Next up in my Small Business Spotlight series is a UK based company: Bellequi. I first stumbled across this company on Facebook, somehow following link after link of pretty jackets before ending up on their page (search Bellequi on facebook). I spent a while drooling over their photos before wandering over to their website www.bellequi.com and was immediately blown away by the prices. AFFORDABLE softshell coats and tech fabric shirts? And the coats can be done in custom colors for only a few dollars more??? Be still my beating heart.
The coats come in a stretch polyester version (available in Black for about $145 USD) and a washable softshell version. The washable version currently comes in 4 base colors – navy, black, gray, and red (keep reading to hear about upcoming NEW coat colors) – all with black lapels plus nice contrasting piping for only about $160 USD.
Or you can get really fancy and go for the CUSTOM option (this is where I get really excited) and choose from a myriad of lapel colors for about $195 USD. Also with this option you can choose to leave the Bellequi logos off of the sleeves and back if you’d rather have a plainer coat. In addition, the owner of Bellequi tells me that it’s possible to choose a different button option if you prefer something more subdued – they will work with you to get exactly what you want. I have been planning my coat order for months and finally think I’ve got it figured out… happy birthday to me.
I do already own a Bellequi shirt, which is part of what has me so intent on ordering a coat. They have several shirt options available in tech fabrics, all with your choice of short or long sleeves. The long sleeve options are not shown on the website, but if that’s what you’re interested in – contact them. I have the Paige with long sleeves, which is a nice lightweight Coolmax type fabric, perfect for wearing in the summer and it has a nice flattering cut plus POCKETS. Best of all – these shirts start at only $30 USD. No that’s not a typo.
For those among us with inquiring minds, Cheryl, the owner of Bellequi, was kind enough to answer some questions about her business.
1) When did you start this business?
I started this business in 2013 after being a equestrian clothing stockist since 2009 selling all major brands.
2) How many employees are there in your company?
I work mostly alone with help from my husband.
3) Where did the idea for the business come from?
We started Bellequi after seeing a gap in the market for high end equestrian clothing at a affordable price. We wanted to create a modern funky brand that is not only functional (waterproof show jackets are machine washable) but also something that is a bit different.
4) What is your background in horses and fashion?
I have been around horses since I was five years old and left training to become a riding instructor to start my business in equestrian clothing. My husband works with the queens horses in the army veterinary corps.
5) Any interesting notes about yourself, your business or your products that you would like for people to know?
We want to make fashion on horseback fun and purse friendly but also practical. We have some fantastic colours expected by the end of June including fuchsia pink, purple, electric blue and spearmint. These funky colours will run alongside our current colours navy, blk, red and grey.
Yes, she said purple. Did everyone else’s inner kid just squeal shamelessly with delight? I might need one of those too.
As of right now Bellequi is only available in the US via their website, but they do ship here and they accept several forms of payment including Paypal. I’ve ordered from overseas more times than I can count and always had good experiences, so don’t be put off by that. If you’re looking for a fun affordable softshell that won’t break the bank, consider supporting a small business and take a closer look at Bellequi!