By Britney Grover
Portraits by Melissa Fuller
Brianne Link has always been ahead of her own age. By 10, she was applying to be a JustWorld International Ambassador, hoping to help children in need around the world. Now, three years after graduating from college, Brianne is not only very active in JustWorld but runs her own equestrian fashion business, Equisite Elements of Style, Inc. Brianne splits her time between her home in St. James, New York, and Wellington, Florida—when she’s not traveling to take Equisite to equestrians at top horse shows around the country. But her influence reaches even farther.
In Jocotenango, Guatemala, Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes converted the garage of his childhood home into a school. In 2008, JustWorld helped Juan Pablo officially create Los Patojos, an educational institution that has now grown to include two campuses with full K-12 accreditation known as El Patojismo. At the original home-turned-school, a sign designed and created by the students reads, “Much appreciation to Brianne Link for helping to build dreams and hope. Los Patojos, 2009.” “I will always cherish the excitement, appreciation, feeling of accomplishment and the utmost love I felt for El Patojismo after raising the funds needed to put a roof over the courtyard of the original school and accepting the praises of so many young, smiling children,” Brianne said.
Whether donning the blue JustWorld International show coat in an upper-level show jumping competition, engaging the equestrian community for a good cause or working to create and share classy and comfortable equestrian wear, Brianne is fashion forward.
How did you become part of the horse world?
After a birthday party pony ride at 4 years old, I fell in love with the equestrian sport. I’m established in the show jumping ring, where I compete in levels up to 1.45m and U25 Grand Prix with the training of Jeffery Welles of Triton Ventures. I’m currently devoting all my time to Equisite’s expansion and busy event schedule while waiting for my filly to grow and eventually have her show ring debut.
How did you get involved with JustWorld?
I remember sitting with my mom applying for JustWorld International at the dining table of my aunt and uncle’s house in Vermont at the age of 10. The idea of being able to contribute to children in need of assistance to fulfill their dreams in education, art, athleticism and professionalism is consistently magnetic to this day. JustWorld International has shaped my life, athletic career and professional pursuits in a multitude of ways. I can proudly say that as a high-level competitor in show jumping, I am well-known for my JustWorld blue show coat. I represented JustWorld team spirit in the Pony Jumpers, Children and Junior Hunters, Junior and Amateur Jumpers, and FEI and National Grand Prix competitions.
When did you start your company and what gave you the idea?
My passion for horses paired with a fascination for elegant clothing inspired the start of Equisite, an equestrian apparel and accessories line. I graduated from college in May 2020 with a bachelor of arts in equestrian studies and minor in business entrepreneurship from Savannah College of Art and Design. During my time studying, I focused on the art and design opportunities within the equestrian industry. With more than 20 years of equestrian competition experience, I’ve monitored the changes in the form and function of equestrian ensemble. After much research about the history of riding apparel, I wrote my senior thesis on the evolution of equestrian fashion. This gave me the strength to found my own brand.
What part does your company play in the horse world?
Equisite offers products that highlight beauty, comfort and confidence—all qualities a rider needs to have when entering the show ring. I continue to grow my brand and bring both comfort and class to every equestrian’s closet.
What is the best part about having an equestrian company?
I focus on sharing my designs with riders who also have a love for a chic horse show look. Equisite is my way to combine the love for horses and passion for clothing through the design of classy and comfortable equestrian fashion.
What challenges do you face?
There are numerous new entrants to the equestrian fashion industry combined with the prominence of worldly brands. I am continuously focusing on designing new collections that reflect seasonal trends, color palettes, new to market high-tech fabrics and industry needs.
What great things have happened because of your business?
Equisite paves the path for me to stay active in the equine industry and at horse show destinations while the physical act of horseback riding remains my pure passion.
What are your goals for yourself and your business?
My business goals include expanding market reach by increasing online and in-person presence that enhances brand recognition and loyalty. This will allow me to become an industry leader through experience, mentorship and network expansion. I look forward to getting into the show ring with my young horse and representing Equisite as the founder and CEO and top showjumping rider.
What advice would you give to other women considering entering the world of fashion?
We are inspired by our own experiences, interests and surroundings. Listening to your inner self by leading with an open mind, rewarding curiosity, fighting the fear of failure and committing to your unique creativity will build confidence and guide you to success.
What’s the best thing about your life?
I’m so lucky to have the flexibility of traveling to numerous destinations and physically bring Equisite to riders and those who appreciate timeless equestrian style worldwide, with endless support from my parents and sister, riding trainers and barn friends, fellow horse-lovers and business owners.
What’s the best-kept secret about what you do?
I’ve never taken a fashion class! Although it would be easy to believe I studied fashion design at Savannah College of Art and Design, I utilized the education taught from drawing, design, computer arts and business classes from my bachelor of arts and minor curriculum.
What part do you play with the Young Professionals of JustWorld?
I have taken on the role as chair of this year’s Young Professionals of JustWorld Committee. This group consists of hand-selected individuals age 21 to 35 who are passionately involved in the equestrian community. We will come together to support JustWorld International through a variety of initiatives, create lasting friendships and seek to showcase how benevolent and kind the young professionals in the equine industry are. We will make an impact in the world by focusing, uniting, engaging and leading with Justworld International. This exhilarating opportunity requires the participation of every single person who believes in the power of positive change. Each contribution, regardless of its size, has the potential to create ripples of transformation that can break barriers in the lives of the children that JustWorld supports.
For more information, visit equisite-elementsofstyle.com or Instagram @equisite_elementsofstyle.com
Photos by Melissa Fuller, melissafullerphotography33.mypixieset.com, unless noted otherwise