In this month's blog we get face to face with Eqclusive.com owner and founder Marta Kotonska, to find out what drives her forward and her limitless passion for horses.
Having spent a substancial length of time grooming on the professional equestrian circuit in Poland, Kotonska's energy, desire to make a difference, and genuine consideration towards horses is plain for all to see.
She highlighted: "Having been around horses since a very young age, I have always had an interest in horse wellbeing and maximising the use of high quality equipment. The business has evolved from this belief and after seeing a gap in the market for the additional quality featured in products on the continent I decided to follow this passion."
Since moving to the UK almost 10 years ago from Northern Poland, she witnesses many similarities in equestrian cultures: "My mother always encouraged my younger sister, Maja, and I to spend time riding - in hindsight this was due to much more than socialising and a pastime, it has become a life's passion (Marta's sister is now an equine vet in her native country). Regardless of global location, we at Eqclusive believe this is what makes our company special - we share our customers' passion for horses and their comfort. As clichéd as it sounds - this business was not formed to make money, it exists to add value to the way that riders appreciate equipment and we recognise that our customers' horses need to live their lives in comfort".
"Getting the company to where it is at has been more like a hack than a solo effort - I've been on my horse alone but have had many people alongside me on the journey so far - for that I am extremely grateful and their expert input has been vital in the development of fresh ideas."
Marta feels that her background, as a specialist recruiter in accountancy and finance - typically working with some of the world's largest auditing firms - has put her in a strong position with Eqclusive. She adds: "Throughout my career, I have always believed in customer service being the lifeblood of all that I do. I know it's a cliche, but our customers are what make us great - they let us know what we are doing well, what the improvements are and keep raising the bar in terms of the high-quality products we stock.
People often ask why I made the step from a secure job with good commissions to focus on what many see as a successful 'lifestyle business' - quite simply, once the seed was sewn in my head it grew to a level where I could no longer ignore it and after a number of conversations and listening to my horse riding peers I knew it was the correct decision.
I believe in giving something back too and we are working on a number of partnerships with recognised horse-related charities and associations. Horse and rider welfare will always be what we are founded on and our raison d'etre - Eqclusive has (and never will be) a purely revenue-driven business."
If you would like us to stock your product in our store or have any suggestions on innovative equestrian equipment, we'd love to hear from you. Send us an email on the product and why you feel it's different or experience-changing to firstname.lastname@example.org