India Lynn Wilkinson
Atlanta, Georgia, and Vero Beach, Florida
Equestrian Marketing Consultant and Developer of Mane Street Market App
How long have you been part of the horse world?
I was one of the lucky ones who got a pony as a very young child; my family was not into horses at all, but I was clearly obsessed. I’m so fortunate that my mom believed that it wasn’t just a phase and supported my dreams. I started in the Western world and grew up in 4-H, to which I still attribute my meticulous tendencies regarding horse care. I took a break during college and then started in the hunters in my early 20s. So, it’s been a love affair for about 51 years!
What part do you play in the horse world?
I’ve played all the parts! Farm owner, boarder, competitor, show mom, event organizer, sponsor, equestrian business owner, brand consultant, volunteer. I’ve evented for the past 15 years then turned DQ [dressage queen] and proud to say I just earned my Bronze medal! Career-wise, I worked in corporate marketing for 20 years (had to pay for the ponies!) and then created my own equestrian marketing agency focusing on sponsorship acquisition and events. I did some really cool things during that time including being the marketing director for the Atlanta Steeplechase and the equestrian marketing liaison for Cavalia, among working with other amazing clients. Most recently I launched an app called Mane Street Market for the equestrian world in May of 2021, and our goal is to be the go-to marketplace for all things equine! The overwhelmingly positive response from the equestrian world is both exciting and humbling—I am so grateful.
India is happy to be a dressage queen and has earned her Bronze medal.
Photo by Juliana Whittenburg
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
Everything I do involves horses, so of course they are my favorite part. If I had to choose something else it would be horse people—they are my people. I have always been a connector—I love to help people find the resources they need and help business owners attract new customers. Being able to turn that passion into a brand that is helping people sell their horses, expand their network and build their companies is a dream come true!
What do you consider your biggest achievements?
In the horse world, it has to be the UGA Vet School Success Story calendar I created 10-plus years ago. To date, it’s raised over $1 million in pledges for the vet school, and the idea came from an extended stay there from my heart horse, Justin. In my personal life, I’m most proud of raising an amazing daughter. Maggie and I have a shared passion for horses and I was able to spend so much time with her at the barn, trail riding and at shows while she was growing up. She’s a senior at UGA now and getting ready to pursue a master’s degree in public health. Maggie is the kindest person I know; she has a huge heart for serving others and I am proud to be her mama (yes, she still calls me Mama).
India has used her love of horses to work as an entrepreneur in the equestrian world, most recently creating an app called Mane Street Market to buy and sell horses.
What are your goals for your company and your life?
My goal for the company is the same for my life, which is to be able to serve the community I love: professionally through the Mane Street Market app, and personally through my volunteer and rescue efforts. The more successful the company becomes, the more horses and donkeys I can rescue!
What’s the best thing about your life?
I’m really bold about my faith, so I would say the best thing about my life is being a child of God, being married to my incredible and supportive husband Ed (he sees my vet bills, so that says a lot!) and being Maggie’s mom.
India, center, with her family, daughter Maggie, left and husband Ed.
Best kept secret about what you do?
People think that I must be super tech savvy to have developed an app, but it’s actually the farthest thing from the truth. I’m a marketing girl and super creative, but anything with tech or math makes my brain hurt. I’m a big proponent of hiring your biggest weakness and focusing on your strengths, and abiding by this has definitely allowed me to build a successful career in the equestrian industry. Another fun fact is that I worked for Sidelines when it was a newspaper in Wellington—that was 26 years ago!
India Wilkinson, creator of the Mane Street Market app available on digital devices.
For more information, visit manestreetmarket.com
Photos courtesy of India Wilkinson, unless noted otherwise