Today we’d like to introduce you to Annie Heise.
Annie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a lifelong equestrian. It’s been a passion of mine since I was six years old… in my 20’s I began riding competitively again. I was a full-time actress at the time and was yearning for a creative outlet…
I came up with the concept for T.B.E. because I was having trouble finding something that I could wear over my riding shirts that was flattering, functional, and would tie my whole outfit together. This is where the idea for the business came from: equestrian inspired supplementary specialty wardrobe pieces… from there I began designing and thinking about all of the things that are meaningful to me that I could incorporate in my business plan. USA made fashion, timeless design, & environmentally conscious manufacturing.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Developing a clothing line that is USA made and ethically/sustainably sourced has its challenges. We have a longer than normal timeline for our items… but it’s worth it! This is one of the reasons I decided to make our styles without particular seasons in mind. Soft color palettes, clean lines, and rich textures are the core elements of my designs. I want everything to be comfortable and stylish for women year round.
Another hurdle was opening the brand to non-equestrian’s… making sure to maintain our amazing equestrian customer based but making remaining welcoming to people
who don’t ride – but love equestrian fashion. We actually did our first mainstream pop-up this past winter. We were so fortunate to be a part of Unique Markets – DTLA. The response was overwhelmingly positive… which was so so exciting for us! We learned an enormous amount from that experience and were able to bring that into this year as we expand the line…
Two Bits Equestrian – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Two Bits Equestrian is a clothing line specializing in equestrian inspired women’s athleisure. It’s a niche that hasn’t been done before! The concept behind T.B.E. was to create pieces that could be worn over your riding clothes, but be versatile enough to wear them after you leave the barn… but when in doing this actually created a line that both normalizes equestrian fashion and was not exclusive to the equestrian community.
Everything is ethically and sustainably sourced and produced in downtown Los Angeles. Cotton and bamboo are our primary fabrics, making all of our pieces machine washable. Bamboo for instance has a lot of of the same qualities as technical materials (like UV protection, antimicrobial, and wicking), allowing our pieces to seamlessly transition from stable to street. Our pieces can be dressed up or down… timeless wardrobe staples… they are great for travel.
We are really particular about fit – TBE is flattering for all body types. We also wanted to be sure that our pieces hold their color, softness, and shape wash after wash.
We have built a community of like-minded women who are passionate about the brand …. and are eager to see what we come out with next…. which is so exciting…
As for the future – this year we have been experimenting with new fabrics… We are always on the hunt for new innovative sustainable fabrics. We will be introducing some tencel pieces later this year and expanding into accessories… so stay tuned!
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I think what’s amazing about starting a business is you have to have belief in yourself and what you are selling. Things come up all the time, unexpectedly – but you have to begin to expect that. This is where the growth is… being an entrepreneur and business owner is all about adapting and pivoting. You have to stay forward-thinking at all times. Let go of what is no longer effective and keeping searching tirelessly for possibility… it’s like a science experiment. I approach everything that way – it helps to remove emotion and recover quickly.
- Website: www.tbequestrian.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @twobitsequestrian
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/twobitsequestrian/
Editorial Pictures: Bret Green