Entrepreneur — Pennsylvania and Florida
How long have you been part of the horse world?
I began riding when I was 8 because I begged my mom for one riding lesson for my birthday. I can still remember everything about that first lesson and I instantly fell in love. The pony was named JCrew, which is fitting and ironic if you think about it now that I’m able to combine my passion for being an equestrian and a designer.
What role do you play in the horse world?
I started the brand Ruespari four years ago. When I started the company, it was just me doing everything from marketing, designing and packaging. I now lead a team of people who bring my ideas to life. There’s a lot of work that goes into designing every collection and I’m fortunate to work with an amazing team of creative people. When I started the company, I just had one product: a flexible belt. We have since created belt collections for every season and our most recent product, the Equestrian Hip Clutch, which is made of rich vegan leather derived from plants. We will continue to create and forever hold a commitment to being a cruelty-free brand because at the core of everything is my love for animals.
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I’ve always had a love for accessories and beautiful pieces to wear. I’m always reading the latest magazines to see what’s in style and at the same time I’m conceptualizing my own ideas in my head for Ruespari. I truly love the creative side of my business: My favorite part is designing products and collections from start to finish.
What’s your biggest achievement?
Being able to create something that people truly love! If I’m at the horse show and I see equestrians in Ruespari, it always makes me smile.
What are your goals for the future?
I’d like to make Ruespari as well known as some of my other favorite mainstream brands. Our brand will always be different because we’re committed to creating only cruelty-free products. We have such a loyal equestrian following and it’s incredible how excited everyone gets over our new collections and products. We’re truly blessed to be able to create what everyone seems to love!
Best kept secret about what you do?
I’m very hands-on when it comes to my horses. I love competing in the ring, but my favorite thing is caring for them. It gives me great joy to see them looking their best.
What’s the best thing about your life?
Prior to starting Ruespari, I was in a really bizarre place in my life. I had sort of fallen into selling horses and I was very unfulfilled in all aspects of my life. It’s always been hard for me to look at animals as a commodity because I have strong bonds with the horses I own. I love being able to be an amateur rider that just enjoys my horses without the pressure or stress of having to sell them. That being said, I really love the process of finding, training and trying to improve a horse. I think it isn’t possible to keep every single one, but Laspari will be with me forever. I also love and feel empowered that I am a woman entrepreneur. I hope that I can be a positive role model to young girls that aspire to follow their dreams and live the life they always imagined.
For more information, visit www.ruespari.com/
Photos by Shawna Simmons, www.sasequinephotography.com