In 2011 more tack stores decided to carry Five Star Tack. It is gratifying to have stores that share my belief that selling the same looking strap goods as every other store does not make for sales. But, there are many more that still insist on selling the same look alike brands. That's okay. I'd rather have a few good customers than risk depleting both human and financial resources in the quest to be bigger. It's okay to be a dinghy boat in an ocean of cruise ships as long as you are going with the current. I am most appreciative of the tack stores that have chosen to carry Five Star and I hope you will check out our store locator and shop the tack store nearest you.
Our direct business, rallied for a strong finish at year's end. The economy impacted sales the first half of the year. Sales from events we sold at were way down from the prior year, until Fair Hill. I am thankful to the number of people who came up to say how much they loved both their Five Star bridle and what the company is about and it renewed my energy for the business. Needless to say, Fair Hill was huge and the rest of the year as well! There is still a long way to go and as anyone who has developed a new product or retail store knows, it takes many cash infusions in order to get to the point where the cash coming in is greater than the cash going out.
What is Five Star Tack doing for its customers? First, you will notice a big change with the website as we move to a new shopping cart/hosting platform and payment processor that will greatly allow for customization and an easier ordering process. We will be better able to showcase not only Five Star's products but also our sponsored riders and our customers! Many customers have sent in photos of their horse in its Five Star bridle and it will be great to feature them. If you haven't sent in your photos there is still time as it is looking like February for this feature to make its debut. You will also be able to shop Five Star Tack directly from our facebook page as well as shop from your smart phone.
Product wise, there are new products in the design process! There is a new crownpiece design that I think will provide the best combination of great comfort and fit. There is a figure eight bridle that, if it works out, will be unlike anything available here in the US. If it goes into production there will be a matching dressage bridle. The popular Signature Breastplate is being updated and will now have a "grab strap". You asked for it and we listened! We are also updating the elastic design so that the width can accommodate the five point breastplate and we are also updating the Ascot figure eight bridle. In addition there will be more girth offerings including the popular anatomic style, but with Five Star's distinctive design.
One thing that I did not give enough attention to that I am going to put more effort into is the Bridles with Benefits program. We were able to make a small donation to three thoroughbred charities along with bridles donated by customers and a few new Five Star bridles. This program can be so much more but I have to do a better job at promoting it.
Oh, and look for Five Star Tack at Rolex this year! There are many logistics to be worked out but I am very excited to be going.
As always if you have any suggestions for what we could be doing better please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!