Western & English Today

FALL 2018

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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FALL 2018 Western & English Today 7 W hen J. Michael Whatley and his wife, Barbara, moved to their first horse farm, the desire to mix business with pleasure in the eques- trian world led to the founding of Stirrups Clothing Company more than 24 years ago. Soon, the Whatleys had created a few de- signs and were off to exhibit at local horse shows. It was at a U.S. Equestrian team event in Aiken, South Carolina — when a booth neighbor, a local tack shop, noticed the customers lining up to purchase from Stirrups — that the company got its first big push toward expansion. "[e tack shop] said, 'Well, you ought to be selling that wholesale to us, the dif- ferent shops,' " Whatley recalls. e shop even put Whatley in touch with a sales rep it knew who helped grow the business toward the widely distributed platform it has today. Stirrups' first hired rep has been with the company ever since, and Whatley cites the company's employee longevity, wholesale business model, and wide cov- erage through the sales reps as keys to its success. Today, Stirrups calls itself a casual clothing brand and offers new designs each season. Products include the main Stirrups T-Shirt line, the comfort-centric shirts of the Equestrian Prep collection, baseball caps and hoodies, as well as a large amount of custom work done for various retailers. Another key to the company's success is its dependability for keeping items in stock. Stirrups prides itself on doing the design, screen-printing, and embroidery in-house, as well as housing garments in the United States for easy restocking. "We keep every- thing on the shelf for that season," Whatley says. [Consumers] can just always depend on us." stirrupsclothing.com STIRRUPS CLOTHING COMPANY A LITTLE NEIGHBORLY HELP GOES A LONG WAY IN THIS INDUSTRY. " Stirrups' printed shirts, hoodies, and embroidered caps are perfect for wearing with breeches in the barn or throwing on with jeans to run errands. Plus all of the designs are original — and there's something for everyone, whether your style is classically preppy or a little more sassy. " Holly Henderson, Editorial Director, W&E Today PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY STIRRUPS CLOTHING COMPANY By Lindsay Whelchel

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