Equiclient Apparel: Stitching Together Community Through Customized Barn Styles

BY Lauren Maulden

The horse world is multi-faceted. Of course, the relationship we have with our horses is the core. Then there’s the competition and hard work, the successes and failures. But there’s something we carry alongside all of this—our barn style.

It’s not just about aesthetics or functionality; having apparel that matches your barn friends and trainers represents the unity, pride, and identity of riders and the teams we form together.

Jennifer Shaw-Butler, owner and founder of Equiclient Apparel, understands this and has crafted a business that provides custom apparel with a foundation of exceptional customer service and a personalized touch.

From Barn Rat to Industry Expert
Having something with the logo of the place we spend so much of our time and resources with goes beyond a mere accessory. It shows the collective identity we create in and out of the ring. With a lifetime in the industry, Shaw-Butler intimately understands this.

She started riding at 8 years old and became a constant “barn rat” presence by 11. As a teenager, her first job was in retail where she learned to “go to the ends of the earth for the customer and enjoy making things happen and creating a great experience for people.” She has upheld that lesson across her entire professional journey in the horse industry.

By the end of her junior showing years, Shaw-Butler was teaching and training and hasn’t looked back since. Throughout her career, she has worn many hats within the industry, from groom to instructor to trainer, competing on the A circuit for over two decades. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Truman State University in Missouri.

This extensive background has provided her with a deep understanding of the importance of barn apparel, not just for its functional benefits but for its ability to create a cohesive and professional appearance for groups of riders at shows.

As Shaw-Butler tells The Plaid Horse, “Branding is more important than trainers o en realize because it gives some solidarity to the entire team supporting your program, and helps them be excited about the community you’ve created.”

The Creation of Equiclient Apparel
As a trainer working with various programs, Shaw-Butler saw first hand how difficult it could be to organize quality, customized apparel for equestrians. She kept bumping up against a lack of personalized options, expensive shipping, or subpar customer service.

“It was hard to get a reply from some providers, while others had extremely long lead times and inconsistent communication,” she says. When her spouse’s job prompted a move away from the farm she had been training at, Shaw-Butler saw an opportunity.

“I had been thinking about this for years being the organizer for branded apparel for a couple of different farms, and knew there had to be a better way.”

Shaw-Butler’s vision was clear: to offer a truly custom shopping experience that addressed the unique aesthetic and functional needs of different equestrian programs. She created a service that would eliminate the hassles trainers faced, from dealing with unresponsive suppliers to navigating the complexities of designing apparel that truly represented their barn.

By blending her intimate knowledge of equestrian life, a keen eye for design, and an unwavering customer-first philosophy, Shaw-Butler set out to revolutionize how equestrian programs approached their branding and apparel needs, ensuring every piece not only looked professional but also fostered a sense of community and team spirit.

Quality in Every Stitch
At the heart of Equiclient Apparel lies a commitment to exceptional customer service. From working with riders and trainers firsthand, Shaw-Butler understands that for many clients, visiting the barn and engaging with their equestrian community is the highlight of their day.

“The barn is the thing people look forward to. It’s the break from all the stresses at work or their personal life that they’re dealing with,” she says. “I need to do whatever I can to make sure the experience is as good, positive, and welcoming as it can be.”

Shaw-Butler is aware of the difficulties that trainers face—including the time-consuming task of organizing branded apparel. With Equiclient Apparel, she alleviates those challenges by offering a streamlined, hassle-free service. “I want to be known for my ability to provide exceptional customer service and a positive overall experience,” she says.

This dedication to customer service is matched by her commitment to quality and attention to detail with the embroidery work on the products. Shaw-Butler goes to great lengths to ensure that every product not only meets but exceeds client expectations, even inspecting embroidery with a magnifying glass to look over everything carefully.

“Working with Jennifer was great from the start, creating our own online store, consulting on logo placement for each item, and ensuring we had a wide range of styles, sizes, and price points to provide to our customers. I would recommend Equiclient Apparel to anyone looking for a branded gear solution with the equestrian in mind.” —Nancy Free, Brass Ring Farm, Buckley, WA

Custom Shops for Distinct Equestrian Programs
What truly sets Equiclient Apparel apart is its promise of a personalized experience. Recognizing the unique needs and preferences of each program, Shaw-Butler works with you to create the right online store and product selection that ts your aesthetic and needs.

“It is truly a custom shop for your program,” she says. The business model is designed for simplicity, eliminating the traditional hassles of ordering and managing branded apparel. Trainers are provided with a direct link to their store and QR codes to post in the barn for easy access, simplifying the purchasing process.

“There’s no more making a list of client requests and collecting checks,” Shaw-Butler adds. “Once the store is done, you don’t have to worry about anything. Just share it with your clients and let people order.”

Equiclient Apparel prides itself on quick responses and keeping clients informed every step of the way, ensuring a smooth and satisfactory transaction. They also add a financial incentive for trainers who set up a store. Twice a year, trainers get 5% of their store sales back as a credit for them to purchase their own apparel and goods. It’s an innovative approach to partnership and community- building while giving trainers, who can be drowning in the expenses of running a business, a way to get their own quality apparel to represent their brand.

This comprehensive and thoughtful approach to apparel is not just about selling products, but providing a rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Equiclient Apparel stands as a testament to Shaw-Butler’s dedication to the equestrian community, innovative approach to business, and commitment to providing unmatched customer service. From her early days as a passionate rider to her current role as a pioneering business owner, Shaw-Butler’s journey is a reflection of her unwavering dedication to excellence, quality, and the deep bonds formed within the heart of the equestrian world.

Launching Your Storefront
For trainers interested in establishing their storefront with Equiclient, the process is designed to be straightforward and hassle-free:

  • Provide Basic Information: Trainers begin by providing Equiclient with essential details such as their logo, preferred colors, and specific preferences regarding items or designs.
  • Equiclient Creates Online Store: Upon receiving the necessary information, Shaw-Butler and her team take on the task of building the storefront, ensuring it aligns with the trainer’s vision and requirements.
  • Review and Approval: Trainers are then given the opportunity to review the storefront. Any requested changes are made to ensure complete satisfaction.
  • Launch and Management: Once approved, the store goes live. Equiclient handles all operational aspects, from order processing to customer inquiries, allowing trainers to focus on their core responsibilities.

The costs associated with setting up a new storefront are transparent and straightforward, with a $75 fee covering the digitization of up to four different logo variations and the setup of the online store. For those who want custom Dreamers & Schemers socks included in their product offerings, the setup fee is $105.

Get started creating your own store of personalized products today by visiting Equiclient online at equiclientapparel.com or on social media @equiclientapparel. Now through July 2024, new stores will receive a $100 merchandise credit with the coupon code THEPLAIDHORSE.