From writing a blog about life with her cheeky mare Savvy, Tracey and her husband Adam took hold of the reins and started a new rural business – Savvy’s Yard. Their passion for equestrian and countryside life is the sole focus of their rural business supplying a selection of the gifts, jewellery, and homeware.
Sam Hobden from Haynet recently caught up with Tracey and Adam, to find out more about the personalities behind Savvy’s Yard:
Both your passion for rural life comes through very strong. Did you both grow up in the countryside?
Yes, I’m a farmer’s daughter. I spent my childhood evenings and weekends riding and playing with ponies, any left over time was helping my family with the animals our dairy farm. When I was 16 my parents moved back to my mother’s family farm in Highbridge, Somerset.
Where they farm sheep and cattle, they also have a riding school there too. From a young age, Adam has lived in the Somerset. Though not as rural, Adam grew up in the seaside town of Burnham-on-Sea. Back in 2014 Adam’s parents moved and bought an old cottage, situated on the edge of the Mendip hills. There’s an abundance of wildlife with lots of lovely walks through the countryside. They live just below Crooks Peak, the beginning of the Mendips. Which on the hills the local farmers have grazing rights and wild horses roam free. We now have our own house together in Mark, Somerset.
You started blogging about life with Savvy, Tracey’s cheeky mare. What made you decide to delve into the business of equine and country lifestyle gifts?
We started the blog just after buying our first house together. As well as posting about Savvy we did some posts about our renovation works on the house. Both being quiet hands on and Adam being a previous electrician we did all the work on our own.
We inherited some lovely English elm wood which now is very difficult to get hold of, which we made our coffee table from. We decided to do a Facebook post about the table, how we made it and how we inherited the wood. We took a picture of it where it lives in front of our inglenook fireplace and our followers loved it. We even had a request to make a bespoke table for a follower. We had enough wood left over to make a few shelves and our kitchen roll holder which we now make as an item for our store.
From the response from our audience, we just had to take the opportunity to sell some of the items we made and Savvy’s Yard was born.
Tell us all about Savvy’s Yard.
Named after my horse Savvy, Savvy’s Yard is our online shop and social media blog. The tagline is “Inspired by horse and country living” which from our background of horses, farms, cottage renovation and living in the country it fits really well. That’s why we’re passionate about sourcing and producing a selection of the gifts, jewellery, and homeware for the equine and country lifestyles.
We like that we are different at Savvy’s yard. Not only do we source our gorgeous collections we also make some of the items too. We are fortunate enough to have space at home, adjoining Savvy’s stable is our workshop. This is where we make the item’s we sell such as our kitchen roll holders, coat rack and tack holder sets. The result is a fascinating collection of unique homeware and lifestyle accessories inspired by horse and country living.
We love to share new content with our following regularly through social media and our blog. The posts often discuss what Savvy has been up to during the week, her latest rides and events. They also include updates about our cottage renovations. The latest news from the workshop, including heads up about new products and, of course, Daisy, our 6-month-old girl.
What have been the triumphs and challenges of running your own business?
Our triumph has to be the Easter weekend 2019, up until this point we hadn’t really had much success. We only had a handful of orders from our followers. Our portfolio of products was small so we decided to invest in more and different stock. Just before the weekend, we launched some new products including our Savvy the horse doorstop. We advertised for the first time and had multiple orders every day over the weekend and sold out on the doorstops in two days. Still, our doorstops prove to be the most popular.
Our biggest challenge is the current time we face due to the current climate and coronavirus. However, we are making the most of the situation we find ourselves in. We have been working hard on the website and Facebook page so we can be the best we can be when we get back to some normality.
Which part of your work do you both enjoy the most?
We really enjoy coming up with new products, sourced and home-made. We’ve recently just launched a new range of horse hair jewellery. It’s a stunning collection, made from sterling silver and all made by hand in the UK.
It’s also fantastic to hear where and how our customers find us, especially when we have been recommended by a friend.
With these unprecedented times with the Covid-19 situation, working within business is extremely challenging? Has this been an issue with your work and if so how have you adapted?
As we are an online business which we run from home we are still able to operate under some normality. We are however taking extra precautions when handling and packaging products.
Despite our best efforts with self-promoting the business, we have had a reduced number of overall sales. Although the reduced number we have had an increase in customers buying presents for others. We fill in the cards we sell and have been sending direct to their friends and family on their behalf.
What are your future plans with Savvy’s Yard?
We will be continuing to grow our range keeping a fresh interest of products. We would also love to showcase our collection on a stand at some big horse events soon.
On a day off, where would we find you?
We are both super active and fit, so possibly at the gym. We do enjoy going off for a long walk and stopping off at a lovely little pub for lunch. We have recently got a baby rucksack carrier which Daisy loves, it allows us to go on walks where we couldn’t go with a pram. If we have time and the weather is good too, I love riding Savvy on the beach which is only a 15 min drive away.
Where do you both hope to be in ten years’ time?
We would love for Savvy’s Yard to be a popular brand in the horsey and country industry. Our goal is that one day we can both be working full time with Savvy’s Yard as currently we both work full time on our main jobs.
Against the Clock
Bays, Greys or Chestnuts: Greys
Gin or Champagne: Gin
Cheese or Chocolate: Chocolate
Sunshine or Snow: Sunshine
Home Counties or Far Away Shores: Home Counties
Spend or Save: Save
Home Cooked or Eating Out: Home cooked
Music or Film: Film
Horse Racing or Racing Cars: Horse Racing (Adam say’s racing cars!)
Please visit: https://www.savvysyard.co.uk/
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