Annie Birmingham, owner of Red Roan Equestrian (middle) with barnmates sporting Red Roan Equestrian bows.
By Izzy Feinstein | Photo: Annie Birmingham
When Annie Birmingham of Long Island, New York began making unique show bows for her friends to wear in the pony ring, she had no idea it would lead to the creation of an equestrian accessory company, known as Red Roan Equestrian. Although Annie never showed in bows, many of her friends frequently complained to her about the lack of unique, high quality show bows at a lower price point. In 2012, at the age of twelve, Annie started her own equestrian accessories company called Red Roan Equestrian that specializes in creating handmade, affordable, personalized bows that stand out in the show ring.
Annie handcrafts each set of bows and no pair is duplicated, guaranteeing that every rider stands out in the crowd. The profits from Red Roan Equestrian are put toward Annie’s equine career, and eventually college. Every pair of bows takes Annie between thirty minutes to over an hour depending on the complexity of the style of the bow and the ribbon.
Although Red Roan Equestrian has been a success, the business has faced some challenges. “The equine industry is tough to get started in, and I’d say the biggest challenge I’ve faced thus far is differentiating from the competition,” Birmingham states. To remain successful, Annie continues to take risks and stand out from the crowd with her bow styles and uniquely patterned ribbons.
In addition to running her own business at the age of sixteen, Annie is also a high school student and competitive equestrian. In order to balance her busy schedule, Annie has learned that time management is key. “Orders are filled after school, along with homework and barn time, which occasionally makes for some late nights” Birmingham says. Although running a business can be challenging, Annie advises anyone looking to start their own business to go for it. “It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it!”
Red Roan Equestrian apparel can be purchased through their website, www.redroanequestrian.storenvy.com, or at various local Long Island horse shows.