Nothing says fall like a brand new leather bag and the crinkle of leaves under your feet. Our friends at Tucker Tweed Equestrian offer a variety of sleek and stylish leather bags for the horse enthusiast in beautiful shades. Jill Tweedy created Tucker Tweed with the rider in mind and is our latest Designer Spotlight feature, thank you Jill for taking the time to share your insight with us.
Q. Tucker Tweed handbags are simple, yet stunning. Tell us a bit more about the design process and how long it took – from idea to finished handbag/product.
Jill – Thank you, and great question. Start to finish can take up to 6 months. We begin with a concept of a shape, including every detail such as base, straps, buckles, interior, etc. Our manufacturer creates a “working sample”, along with all color swatch options for leather, hardware and interior fabrics. We begin modifying that sample once we receive it. Generally, that means adjusting the exact dimensions, placement of straps and accent pieces, experimenting with different colors and textures, stitching directions, etc. During this process, we often show our working sample to multiple riders, trainers, tack store owners, stylish friends. We LOVE the input and value their suggestions. A second sample is ordered. If we approve the second version, the next step is testing for durability. I am a perfectionist when it comes to the final product, so unfortunately, it is a slow process. But, the outcome is usually SO worth it.
Q. What is your favorite thing about running Tucker Tweed?
Jill – Hands down, the PEOPLE. We are surrounded by awesome individuals, including: our staff, the riders, trainers and others whom contribute ideas, the tack store owners whom have been SO warm, supportive and encouraging, other business owners that represent different products in the equine industry and finally the equestrians that we have met through social media. Just LOVELY people in this field!
Q. Try to describe a typical day of work (if such thing exists) or your routine at Tucker Tweed.
Jill – Early am begins with social media updates, followed by responding to emails from our website (we get many requests from potential tack store stockists and individual questions about our products), 2-3 hours of processing orders/phone calls. These are the definites for the day, while the remainder is spent on photography, product design or preparing for big events as they approach (AETA, Rolex, etc). If any time remains, I finish the day at the barn with Tucker.
Q. You currently design a Dressage, Fox Hunting, Hunter/Jumper and Signature Series, are there any plans to add a new collection?
Jill – We have designed custom embossed logos for the Devon Horse Show (with the classic Devon Hackney horse) as well as a recent project for the American Saddlebred Museum in Lexington (featuring a Saddlebred), but we have no other plans at the moment.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your career background before launching Tucker Tweed.
Jill – I worked for years in education, teaching, then as an Assistant Principal. I started a middle-school alternative program, reaching students whose behavior kept them from the traditional classroom setting. Just prior to launching Tucker Tweed Equestrian, I created and directed an enrichment program, Woodland Heights Academy, at the school that my sons attended.
Q. Running a business can be one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs, if you could go back five years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Jill – Don’t sweat the small stuff! (most of it really is small)
Q. Being your own boss requires serious organization skills; do you have any tools or tips you would like to share?
Jill – Time management is KEY to any business owner’s sanity. For me, creating a “to-do” list for the next day is essential. Starting with the urgent, finishing with the on-going. Drawing a line through each item accomplished as the day progresses…helps me sleep better!
Q. And just for fun, what is your favorite brand of riding boots?
Jill – DeNiro
Photos provided by Tucker Tweed