Julia Andrews is Managing Director Kate Negus Saddlery. Kate Negus Saddlery specialises in bespoke British bridlework for horses participating in all sports, and has customers from grassroots through to professionals. The bespoke concept is particularly clever as very few horses fit the standard sizes, and this means that most people have to buy extra pieces to make the bridle fit. This means that in order to
get a ‘cheap’ bridle to fit, some people can spend more than a good quality British bridle that will last a very long time when cared for correctly. What’s more, Kate Negus offers every individual part, even down to a keeper, separately, so if your horse breaks something or a part gets lost, it can be replaced at minimal cost. I’m very proud to have worked with Kate Negus Saddlery for a number of years and seen many of the company’s innovative products go from design to sale.
Tell us about you and your background
I have been in retail all my working life. I started stacking shelves at the Co-op aged 14 1/2. Then I did an A Level training scheme at a department store, then 15 years at M&S as a selector then visual merchandising manager.
What made you want to start a business?
Bought a bridle from Kate Negus and then I bought the business!
How is your business different?
The way we sell bridles is different to the vast majority as they are bespoke and off the shelf bridles so we can correctly fit any horse while the customer waits! We do this by having all components available at time of purchase, so with the measurements (or, at shows, the horse’s current bridle), we can put together a bespoke combination to get the perfect it. Our service is also pretty different and something that gets commented on a lot. We go above and beyond to ensure the customer gets the perfect fit for their horse and will talk people through every stage if that’s what they want. We want them to be delighted with their new purchase and then some!
What makes your products special?
The way we sell them, the service we offer and that they’re made in the UK. We’re also able to create complete one off products if needed with short lead times. We have some pretty innovative products too, like the Elastic Grackle, Five Point Breastplate and Beetle Grackle.
If you had to sum up your business in three words, what would they be?
Quality, value, service!
Do you have a motto or ethos?
Quality, value, service!
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?
Remind them that we are here for our customers. Without them we would not have a business!!
One thing that helps you run your business more effectively
Rhea Freeman!! (Thank you!)
Best thing about running a business?
The harder I work the more I get out of it
Worst thing about running a business?
As a one man band it would be hard to maintain my service. Thank goodness for Hayley!
One thing we might not know about you
I have an A Level in needlework!!
Where can people follow you or your business online