Profile of Success: Best in Show
HOW DOES SHE PLAN FOR FUTURE GROWTH: Through strategic alliances. Vlietstra acknowledges that Hobby Horse is actively seeking business partners. “We’ve survived a long time as a very small, niche catalog,” she points out. “And there are a lot of challenges out there, more so than any other time in the history of my business. It’s important for me at this point to seek some alliances that are going to help us stay competitive.”
WHAT HAS MADE HER SUCCESSFUL: Customer knowledge and a competition vacuum. “I really know the market because I'm my own customer,” Vlietstra says, adding that she lives on a ranch with 50 boarded horses that she rides.
Hobby Horse benefits from being a recognized name in the small niche of Western-style apparel for horse shows. By focusing on three objectives — style, value and convenience — Vlietstra and her company have managed to deter competition in the market.
“To me, it’s a really obvious niche, but nobody else has really challenged us in it,” she says. “We do what we do really quite well, and people like us for it.”
To read or listen to the full interview, visit CatalogSuccess.com and find Profile of Success (Complete Interview): A Chat with Suzanne Vlietstra.