fbpx

Courtenay, Vancouver Island/Coast

Vote For Us Vote For Us

3 Employees

In Business Since 2022

Visit Website

Evolution Equestrian

Courtenay, Vancouver Island/Coast

Evolution Equestrian began as a humble shelf in a laundry room and two saddle racks on the wall. It has since blossomed into a thriving brick-and-mortar storefront with a full-service website, shipping products worldwide. More than just a tack store, Evolution Equestrian serves as a central hub for all things equestrian in the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island. We cater to all budgets, offering both new and used tack, and provide solutions for equestrians of all ages. This venture took flight just as I, Samantha, came off maternity leave. Faced with a lack of childcare and the need for another income, I decided to take the leap and invest in myself when an ideal location became available. Everything aligned perfectly, and Evolution Equestrian took a huge leap from an at home business to a brick and mortar. Day to day, you’ll often find our "employee of the month," my son Jasper, enthusiastically "helping" to restock shelves and selecting his favorite products to put on toddler tornado sale. My loyal dog, DeHavilland, has been a constant presence in the store since its inception, adding to the welcoming atmosphere. As a self-proclaimed “tack-nerd,” I continuously strive to learn and share my knowledge about horses, tack, and their welfare. Each week, I engage with my social media followers through a short vlog series called #TackTipTuesday, offering valuable insights and tips. My dedication to customer satisfaction often leads me to devise creative, out-of-the-box solutions to their tack problems, even if it requires finding products we don’t have in store. Our ability to offer consignment items in addition to new ones allows us to bring a wider variety of products and brands to our customers at great prices. This inclusive approach ensures that we can accommodate all budgets and preferences, making our store accessible to every equestrian enthusiast. Despite my relative lack of experience, I have demonstrated a solid grasp of business fundamentals, including operations, marketing, finance, and sales. I have overcome challenges such as a lack of credit history and a modest asset base, creating a thriving small business with significant growth potential. Evolution Equestrian is not just a store; it’s a community hub where passion for horses meets practical solutions, driven by my dedication and the collective enthusiasm of the local equestrian community. Thank you for considering Evolution Equestrian for the 2024 Youth Entrepreneur Award.

Nominations

Read below to find out why they deserve your vote in each category./p>

Best Youth Entrepreneur

What motivated you to start your business and what is your vision for the future of the company?

Owning my own tack store has always been a dream. With a life-long love of horses and learning, I naturally fell into this career path. Initially, I pursued post-secondary education in Architecture and Building Technology but soon felt the call back to the equestrian world. After some soul-searching, I obtained my coaching certification and undertook working student positions, eventually finding my way to a local tack store. There, I realized, “This is what I want to do.” After seven years at the store, it became clear I had no long-term future. Just as I decided to venture out independently and found the perfect spot, the world shut down due to COVID-19. Being young with no safety net, I decided to delay taking the leap. During this pause, my husband and I expanded our family, welcoming our son in 2021. This new chapter brought challenges, including a severe lack of childcare. Needing two incomes, I started to build my business from my laundry room, offering consignment tack and saddles from home and through a simple website. The dream quickly grew with support from the local community, and my stock soon filled the laundry room, expanding into the garage. I created a small space for customers to shop, while expanding my website and offering local drop-off and pick-up services. In early 2023, a customer informed me that the old location I originally had my eyes on was available again. This time, I knew I had to make it work. Having a brick-and-mortar location would advance my business to the next level. Funding became an issue, as I hadn’t planned to jump into a storefront so soon and had no savings for this expansion. Since I had just finished maternity leave and was working part-time social media work, getting a business loan was challenging. The standard channels didn’t look past the numbers on paper. Then I found WeBC, Women’s Enterprise BC. This incredible organization looked beyond the numbers and saw me as an entrepreneur with a strong business plan and background. Through them, I was able to get the support and a loan to start my business. This helped me do renovations, bring in more stock, and implement point-of-sale technology. We are just passed our first year of being open at our storefront, and the business has grown much more rapidly than I could have ever expected! We have over 50 brands in stock, with hundreds of consignment items. I am proud to have partnered with several local businesses and artists, giving them a place to sell and display their work. Even though our walk-in traffic brings in the most sales, our online presence is steadily growing as we ship daily across Canada and the United States. As we expand into the future, I aim to bring in a larger selection of brands and work with more small businesses. Being online always brings the challenge of keeping up with changing times and technology, including SEO information, blog posts, social platforms, and improving website dynamics. Evolution Equestrian is not just a storefront but also a significant part of the equestrian community on Vancouver Island. We sponsor several shows, clinics, and educational events and hope to support even more events and clubs. During the winter, we host educational talks within our store space. Our vision is to continue growing as a community hub and a leading provider of equestrian products and services.

