19th December 2019
The madness that was August now seems like a distant memory, especially with the cold front we’ve had in Perthshire recently, it even snowed yesterday evening whilst I was taking Rennie to her football gym session, but I really can’t let more time pass without telling you all about my experience at Blair Atoll Horse Trials. In my previous blog “Where am I now?” I told you all about Pollyanna Smith, and my continuing support of not just her, but the BEU18 Scotland team as a whole. This year I relented and made Pollyanna a trot up outfit in pale pink, not the same one she had hankered after last year, but something completely different, a style that I had been meaning to try for some time, and with a gorgeous little skirt to match. We matched it with a navy fedora, and the most gorgeous feather pin which Megan from The Lone Stag made, it was a work of art in itself. The ensemble was finished off with a pair of navy suede boots from the iconic brand Fairfax and Favour. Blair Atholl is a 4 day event starting on the Thursday, some traders start their set up as early as the Monday, but for me Wednesday afternoon is soon enough. I had planned to arrive in good time to watch Pollyanna and Mouse do their trot up, and get some photos to aid my marketing for the weekend. As per usual I was running late, I must look at my time management, but I managed to make it before Pollyanna was due to present to the ground jury. Every horse that is competing in the 3 day event must be seen by the ground jury to assess their fitness to take part. In recent years this has turned into a bit of a fashion show, with all the riders turning themselves out to look as well groomed as the horses are. Several events now have their trot ups sponsored by Hi Ho Silver, a well known equestrian themed jeweller. Hi Ho Silvers King of the Road, Andrew, was responsible for picking his favourite lady, and favourite gent. It’s always a nerve-racking experience watching a horse that you’re connected with trot before the ground jury, not helped one little bit by Laura, Pollyanna’s Mum being a complete worry wort. There was a collective sigh of relief as Mouse was passed fit, and we trundled off to congratulate Pollyanna. The first thing she said to me was “Andrew said he’ll be having his picture taken with me later!”. I tried not to get my hopes up, as I didn’t see how a little company like @RebelGD could compete against all the big brands that I shan’t name! As it was raining we didn’t hang about after taking the obligatory pictures, with Mouse taken back to the stables, and I set about the task of setting up my stand.
I had just about finished emptying the car when the phone rang, it said Laura on my screen. I actually thought it was another friend, who was phoning to remind me about getting my bookkeeping up to date, however the voice on the other end of the phone said “ How does it feel to be the designer of the winning trot up outfit?” Well I don’t mind telling you I was gob smacked, still am if I’m totally honest! “You need to come and do an interview with Andrew about Pollyanna’s outfit”. So I dashed out the stand, hair soaking wet, no make-up, scruffy setting up clothes on to do a video interview. The next hour passed by in a whirl, I babbled incessantly on IGTV about tweed, how wonderful it was, and my business aims, I could have talked all day (that won’t surprise those that know me!), and I could not keep the grin off of my face. You can see the interview with Pollyanna and myself here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B1cODAIh8bI/ With Pollyanna’s outfit proudly displayed outside my stand I did not stop for the 4 days of the show, and in fact I have just completed the last commission that I got whilst I was there. In the run up to the event I had told clients and friends to pop by and see me, which many did, but I was so busy some couldn’t get in the stand. It has had a massive impact on my business, and getting my name out there, every time I think about the experience I smile, hopefully it can bring me joy, friendships and business for a long time to come.
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