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Hansen Equestrian

The Gist

Hansen Equestrian is a premium brand in the equestrian world known for thoughtful design and high-quality Canadian craftsmanship. Sarah Hansen founded it as a project for her tenth-grade entrepreneurship class. Armed with $5,000 in seed money, she began building patterns for accessories like horse blankets and saddle covers that she would be excited to own as a competitive equestrian.

The Challenge

Over the years, Hansen Equestrian has grown to be a fixture in Ontario barns and tack rooms with bold patterns and sophisticated styling. Sales came in via phone, email, trade show, and Etsy store but were heavily dependent on having access to Sarah for consultation. As her business pivoted to include both “off the rack” standard products and highly customizable products, she needed a website that could handle traffic and sales independently. She needed something that could capture dozens of customization options and turn them into orders – without needing phone calls or emails every step of the way.

The Job

Maya worked with her most trusted web dev partner to build the new, e-commerce-driven Hansen Equestrian website from scratch. From setting the content strategy and writing the copy, to organizing the product matrix backend and all supporting images, Maya translated the love and care Sarah puts into her products into a digital showcase. As Sarah’s business evolved from standardized products to providing fully customizable designs, so did the complexity of managing endless combinations. There were endless permutations of fabrics, trims, embroidery, piping, and accents (not to mention shipping, tax, and international exchange rules). The project was launched just in time for the 2018 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair – a marquee event for the equestrian community where Hansen Equestrian is a staple exhibitor.

Results

Moving to an owned platform has allowed Hansen Equestrian to have ultimate flexibility in the product listings and customizations without relying on the Etsy platform (and its commissions). Hansen Equestrian’s competitors don’t provide the user experience for self-serve customization that her website gives to its customers – giving them hassle-free access to design their accessories online.

In Closing

Pivoting a business to be self-sustaining online is critical to surviving volatility (and welcome late-night shoppers with the ability to process their order in a snap). Hansen Equestrian is well-positioned to continue showing up in tack rooms everywhere through her e-commerce crown jewel.

Sweet Words

  • Maya’s tenacity and commitment to the success of a plan is incredible. Running a successful company requires trusted, talented, authentic, passionate people, committed to doing whatever it takes to realize a vision. To find some of those traits in a person is common, to find them all is rare. Maya is that rare find. When it comes to marketing, it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds. Maya knew where to start and where to focus our time and resources so that we could execute a bold growth roadmap. She took the time to understand my company, our history, purpose, value, and values to craft the voice of our brands and create realistic marketing strategies. Above all else, I trust Maya deeply as a sounding board whose advice has never steered my wrong.

    Andrea
    Andrea President & CEO @ Shrader
  • Maya captures and develops a brand’s voice into strategic content, personalizing each approach for the brand itself, a key skill we look for at Horsefly. Her writing consistently hits the mark, making her an exceptionally reliable contributor. She is equal parts creative and methodical and manages her deliverables efficiently with the perspective of a seasoned account and project manager.

    Holly Davis
    Holly Davis Principal @ Horsefly Group
  • For a growing agency, it’s tough to find talented people who can reliably pinch hit and handle growing pains with equal amounts of grace and tenacity. Not having someone with strong skills can impact profitability and client happiness. Maya’s expertise in digital marketing is top notch and her strategy work is always exceptionally thoughtful and relevant. She is someone who puts her heart, gut, and mind into what she does, and is a pleasure to have on a team. She’s also an operations geek who thinks like a business owner and is able to effectively galvanize a team whenever she’s in a leadership role. Maya’s approach is invaluable. Maya is a trusted partner who not only puts up with our awful puns, but genuinely wins our hearts and confidence every time we work together.

    Kyle & Tom
    Kyle & Tom Co-Founders @ pb+j
  • Launching a basic e-commerce website is one thing. But launching an e-commerce site with intricate, customizable options is a task I wouldn’t trust just anyone with. Maya and her team brought my vision to life with an impeccable eye to the details of how I run my business. She understood exactly what I needed in helping me move from an Etsy shop to a fully integrated solution that my customers love. Maya thinks like an entrepreneur and makes things practical and uncomplicated while pouring tender loving care into her work.

    Sarah
    Sarah Owner @ Hansen Equestrian
  • Launching an established brand in a new geographic market has a whole set of challenges that not everyone can handle. Everything feels like it needs to get done all at once, but budgets are limited (and so is time). Working with someone who understands the need to prioritize is critical. Maya gave me confidence and ease because I knew she had my best interest in mind. Her genuine care and entrepreneurial spirit meant she treated the budgets like her own money, trying to be as economical and practical by prioritizing the “musts” over “nice to haves.” She kept me reined in with her calm, straight-forward style and I trust her advice completely. Having a consultant who can look at both the business side and the creative is a rare find.

    Gurpreet
    Gurpreet Principal @ Apalco Lifestyle Brands
  • As any business owner understands one must wear many hats. Marketing with all its components requires a high level of skill and consistency and we struggled to find the time and did not have the expertise to be effective. It can be overwhelming but working with Maya brought a sense of relief (and engagement with our content). There is a distinct difference between working with a writer and working with Maya. She felt as though she was truly part of our team and not an outside contractor. Her care to understand our business strategy and goals adds a valuable dimension that goes well above what a standard copywriter provides. Her genuine care and thoughtfulness make her a loyal, trusted collaborator I can count on.

    Glenda
    Glenda President @ Proforma SI
  • I had the pleasure of working with Maya on the Give a Latte Campaign in support of Autism Ontario. Maya spearheaded this extremely successful crowd-funding campaign utilizing her extensive strategic marketing skills and her social media prowess. Thanks to Maya’s project management skills, this campaign more than tripled its initial goal and will make a difference in the lives of adults living on the autism spectrum. I would highly recommend Maya for all things digital marketing! 

    Stephanie
    Stephanie Marketing @ Autism Ontario
  • Passion, creativity, care, and genuine excitement for her work are all ways I would describe the experience of working with Maya. She has demonstrated a genuine interest for our business. A prime example of this is her leadership in creating an "Inspiration Folder" for us to brainstorm ideas and keep up with industry trends. Dedicated to excellence, Maya has always fostered an open and honest dialogue and provided well thought out advice to help us reach our goals. Always thinking outside the box, Maya's creative ideas and approach are refreshing. 

    Jeff
    Jeff President @ Lorpon Labels
  • Major projects like websites and communications changes require a lot of patience and persistence. Maya was a great asset to me during a major website redesign and re-branding (and all that entails); her dedication to capturing detail and building working relationships was what moved project status. She genuinely cares to make a difference and work collaboratively, and all her advice and feedback is transparent and thoughtful.

    Sam
    Sam Vice President @ Jonas Software
  • Maya is a natural when it comes to providing her clients with valuable content that is tailored to their brand and crafted to provide the greatest results. Her attention to detail, poised personality and clear communication style makes her a true pleasure to work with. 

    Tania
    Tania Marketing & Communications @ Venus Concept
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