Lisa and Alessandra Veltri
Oceanport, New Jersey
Veltri Sport LLC
How did you and your daughter become part of the horse world?
My daughter, Alessandra, started riding at age 4. She immediately took an interest at a friend’s birthday party when she never got off the pony ride! Alessandra started showing a year later in leadline and then went through all the divisions. She owned several ponies over the years that took her all the way to Pony Finals. After that, she started Junior Hunters. This past year she took a break from competing and has just been riding leisurely. She needed time to enjoy friends, focus on school and start the college search. Now 17, she is looking to return and interested in riding on a college club team.
I was your typical horse mom that traveled with her to all the shows—New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio and Florida.
When did you start your company and what gave you the idea?
We launched the Veltri brand last August 2021. My background was in the fashion industry, and I worked for many years buying and developing designer handbag and accessory brands. I was retired when I became the traveling horse mom. Over the years, Alessandra and I became frustrated that we couldn’t find what we were looking for. We wanted something that was more fashion forward, that you could take from a show out to dinner but that was also functional. This is now our company catch phrase: “The Synergy of Fashion and Function.” Basically, we fused Alessandra’s needs and my fashion background into Veltri. We wanted to provide the functionality to the equestrian, but have the products be attractive enough, appealing to anyone. This allows our consumers to wear these accessories anywhere. Our backpacks and accessories were designed for the equestrian but with the goal of multiple end-uses. Our customer can take our backpack to school, work, the barn, the ski slopes, traveling and more. The belt bag is great for a ride with your horse, but is also just as convenient at the gym, a run or to walk your dog.
What part does your company play in the horse world?
Veltri offers premium quality, sustainable fashion accessories. We use 90% recycled materials because being responsible is at the forefront of our decisions. We continue to source new materials, so we can one day be 100% recycled. We won’t sacrifice design and quality if a sustainable option does not exist.
We also wanted a bag that would have a concealed, padded compartment to keep your helmet protected. Riders spend so much money on helmets, it’s critical to house them in a secure place. Funny thing—I have many customers who, when they are not riding, utilize the padded compartment for their cameras!
What’s your goal with having a strong emphasis on sustainability?
We believe it’s extremely important for Veltri, the horse industry and the world to start making responsible choices. We need to continue to find creative ways to limit or reuse waste. Using quality products that last and limiting disposable products from your daily living is a good start. Try to go back to the basics even though it may take a bit more time and energy. Use reusable bags, bottles and mason jars. Buy what you need and not more. Reinvent leftovers and/or compost. Shop from companies that offer carbon offsets. Work with your dry cleaner to return wire hangers. These are just a few ideas that we do regularly. There are so many ways we can do our part to mitigate waste. We would all like to leave behind a beautiful planet for future generations.
What’s the best part about being a woman entrepreneur in the fashion industry?
It has been an amazing experience being a woman entrepreneur because of all the other female business owners we’ve met. They support each other and help each other out wherever possible, giving advice with past experiences. I really have never experienced anything like it in my past. It’s truly inspiring and motivating. I love my fellow woman entrepreneurs!
What great things have happened because of your business?
We have met so many amazing people! A special mention to the staff at the New York office of the Special Olympics. We sponsored this year’s equestrian athlete from New York. Being involved with the Special Olympics was truly eye opening. These athletes are so driven, and it touched our hearts to see the love and support for all of them. Veltri will definitely be involved in the future.
What’s the best thing about your life?
My family, which the brand is named after, is the best thing in my life. They have been extremely supportive and helpful with this new endeavor. They give me the encouragement to continue when there are tough days or weeks. I could not have done it without them, and they are so fun to be with, too!
Best kept secret about what you do?
The company operates out of my house. My detached garage has turned into my warehouse, which seems to be working fine for now. My husband and two sons help with stock and shipping. My 93-year-old mother-in-law, who is a proud part of Veltri, even rolls up her sleeves to help. We are a true grassroots company!
My King Charles spaniel, Duke, is the company mascot … we bring him to shows and everyone absolutely loves him! People recognize him and call him by name. I will need to get him some personalized Veltri accessories.
For more information, visit veltrisport.com or Instagram @veltrisport
Photos by Melissa Fuller, msfullerphotography.com