Small Business Saturday is a (mostly) monthly segment of the blog, featuring a small business that I would like to promote. Those chosen are ones I have directly done business with, have been very satisfied with the outcome, and would like to spread the word about and drive more business their way. I love supporting small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, and promoting ones I believe in are a just a small way of saying ‘thank you’ and encouraging them.
This first SBS segment features an Australian company, Flik Equestrian. Currently, they offer equestrian record journals (a general one and an endurance-specific one), and limited edition apparel.
From the Flik Equestrian Facebook page:
In 2011, Mindy Davies started Endurance Horse riding knowing nothing about the sport. She quickly became engrossed in its challenges, deciding to aim for a National Championship, the Tom Quilty 160km Gold Cup. She wrote about her journey through the qualifying process through to the Quilty in fortnightly blogs which gathered a following of readers. When she finished the Quilty she self-published the blogs into a book called “Chasing A Quilty” which was read and loved by many who became inspired to start their own journeys. In 2016 Mindy started training 7 horses and made herself a Journal to track and record everything to do with the horses maintenance, training and competition preparations. She wanted to keep everything in the one place and give the Journal to the horses owner at the end of the year with everything in it.
People noticed Mindy using the Journal and started asking for one too. Before long, the Endurance Journal was released for sale on Quilty Quests Facebook page, in version one and soon after came version two. Mindy donated 100% of the small profits back to Endurance through sponsorship encouragement prizes at events.
The Endurance Journal gathered a great deal of positive feedback and requests for additional features and improvements, such as cheaper shipping than that offered by the publisher. Mindy, being determined to help her readers in their own journeys, embarked on a mission to deliver an all new Journal packed full of features.
From what started as Mindy telling her story, to helping others in getting started and telling their own stories has now evolved into Flik Equestrian.
Exciting times lie ahead. Stay tuned.
As far as how I found Flik? Rewind back several years to around the end of 2014/early 2015. I was pretty well in the thick of catch riding, and through the world of the blogosphere and endurance, found my way to a blog titled “To Complete Is To Win.” Australian endurance rider Mindy Davies had been chronicling her own endurance journey, one that included plenty of ups and downs, towards her goal of getting her first Tom Quilty buckle. Not only did I find her a very entertaining writer, I could relate to what she was writing so well, and often found myself nodding along in agreement as I was reading the blog posts. I had found a kindred spirit — the endurance thing isn’t “all beer and skittles” as one post said — and I took a lot of encouragement from the “average endurance rider just telling her story” as she puts it.
I was bummed when the blog closed down, but last year, I was finally able to get my hands on a copy of “Chasing A Quilty” (currently out of print, but from a recent FB post, it looks like more are planning to be restocked again), re-read it, and this time, reach out to Mindy to thank her for the inspiration as I’ve gone along on my own very twisted, very up-and-down path. I was also inspired enough to order one of each journal…the general equestrian one for now, to attempt to set better record-keeping habits with the pony…and an endurance one, with the hopes that I will again have my own competition horse (better yet, horses…I’m an optimist…) to keep records for.
The journals are absolutely beautiful. Hardcover, with a hard protective storage sleeve. Beautiful photography. Lots of space to write/record — I would rather have something that takes up a little more space, but has adequate room for detailed journaling, than something compact that I have to attempt to write in size 6 font in order to fit everything in. Sections are broken down into parts like Owner Info, Horse Info, Training Logs, Travel Logs, Goal Setting, Event Log, and there’s even more little tidbits tucked away in there, but I’m not going to spoil all of the goodies and thoughtful additions. Each journal has space to keep records on two horses.
Historically, I’ve kept — or more accurately, tried to keep — mileage logs/records over the years, but it’s never stuck for very long. Either I get frustrated with the lack of structure (trying to write things down/do my own grids in a notebook), or they’re too complicated/involved to fill out and so I never get around to it. So far, these seem to have a good balance between giving you space to record things, and a good framework, with some built-in flexibility for how much you want to record. I’ll keep reporting back on using them, but so far, a few months in, I’m still really liking it.
In 2019, Flik launched limited edition apparel. Four times a year, a limited edition design/product will be released on a pre-order basis. This was the first one, one a polo-style shirt:
A white endurance Arabian? Of course I had to have that one. It’s on order, and should be here sometime in April.
The second limited edition apparel piece is currently available, and will be up until April 1. The design on this one isn’t endurance-specific, but it’s a really cool hoodie. My love of hoodies is currently at war with the fact we are going to be heading into summer here, but current thought is leaning more towards, “eh, don’t care, I can always save it for next winter…or hope I do some cooler mountain rides over the summer.” Because I’m also a bit of a sucker for limited edition anything as well.
Doing business with Flik/Mindy has been delightful — she’s super-prompt on answering questions, shipped the journals out promptly, and on the pre-order apparel, sends update emails out to keep people apprised on the status. I love the level of innovation and creativity at work here, producing useful and interesting products that are also beautiful and artistic.
Flik has a rewards program, with points earned for things like following them on social media, creating an account, ordering products, and referring a friend. For blog readers, I have a 10% off discount code to share with you all (win-win, you get a discount on your order, and I get rewards points when you order): https://a.marsello.com/l/5c2d69b7811f9e06f466a012
If you haven’t done so already, head on over to Flik Equestrian to check out the journals and limited edition apparel, and follow on Facebook and Instagram for great photography, inspirational quotes, and interactive or thought-provoking questions. Give Mindy a ‘hi’ and let her know I sent you!
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