It’s been an absolute whirlwind of a year for myself and the team here at AMZ Saddles, and I can hardly believe this will be the last blog of 2021. This year kicked off with a gloomy, darkand chilly winter lockdown. That was tough for everyone and was followed by months of uncertainty about when we would be able to socialise, compete and get back to normal life. As a small business owner, the impact of not knowing what the future would look like was very hard, but luckily, we managed to keep our heads above water. My amazing customers, many of them no doubt facing pandemic-related challenges of their own, were straight on the telephone whenever they felt their saddle needed a tweak. Others were busy planning for the competition season ahead (whatever it would end up looking like!) and on the hunt for a new saddle. Some lucky people had even bought a new horse or pony in lockdown and needed a saddle checked or fitted once they arrived.
Once equestrian competitions restarted, we got even busier as the trade stand work started up again alongside saddle fitting. I also have my own horses to ride and compete, so life went from being relatively steady to being very full on in no time at all. But there were no complaints from me or any of the team! It was brilliant to see more of our customers, supporters and sponsored riders face-to-face and enjoying some freedom.
It wouldn’t be 2021, of course, if the year hadn’t taken another unexpected turn. In the middle of the summer the manufacturer here in the UK which crafts my saddles announced that, due to supply chain issues, they had fallen behind. That meant telling my wonderful customers that existing orders would be late arriving, and I had to pause new saddle work for several months. There’s nothing worse than having to turn away business when you have customers crying out for new saddles. It was another tough time but once again my customers really pulled through for me. They were patient and understanding while I sorted the saddle supply issues and got the business back underway.
The year finished on a fantastic note with lots of lovely new saddles heading out to their owners and a visit to the Horse of the Year Show for the AMZ trade stand. The Shopping Village has a wonderful atmosphere, and it was a great way to end the event season. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing the AMZ brand in the equestrian press several times this year! I can safely say that opening one of your favourite magazines and seeing your products included by their journalists is an amazing feeling.So, as we head towards the Christmas Holidays it’s a good time to say a very big thank you to every single person who has supported us this year. I’m so very grateful and hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Here’s to a happy and successful 2022!