Western & English Today

SUM 2015

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

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Western & English Today 15 SUMMER 2015 See the Pendleton Accessory Collection at these shows: Denver WESA, Salt Lake City Outdoor Retailer, Las Vegas Project, and Stitch General Sales Offce Chris Callahan 503.535.5890 Ariat sponsors top Western and English riders such as hunter rider Liza Boyd, above, along with show jumper Beezie Madden, three-day eventer Phillip Dutton, bull rider Matt Triplett, reiner Shawn Flarida, bareback rider Kaycee Field and calf roper Jackie Hobbs-Crawford. ONE HAPPY ARIAT FAMILY In June 2012, Ariat was sold to the Fisher family — founders of Gap, Inc. — and to its own management, which includes Cross. (Ariat is not part of the Gap.) Nothing changed in the way Ariat values its employees, believing that keeping them informed at all levels makes a company tick, Cross says. As one of eight children herself, being part of a coherent team just feels natural, as evidenced by the vibe at Ariat's newly remodeled Union City, California, headquarters. Cross is proud of the new look and the image it conveys: fresh, open interiors, conveying an attitude that's comfortable yet professional, offering space for both privacy and collaboration. The look's refective of her management style, which also welcomes the energy of dogs on the campus. She knows employees appreciate the benefts of Ariat's fexibility — and she lets employees know she appreciates them, as she does her retailer family. As Ariat prepares to welcome its spring 2016 product line, she hopes you'll share her enthusiasm. "Let's look at how we maximize business together this fall," she says. "We hope every retailer will take advantage of the training opportunities we ofer and utilize the support they can get from their Ariat sales rep. "We put so many useful tools into the hands of the reps," she says. "Please ask them what's new in the product line and what marketing initiatives are coming up." Cross appreciates that for brick and mortar stores, every customer who comes in is a crucial one, and she says Ariat wants to help. "We also believe the consumer wants to be educated, and that gives the retailer a reason to exist and to compete with online sellers." She promises that Ariat's focus won't waiver. "We will stay ahead of the trends, and ahead of technology, and do it in a way that's understandable to the customer and that the retailer can get behind and sell." Finally, she answers the question that's been keeping some loyal fans of the brand awake at night as they ask themselves, "What the heck is an 'Ariat' anyway?" Tink "the last fve letters of "SecretARIAT's" name — the thoroughbred that, in 1973, became the frst Triple Crown winner in 25 years. No one would argue that both the horse and the company are big winners in the equestrian world. PHOTO OF LIZA BOYD © ALDEN CORRIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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