This week Aztec Diamond Equestrian spoke to Emma Hartshorne - the 22 year old owner of luxury equestrian and lifestyle monthly subscription box Forelock and Fringe. The boxes are currently the first and only world-wide equine subscription box that not only contains products for the horse, but also the rider too. Forelock and Fringe boxes feature products such as horse treats, grooming products, accessories and any other general product to care for your horse. The other half features beauty products, lifestyle products such as clothing, candles etc as well as alcohol and snacks- which means there’s just about every product which allows F&F to treat both you and your horse.
What inspired you to start your own business and how did Forelock and Fringe all begin?
I have always had a passion for horses and beauty. I spent most of my teenage years at horse shows around the country and realised that so many horse owners spend more time caring for their horses than themselves, they wouldn’t dream of buying themselves a new pair of £80 shoes but think nothing when the farrier comes! I saw a gap in the market to treat equestrians directly, I realised they still want to treat their horses whilst indirectly caring for themselves too. I was heading into my internship year during uni and was offered my dream job in London, but i am a Yorkshire girl at heart and decided against it. I was lucky my university provide a programme to help you launch a business and work for yourself as your own intern. Whilst giving you support and helping you if you need it along the way, which was vital in getting Forelock and Fringe off the ground in April 2018. Due to the success 8 months later I then launched Hounds and Hers which is the dog & dog mum equivalent.
How do you choose which products to include in your equestrian subscription box? / What kind of products could a customer expect to receive in one of your subscription boxes?
Horses, beauty and alcohol or non alcohol (although the latter option is less popular!) is our tag line! I’m always on the look out for the latest things and trying to find new products on the market. I spend hours researching and sourcing vegan, cruelty free and organic beauty and lifestyle products as well as cool new snacks and drinks. Coming from a showjumping background and being brought up around friends and family who compete professionally in different disciplines makes the horsey side that much easier. We never repeat the same product type at least not for 6 months or so and try to keep things varied. It helps being my own target audience so I try to pick things I know people will want, for example nobody wants bottles upon bottles of lotions and potions you never use! We plan boxes months in advance and I always get help from my mum and non horsey boyfriend who both give two different opinions which I think works really well and seems to help us cover the majority of our members. We always try to include products that are not readily available, so usually members haven’t ever seen or heard of the products before. It’s nice to include the odd item they know well or are familiar with but I believe one of the most important things about subscription boxes is to try new things, we often get members telling us they’ve found a new favourite product and head back to re buy from the supplier!
What is your favourite part about your business?
Without a doubt seeing photos and comments when members receive their boxes each month! I also surprisingly love packing day, its only 2/3 days a month as we only ship out between 1st-5th and I find it so relaxing. I fully switch off from life stresses and don’t have to really think too much, I find switching off hard to do so its always one of those days I wake up excited for!
What is the hardest part about your business?
At the moment the hardest part is finding time for everything! I am in my final year at uni full time studying product design so trying to run two businesses and finish my final year dissertation gets hard at times.
Apart from that the only other thing I don’t enjoy is emailing. I spend 99% of my day replying to emails, I know it’s the same for everybody in any business but it’s not my favourite thing it has to be said!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Apart from sat on a beach drinking wine all day, I hopefully will have finished uni! I’d hope that life will be more settled and routine and not all over the place trying to do so many things. As for business I hope both Forelock and Fringe and Hounds and Hers have grown and have more members of staff to help me. My mum absolutely loves helping me run both businesses and helps me part time currently but I would love for her to be able to work full time for me, I would love to be able to employ family members. I am excited to see the contents of the box grow too, as the more members we get the better we can make the boxes which makes me very excited about being able to work with such awesome brands and include some amazing products. We already have some incredible things coming up! (Keep an eye out for some more beautiful Aztec Diamond features too.)
Love the look of Forelock & Fringe? subscribe at https://forelockandfringe.co.uk