Today, we are meeting Victoria Goody, founder of Smart Grooming who specialise in quality grooming products for horses and their riders.
Found out more about Victoria and Smart Grooming and their passion about grooming and turnout to help present horses and ponies beautifully.
Victoria tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do, where are you from?
Hi, I'm Victoria and I'm the founder of Smart Grooming which was established in 2006. The business is based in offices at the family farm on the Devon/Somerset border on the edge of Culmstock, a village at the foot of the Blackdowns Hills.
My main role is overseeing the sales and marketing of Smart Grooming as well as developing new products. However, as a company owner it very much covers all aspects of managing and running a business, with many fingers in many pies!
What inspired you to set up Smart Grooming and tell us more about your shop and your products?
Although Smart Grooming started up in 2006, we already had another business, Clippersharp, specialising in blade sharpening, repairs and sales both online and through our shop, and with the relevancy between the two, we set up Smart Grooming. Smart Grooming specialises in equestrian grooming products that could be used to tidy and groom in a humane way, as well the lotions and potions, brushes and washes that form the diverse product range we have today.
However, we didn't anticipate that our first product, Smart Tails, would create such a stir within the equestrian world, and within a couple of months of launching, we were overwhelmed with orders to supply direct from our shop, and so we welcomed selected wholesalers and retailers to become re-sellers for us. This still continues today as well as reaching out worldwide, covering all the corners of the globe. Our website is the shop window for our products as well as our very active social media pages where we give tips, advice, support ambassadors and sponsored riders, and give the heads up on new products as well as the shows that we can be seen at.
The growth has been exciting, although there have been significant challenges when establishing a brand, it has definitely been a case of learning quickly, keeping consistent with the quality, and bringing out products that really do work.
What is your best-selling product and what product should we not be without?
The best sellers are the smaller, everyday, super useful products - Plaiting Wax, Pro Levelling Knife, Super Groomer and Smart Tails. The first three are all under £20! All four, personally, I need in my grooming basket all year round. The Plaiting wax is a game changer for keeping the wispy hairs at bay, the Pro levelling knife levels up a mane literally in moments, and the Super Groomer is actually the most practical grooming mitt you could ever need! If you could only have one brush in your kit, this mitt is the one!
The Smart Tails will always be my number one for tidying tails, I hated to see horses being restrained and uncomfortable when they were having manes and tails tidied. Now there is no excuse, no horse should have to tolerate this unnecessary pain and I am grateful that I have been a part of changing the equestrian grooming world by giving humane options.
Where can we purchase your products and where can we follow you online?
You can find us at:
Royal Windsor Horse Show
Your Horse Live
National Equine Show
What do you do in your spare time & what you get up to offline?
I love being creative in the garden, watching plants develop, bringing colour and form to areas that were bare and boring! This really allows me to unwind, and gives me thinking time to work on new ideas.
Walking and spending time with Twiggy, my bouncy labrador is always great fun, she takes me away to explore new areas! I also have a sports cob, and dressage horse, both black and very active and a primrose yellow, very pretty MGBGT in the garage for summer days.
What is your ultimate Hiho love (favourite piece from the Hiho collection) and why?
There are many wonderful pieces of Hi Ho Jewellery to choose from, which always makes it so difficult, but my favourite has to be the silver and rose gold cherry roller snaffle bangle.
And finally – what would be your one piece of advice for anyone looking to start a new business?
You need courage, determination, and enthusiasm, and to really have a passion for the market you are going into. Take small steps and grow slowly at the beginning. Talk to other business owners, join business groups, and network.
Look at the financials, and work out the margins as well as the end price, before investing into something that might not make you a profit.