Why do you deserve to win the Best Youth Entrepreneur Award?

Evolution Equestrian began as a humble shelf in a laundry room and two saddle racks on the wall. It has since blossomed into a thriving brick-and-mortar storefront with a full-service website, shipping products worldwide. More than just a tack store, Evolution Equestrian serves as a central hub for all things equestrian in the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island. We cater to all budgets, offering both new and used tack, and provide solutions for equestrians of all ages. This venture took flight just as I, Samantha, came off maternity leave. Faced with a lack of childcare and the need for another income, I decided to take the leap and invest in myself when an ideal location became available. Everything aligned perfectly, and Evolution Equestrian was born. Day to day, you’ll often find our "employee of the month," my son Jasper, enthusiastically "helping" to restock shelves and selecting his favorite products to put on sale. My loyal dog, DeHavilland, has been a constant presence in the store since its inception, adding to the welcoming atmosphere. As a self-proclaimed “tack-nerd,” I continuously strive to learn and share my knowledge about horses, tack, and their welfare. Each week, I engage with my social media followers through a short vlog series called #TackTipTuesday, offering valuable insights and tips. My dedication to customer satisfaction often leads me to devise creative, out-of-the-box solutions to their tack problems, even if it requires finding products we don’t have in store. Our ability to offer consignment items in addition to new ones allows us to bring a wider variety of products and brands to our customers at great prices. This inclusive approach ensures that we can accommodate all budgets and preferences, making our store accessible to every equestrian enthusiast. Despite my relative lack of experience, I have demonstrated a solid grasp of business fundamentals, including operations, marketing, finance, and sales. I have overcome challenges such as a lack of credit history and modest asset base, creating a thriving small business with significant growth potential. Evolution Equestrian is not just a store; it’s a community hub where passion for horses meets practical solutions, driven by my dedication and the collective enthusiasm of the local equestrian community. Thank you for considering Evolution Equestrian for the Our Best Youth Entrepreneur Award.

People's Choice

Why do you think you should win the Premier’s People’s Choice Award?

Winning the Premier’s People’s Choice Award for the BC Small Business Awards of 2024 would be an incredible honor. The heart and soul of a small business lie in its community, and Evolution Equestrian exemplifies this principle. Without the unwavering support of the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island community, our dream would have remained in its infancy. Despite a slow launch, juggling motherhood and starting from home, the community continually chose to support us. Evolution Equestrian is more than just a brick-and-mortar store; it’s a community hub. We provide a space for the local equestrian community to gather, learn, and receive advice. We actively support local events and riders and offer an online platform to connect and engage. Our social media presence spans Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, where our #TackTipTuesday vlog series provides valuable insights and tips. Please head over and give us a follow at @EvolutionTack. Moreover, we cherish opportunities to share knowledge with local groups like the Pony Club and Back Country Horseman’s Association. This commitment to education and community involvement sets Evolution Equestrian apart. As I prepared to submit this nomination, I reached out for testimonials and reference letters, and their responses were overwhelmingly positive. Clients described Evolution Equestrian as "always helping and educating," "highly knowledgeable," and praised our dedication with comments like "amazing, selfless, passionate human works her proverbial tail off every day." Such feedback fills me with immense pride and validates the hard work I invested in building and growing this business. The Premier’s People’s Choice Award would not only honor the business itself but also the incredible community that has supported us from day one. Their recognition of our efforts and their belief in our mission make every challenge worthwhile. We are proud to be a cornerstone of the local equestrian community, and winning this award would be a testament to the power of community support and the impact of small businesses.

Awesome! Keep selecting more categories or scroll down to confirm your vote.

Best Youth Entrepreneur

Select Business

Can’t find the business you’re looking for? Nominate it now!

Nominate a Business

Evolution Equestrian

Business Impact Award

Select Business

Can’t find the business you’re looking for? Nominate it now!

Nominate a Business

E-commerce Experience Award

Select Business

Can’t find the business you’re looking for? Nominate it now!

Nominate a Business

Premier's People's Choice

Select Business

Can’t find the business you’re looking for? Nominate it now!

Nominate a Business

Evolution Equestrian

You're voting for 2 categories.

Confirm your vote by entering your email below:

Awesome, you’re voting for all 4 categories. Confirm your vote by entering your email below.

Subscribe to stay up to date with the 2024 Small Business BC Awards.