To be perfectly honest, it all began with a bitter rivalry and a snarky joke. If I am nothing else, I am always honest, and only sometimes snarky.
I was attending a horse show in Paso Robles, California in 2017 with my equestrian mobile store LA Saddlery and there was a t-shirt being sold by another vendor that everybody, for some reason, felt compelled to buy. It was just a plain white tee. Nothing seemed particularly special about the fabric or the fit. But it had the words Giddy Up on it in black bold caps. I think it retailed for around $35. For a high-end horse show, it was a price point after thought with a cliched phrase. A throw around barn tee if you will.
But I was amazed at how many people bought it! Not as amazed I am at how many people own hunt coats that are made out of scrim sheets, but amazed nonetheless. I was not particularly fond of this vendor. She was new to the circuit and did not understand the basic principles of retail, and had absolutely no ethical standards, or brains for that matter. Needless to say, she ended up owing a lot of money to a lot of people and didn’t last more than a couple of seasons on the circuit. But at this particular show she had a winning shirt. And it really annoyed me!
One day I was talking to my friend and scheming cohort and I joked that I wanted to get a sharpie and put “the f up” in between the word Giddy Up on one of her tees. We both had a good laugh and said that would be a grand idea. It then went on my to-do-list for the next round of eqgirl tees that I had been saying I was going to make for the past year. Eqgirl was the first brand I had started some years back that was gaining momentum just about the time I lost both my Italian and LA manufacturers. I talked about doing new shirts all 2017, and then again in 2018. Talk talk talk. But alas no new eqgirl collection. My forties came along and I just got distracted by, well, everything else that a woman who just turned 40 gets distracted by.
After a two-month hiatus from horse showing at the end of 2018, it was about time that I got off my complacent butt and giddy’d the f up! But I didn’t want to just make a plain Jane barn shirt. I have a hard time selling clothes that I wouldn’t wear myself. And for me to love a shirt it has to be incredibly soft. It has to be flowy but flattering. And if it’s literally going to say something, it has to be sassy. I mean I really don’t want to drink Champagne all day and ride horses, that shit gives me headaches. So clearly I already had the sass, now I just needed the appropriate fashion vehicle for it.
On my inevitable post-Christmas exchange run, I was shopping at my favorite boutique and picked out the same super comfy fun tops I have been wearing for years. And I thought, damn these are them, these are my perfect eqgirl vehicle. I did a little research and found out that, not only was my favorite brand based and manufactured in my home town of L.A., it was also owned by an equally savvy and sassy woman. To my good fortune she ran her own manufacturing company in LA and produced lines for other companies. We instantly cliched and she loved my giddythefup. idea.
Lickity split we went and in two weeks I had the first of the giddythefup. fleece sweatshirts ready to go. If you happened to be at the horse show in Thermal California January 2019 then you were bound to see someone in a giddythefup. sweatshirt.
And just like that, one post to my Instagram account, and bam!, more sales. One after the other, shirts sold out the first week. So we ordered more. And what do you know, we sold out before the next week was even over. Other than keeping my Golden Retriever alive for almost 15 years, this was my next biggest accomplishment in life. Ok well after never strangling a customer, or an employee, or my boyfriend…then this.
I was bombarded with messages from people asking when I am going to do tees? Will I do a hat? Are you coming out a with a whole collection? Well I did. And I also realized that eqgirl was not the right name for my brand anymore. I was a woman now. No more girlish fantasies. No more yessing to everyone. No more Mrs. Nice Gal. It was time to embrace my truth. I am an honest, opinionated, and super sarcastic little feisty Italian horse woman. And if I wanted to be bad, well than I was going to be bad. The name Bad Horse was actually a suggestion from my boyfriend’s cousin who is in the entertainment industry, so credit is due where it is fully deserved. As soon as he said it, it stuck, and Bad Horse Los Angeles was officially born!
It should also be noted that I already have some nitwits knocking me off. Mass produced crap made overseas, or the occasional rider who tries to be cute on Etsy by copying other brands. It’s extremely tactless and uninspired. I would never intentionally copy another brand or try to capitalize on another person’s successful idea. I always strive to be my own brand of creativity, and will continue to produce quality products Made in Los Angeles. I wholeheartedly believe in small businesses, including small manufacturers that pay a living wage, especially made here on our home soil.
I hope you enjoy my little brand. I love hearing from customers and always am open to suggestions so don’t hesitate to reach out to me!