Late To Bloom Cowgirl

Late To Bloom Cowgirl - 'Person Behind The Business Series' Interviews Helen from Earlwood Equine

I was recently very humbled to be interviewed by Lani from Late To Bloom Cowgirl, as part of her 'Person behind the business' series.

Late To Bloom Cowgirl is a Facebook page dedicated to the return to riding of everyday, ordinary women. Lani, the OG Late To Bloom Cowgirl felt lost when she returned to riding as a forty something year old after cancer. She decided to create a safe place to share, support and have a laugh as she muddled through her horsie challenges. Head on over and throw her a follow for some fun and honest content.

Late To Bloom Cowgirl

Lani's motto is: “Strong enough to still be fragile, striving for her dreams. Perfectly imperfect, the Late To Bloom Cowgirl”.

Lani sent through a series of questions, and I thought they might interest our own followers, to learn a little more about myself (Helen), and the Earlwood business in general.


Name of Business: Earlwood Equine


Year started: Officially 2015, however the Earlwood Hoods had been around for years before that.


How old were you when you started your business: Early 30’s 😉


What does your business do? We provide unique, quality, and affordable horse rugs and hoods and also clothing for equestrians, but more than that, we provide it with excellent customer service and a family feel. We very much want people to feel like part of the Earlwood ‘family’ when they purchase from us.


What was the first location of your business and was there a significance to this? Wyreema, QLD, and no, it was just where we lived at the time.


What did you do prior to starting your business? Many things… but most significantly, in a past life I was a qualified vet nurse, before moving West to my husband’s family farm after we were married. We then kind of fell into managing a 10 000 head cattle feedlot next door, whilst operating my husband’s Ag Contracting business at the same time. When the feedlot industry fell on tough times, mostly due to the weather and commodity prices, we scaled back our feedlot work, and I picked up a few days a week working for Peter Williams, of Peter Williams Riding Apparel. This was just supposed to be temporary, but it became a permanent role, managing his business for 11 years. I learnt an awful lot about the equestrian industry in that decade, from a customer and business point of view, and feel a great sense of achievement, that I was able to grow his business and take it from primarily a wholesale only business, to a high functioning, high performing online business. Life throws you curve balls however, and in April 2022, after distributing our products under his banner for many years, it was time for Earlwood to go it alone.


What was the catalyst for starting? The humble Earlwood Hood had become hugely popular and developed an almost cult like following, ha ha, which continues to grow year on year. We felt we needed to protect the Earlwood name, so we trade marked it and officially registered it as a business in its own right. This also enabled us to branch out into many other products, not just the hoods.


What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome since you started? Branching out completely on our own early 2022, and building a new website whilst dealing with incredibly exciting, but debilitating morning sickness, and trying to set up our little farm we hadn’t long purchased, to make it tidy and productive. Talk about great timing to have a baby…


What does a typical day look like for you? Early rise anywhere from 5am, get the baby up and fed and take the dogs for a walk. We then venture to the warehouse and work FAST to get as many orders packed as possible before said baby tires of a boring warehouse and is due for his nap. Whilst he’s sleeping, I catch up on emails, hang out washing, and try and find 10 mins to sit down and have coffee #2 in peace and quiet before cyclone Jacob awakes, ready to rumble for the next few hours. We then alternate playing, with more computer work if he’s happy to amuse himself on the floor beside me for brief intervals, munch our way through lunch, and go for another walk with the pram and the dogs and look at the cows and horses and all things farm related, which he loves. I also try to squeeze in packing the rest of the orders somewhere here… His afternoon sleep time is more computer work for me, scheduling FB posts, setting up emails, working on the business etc etc. Then once he wakes again, we load up the car and run all the mail to the PO or into the courier in town. Unfortunately there are no Aust Post or courier pick ups for us as we live out of town, so it’s always a car trip. Once home from this, it’s afternoon tea time, and time out from the business, where I just focus on Jacob. If my husband is away for work, I strap bub into the carrier, and off we go around the farm on the buggy, with the dogs in the back, and check cows, horses, fences, crops and generally just enjoy the fresh air and scenery. If hubby is home, it’s a family affair and we all go together. If hubby is home it is also much easier to get orders packed and work done, as we can share the boy and the business, and to him I am eternally grateful. There’s no way I could do all this on my own day in, day out, so to be able to live on our farm and have him around as much as possible is just the best.


When you look back, what is your proudest moment in your business? Branching out on our own and not looking back! We had our best month ever in business, the second month after operating completely on our own, and things have continued to grow and grow for us, which is so rewarding. Such a sense of achievement to know we’re rowing our own boat and it’s skipping across the water so to speak! It is a daily slog, about 8 days a week, especially with a baby, but incredibly rewarding as I’ve said.


How do you overcome any self-doubt? I look at the business results, and the reviews and feedback from our Earlwood ‘tribe’ if I can pinch Lani’s description, and I also have the support of an incredible husband, Jamie, who is my back up, my wing man and my best friend.


A little bit about you – this can be whatever you like, but what essentially makes you, well you? All in all? I think I’m genuine. I genuinely want to do the best I can by people, whether that’s family, friends or business. I had a fabulous childhood, which probably grounded me for a good life, with good morals and a good work ethic. I have a terrible, sarcastic sense of humour, likely inherited from my father, but I try and use it to connect with people on a personal and relaxed level. Life is far too serious too often these days, so let’s enjoy it when we can!

Earlwood Equine

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