As a part of our 14th birthday celebrations we thought you might all like to meet the amazing woman behind the brand, Managing Director Tammy Raine! Over the past 14 years Tammy has put her heart and soul into creating stunning designs for you all to love, so we thought it was about time you got to know a little more about her and how she has achieved such wonderful things for Giddyupgirl!
Q: What made you start Giddyupgirl
A: 14 Years ago I was at a Pony Club camp at Nambour Show grounds with my then 12 year old daughter and was watching the girls getting coached. Something suddenly struck me! Most of the girls were wearing surf and street brands…back then it was Roxy, Billabong and Supre. It kind of hit me like a lightening bold actually…I thought What The!! These girls ride horses not waves!
That night I could not sleep, I was SO EXCITED and couldn’t wait to start my market research!
The following day I spent the day researching the Australian equestrian market size and how many specific equestrian brands there were servicing this market. To my surprise there were only a few and they were mainly making show wear or just jodhpurs/breeches.
I then had to come up with a name and giddyupgirl was born.
Q: How did you start the process?
A: Having a background in the fashion industry working as a model and in sales in fashion agencies I had a good idea of how it all worked and quickly started sourcing fabrics and manufacturers here in Australia.
I launched with t-shirts initially, just to stick my toe in the water. T-shirts with fun slogans like Get Bucked, Been There Jumped That and Just Get Over It – to name a few. The Get Bucked tee sold out so fast I didn’t know what hit me!
Pretty quickly the stores wanted a piece of them as well but I couldn’t sell to them having things made in Oz because there wasn’t enough margin in it for the both of us to make a profit due to the high cost of labour and fabrics here. Also at that time fabric mills Australia wide were closing down at a rapid rate making it tough to get the fabrics I wanted.
I knew I had to look off shore so I went to a Trade Show in Shanghai, China to try to find some suppliers. I was very concerned about getting a reputable factory to work for me, even back then I was wanting to associate myself with ethical companies and was not going to settle for sweat shops or slave labour.
I met 3 suppliers and went to visit their work places and was completely comfortable with all of them. They are all amazing and have become part of the giddyup family. I usually go back every year to visit them and am very fond of them. They even send me amazing Christmas gifts!
Q: How did you market the brand back then?
A: Well there was no such thing as Facebook or Instagram so we relied on word of mouth, a website and the stores to promote us. It didn’t take too long because I was really the only different equestrian brand on the scene so word got out pretty fast.
Q: What are your high points and low points so far
A: All businesses have highs and lows and I have had my fair share. Some highs are being on the cover of the trade mag in the UK at the biggest equestrian trade fair in Europe, getting contracts in South Africa, the UK and Canada. Getting the contract to make the Grand National Merchandise for 2017, 18 and 19.
On the low side, I am a very trusting, loyal and honest person and have definitely been taken advantage of by some big players. There are some ruthless people in this industry and they will do whatever it takes to knock you down or copy you. This has happened to me more than once but I bounced back because of the belief in the brand and the joy of seeing riders out there wearing our products makes all worthwhile. Owning your own business is not for the light hearted or lazy.
Q: Do you still own horses
A: Sadly no I do not, my daughter and inspiration is now 26 and is an oncology nurse at Brisbane Royal Hospital and has no time to ride and I have a back injury so I am out as well.
Q: How do you know what riders want if you don’t ride?
A: That is quite easy actually because I surround myself with awesome riders that are top of their field and we brain storm about ideas and what they like and don’t like and they also test the products. Their input is so valuable to me.
Q: What do you look for in a sponsored rider
A: We are always on the lookout for riders that we can sponsor. Each year we review our riders and look at their performance and what they have put into their riding efforts for the year. We like to sponsor dedicated riders that are liked by their peers. They must keep us up to date with their achievements and promote our brand as much as possible when out and about.
Q: What does the future hold for Giddyup
A: Now that is a good question? Things have changed SO MUCH since I started 14 years ago. There are SO many new Australian equestrian brands starting up making the market share smaller and smaller for all of us. The number of riders in Australia hasn’t changed but the amount of brands has gone through the roof.
As I was one of the 1st we have a solid following so we are doing just fine but it does amaze me how many new brands are are starting up.
We have now started to become more and more involved with designing and producing merchandise and uniforms for clubs and events and are loving that! We are very trusted in the market place and have access to top suppliers so it is an easy, no fuss experience for the committees organizing their events or uniforms.
Aside from that we will continue to bring out on-trend and different outfits for our amazing customers and hope to be here for many more years to come.
Tammy with her 1st ever sponsored riders Tayla Berry (right) and Grace Berry (left) at Grand National 2017
Tammy's daughter Cassie at a Gymkhana in 2005 with her beloved horse Leisha
One of giddyupgirls 1st ever tradeshows BETA UK 2006
Front Cover or UK Mag 2009
1st ever giddyupgirl T 2004.