From the 2016 September Issue of The Plaid Horse Magazine, read the entire issue HERE.
BY SISSY WICKES
For centuries, equestrians have worn the ubiquitous stock tie. From portraits of royalty astride to photographs of modern competitors, the stock tie is a de rigueur component of equestrian attire. Traditionally white, they embody noble simplicity.
Enter designer Hannah Childs and her hot new company, Style Stock. With a rich array of luxurious silk, silk blends, and cotton materials and a colorful palate of patterns, Style Stock offers something for every equestrian. Stock ties in a myriad of designs and vintage stock pins are changing the face of modern equestrian wear.
Childs brings a history of riding and eventing to her business. Born in Santa Barbara, CA, she started riding when she was five years old and evented through the Intermediate Level. Understanding competition attire, Childs presents a classic, tailored sensibility to her design. She explains, “the equestrian world shaped my aesthetic and personal sense of style.” She graduated the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, where she learned the intricacies of fashion design in pattern drafting, sewing, and production. After graduation, Childs worked for UGG Australia, a billion dollar international company, where she designed accessories such as handbags, home goods, small leather goods, and prints.
In 2013, while working at UGG Australia, she was approached by a friend to make a champagne colored stock tie. Childs designed, sewed, and pressed the tie to perfection. The friend was so pleased that she immediately asked for another one. Soon, requests were coming as quickly as Childs could produce stock ties, and it dawned on her that she might have struck a chord in the horse world.
Childs spent the next few months doing market research on her product. She traveled to horse shows and polled equestrians in all disciplines in order to pinpoint the needs of the market. In early 2014, she created a website and offered a few options on it. Immediately, her stocks sold and she had to hire a seamstress to help her keep orders filled.
In the fall of 2015, Childs quit her corporate job in order to pursue Style Stock on a full-time basis. She set up stunning booths at the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) show and the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event where her 2016 Spring and Fall lines were met with meteoric success. The Style Stock Fall line features luxurious silk brocades, classic white on white patterns, crystal embellishments, tasteful metallics, traditional tattersalls, and custom shadbelly points. Style Stock offers the ultimate in equestrian finery. For ease of use, all designs are offered in pre-tied and un-tied styles.
In addition, Style Stock has a new line of children’s stock ties. They are offered in white on white polka dots, silver on white polka dots, and classic white pique. All children’s ties are pre-tied with extra adjustable collars so that the tie can grow with the child.
Hannah Childs loves accessories. “Accessories are for everyone! They have the ability to elevate the way you look or feel, and they don’t discriminate based on body type and size.” She finds the stock pins featured on Style Stock at various vintage and estate sale shops in the area. A keen eye for style, Childs buys the pieces, refurbishes them, and offers a constant rotation of pins on her website. For a little bling, Style Stock features a custom designed Swarovski tack pin, specifically made with a smooth back to sit comfortably against the skin under a riding shirt.
As her company grows, Childs remains committed to her hometown of Santa Barbara, CA, where she manufactures her products and is committed to high quality and fair labor. The brand supports elite riders such as Hope Glynn, Nathalie Cooper, and 2016 Olympic Eventing competitor Lauren Billys.
About the Author: Sissy is a Princeton University graduate, a lifelong rider and trainer, a USEF R rated judge, a freelance journalist and an autism advocate. Her illustrious resume includes extensive show hunter and jumper experience. She lives with her family in Unionville, PA and Wellington, FL.
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