They say change is inevitable. Sometimes I wish that wasn’t true because when things are going well we naturally want them to stay that way. When I founded Five Star Tack nine years ago the line consisted of six bridles and a breastplate. E-commerce was in its infancy and the strap goods market was dominated by a few big names. Five Star Tack slowly worked its way in to find its niche. Since then the line has been as big as twelve bridles, three breastplates along with halters, girths and most recently, dog collars. It’s been a fun ride, a huge learning experience, but with many headaches along the way.
Manufacturing is not for the faint of heart. There have been nights of lost sleep worrying over a shipment delay, whether an order was going to be completed on time and my biggest source of anxiety; whether the products would be made properly. Dealing with manufacturers who are ten hours away, with a different culture and way of doing business add to the challenges.
The Five Star Tack brand was built on quality and our unique stitch pattern. Each relies on the other and if one falters it affects the entire brand. Unfortunately this is where I am today. With more and more companies manufacturing bridles, it made finding top quality leather challenging and more expensive. Rising labor costs and having no control over the manufacturing process were putting a strain on the business. The tipping point was a month ago when the manufacturer I was using ended our relationship.
Without a manufacturer I’m out of business. Sometimes despite your plans and hopes, it’s just not meant to happen. I am faced with a very difficult choice in deciding the direction of Five Star Tack, but either way, it will evolve into something other than what it is now. I have been struggling with this decision for several months and while I feel like I am disappointing everyone, I have to do what’s best for me. I know in my heart I need to let go and trust that what comes next will be good. If there is a bright side to this, I’m putting the inventory I have left on sale at 40% Off. Who knows, you may have a collector’s item!
As always I am so very, very grateful to all of Five Star Tack’s customers and fans. You built this business and it has truly been a joy to be able to be a part of your journey with you and your horse. You have been the best (and most patient) customers I could ask for.
All the best,
Five Star Tack