About Paint Me Dappled
"My goal with Paint Me Dappled from the beginning has been to build a platform I can use to help other small businesses get the recognition they deserve. Unlike the other equestrian boutiques at the time, I wanted to have an array of fun and affordable products that featured little known companies. So many people had been selling socks, designer apparel, and tack items that the market was fairly saturated. I decided the online equestrian boutique/retail industry needed a new face to spice things up a bit."
"When I was 13 I became curious about finding more ways to occupy my time and possibly support my riding. I researched for quite some time about different business models and where I wanted to take this. In March of 2019, I finally started my company selling tail bags, polo wraps, and mystery boxes. Obviously it has evolved since then, but we all start somewhere!"
Business in Equestrian
"Often on Instagram for the people who do post more behind the scenes of owning a business, it’s still hard for people to understand the physical and mental strain it can take on you. Just for a quick background, my usual summer day goes something like this. Wake up, answer DMs and emails for an hour or two, update the Instagram, ride my horse, pull orders, make the balm, restock shelves, organize the business area, make care packs, update finances, research and source new products, maybe have 30-60 minutes of downtime to myself, then go to bed around 11-12. I wish I could say it’s all sunshine and rainbows, but you have to be careful not to burn yourself out. For all of the lows, the highs are so worth it. Owning a business has taught me so many lessons and when you hit certain goals, it’s so encouraging."
"Some of the biggest challenges I’ve faced and I’ve seen cause the closing of small businesses is motivation, time management, finances. I’ll start with finances because it’s a crucial part of any business. I started PMD with $100 and trust me the supplies add up! Don’t feel the need to spend huge amounts of money on stock and inventory! Test the waters and see what sells and what doesn’t. Don’t be quick to put things on sale or offer deals, the right person will come along and then you won’t lose money! This was an important lesson I had to teach myself about patience. I will always say to keep spreadsheets of costs and expenses so you know exactly how much your finances for that month were. This is an important habit to have, especially when you need to start paying business taxes."
"Motivation is probably one of the most important factors in a successful business. If you only start it to get money, you won’t be as successful in the long run. The best companies are based on passion and motivation to continually improve. If you ever feel caught up in the heat of it all or questioning why you still do this, take a step back and remember why you started this in the first place. I’ve come close to closing PMD on multiple occasions, but then I remembered that this is exactly what I wanted a year ago."
"Last but certainly not least, time management. This is a very common issue for small businesses because most of us are one-person operations and cannot afford employees. I promise you it is entirely possible to balance good grades, horseback riding, and a high order volume. Don’t be scared to take on the extra challenge, if you want this bad enough you’ll add up those spare minutes every day and make them count. Now that I’m an incoming freshman this year, I’m very fortunate to be starting online school to better manage my schedule, but I made this work in school for a year prior, I promise it’s not impossible!"
Advice for Juniors
"A word of advice to aspiring junior riders and entrepreneurs, make your business your own, and don’t let a few bad reviews get to you. Don’t be afraid to change your pricing, your packaging, your product, and please, KNOW YOUR WORTH. You deserve to make a profit on products, and no one should make you feel bad about that. You worked hard, you developed a product, and it is up to you on pricing. Be sure to research and take notes on other businesses, but don’t copy business models or products. The most successful businesses are the self-made ones."
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Be sure to...
Follow Paint Me Dappled on Instagram @paintmedappled
Learn more about Paint Me Dappled here
Any questions? Email Audrey at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you guys had some fun reading today's Brand Spotlight! If you make a purchase at Paint Me Dappled, Direct Message (@TheJuniorEquestrian) me on Instagram, and I will give your account a 24-hour story shoutout!