Our latest retail store is all about celebrating the lives of horse lovers, riders and owners. Horses are an essential part of everyday life for many people who enjoy them. When you arrive to Carousel Horse the outside looks like a typical barn but once inside you are transported into the world of horse enthusiasts. We are going to take a journey into that life as we visit Carousel Horse our latest Store Owner Spotlight.
Carousel Horse is an equestrian boutique located in the center of Western Pennsylvania Horse Country just outside of historic Saxonburg. At Carousel Horse you will find all sorts of products from tack (domesticated horse equipment) to clothing, accessories and home décor that celebrate equestrian style. The business started online and has continued for the last 8 years. Within the last 3 months Carousel Horse opened as a brick and mortar retail store. The store began with a love of horses and has become the go-to destination for horse lovers all over.
Do you have a background in retail? If not, what is your employment background? Please explain.
"I have a bachelor's degree in business and worked in purchasing for most of my career. I've also ridden for 20 years and wanted something that could combine my knowledge of small business and my passion for horses. I have a great team of enthusiastic employees, some of which have worked in retail merchandising, but all are also riders and horse owners."
What factors led you to decide to open a retail store/website?
"When my first son was born, I wanted to have a small business I could work at and also raise my kids."
The front of the store looks like a barn that features traditional themes you would find on a barn at a typical farm. Once inside you are transformed into a retail space that is well merchandised and stylish. The store offers a put together mix of antique and contemporary. There are beautiful barn doors that tie into the space to create a rustic environment. There is plenty of space to move through where product and accessories are placed on 4 way clothing racks and rustic round wood spindles. There is a great use of space along the walls as product is well displayed in framed slatwall on faceouts and peghooks.
What inspired the direction of the look of your store?
"Both myself and my merchandiser both love antiques and that rustic barn wood look. We also love to salvage and re-purpose."
What are some features/special events that you do at your store to set yourself apart from other retailers?
"We like to do fun promotions that customers can participate in like our Elf on the Shelf during Christmas. Not only does it bring people in for discounts, but they are also engaged and have a lot of fun looking through the store for our hidden elves."
What advice if any would you give others seeking to open a retail business that you have benefited from?
"When hiring, look for people that share your passion. Anyone can be trained, but it's the attitude and enthusiasm of your employees that will make your business a success."
Would you like to be featured in our next installment of the SSW Store Owner Spotlight? Email Patricia Sims for more information.
The Carousel Horse
205 Neupert Rd
Cabot, PA 16023