Yaris Equestrian are a British manufacturer of equestrian rugs and saddle cloths. Based in Kendal, Cumbria, the Yaris team are made up of highly skilled machinists and cutters who have over 30 years’ experience alone.
Bespoke or not, it seems this team constantly delivery high performing rugs and cloths which last season upon season. Their close eye to detail and quality is definitely reflected in their long list of standing customers.
We caught up with Yaris Equestrian to learn more about their business…
As a manufacturer of horse rugs and saddle cloths, how important has it been to keep your manufacturing in the UK?
For us, very important, as it’s part of our heritage and tradition to make the products. It’s also part of our strategy. We believe there is huge value in being the maker as we get to control the quality and we get to innovate – neither of those are completely possible when you import.
That isn’t to say there isn’t a place for some imported products and we aren’t critical of others doing it. There’s a very large equestrian market out there which needs products for every budget. Given nearly all the component materials derive from the Far-East and Asia you would also expect them to be able to sell at very competitive prices in large quantities.
Do you make all your products on site in Kendal?
Virtually all. We have one or two ‘accessories’ that we don’t manufacture, and it isn’t economical to do so, but otherwise our whole range is made by us.
How difficult (or easy) has it been to recruit skilled cutters and machinists?
We have been lucky in a way in that there aren’t many other businesses like ours around, so our machinists have been under the same management for over 30 years and are stuck with us! We have growth plans however which will mean we have to recruit into these positions and we know it won’t be easy. The challenge will be recruiting to a) give new recruits the chance to see that there is a really worthwhile career in manufacturing of this nature, b) that we give ourselves enough time to ensure all the experience we have is passed on and c) that we can retain them for another 30 years plus.
Yaris Team with 60 years experience.
What would you say differentiates yourselves from others?
Our core values tell this best:
What’s your best-selling product?
This isn’t an easy one to say! We have a multi-channel approach and all the analytics in the world wouldn’t really capture the full range - absolutely everything is bespoke. We sell mainly rugs but our stable apparel is very popular too.
How important is sourcing quality materials for your designs?
Crucial – some of our relationships go back a very long way and our clients continue to use us for the quality. They are highly experienced too and know what they are getting from us so only the best will do. It is no coincidence that this is our first core value.
How important is sponsorship to you and your brand?
We don’t do any (yet). We may do in the future.
Can you easily adapt to your customer’s bespoke requirements?
Yes, but only because we manufacture and are in complete control. We really do go the extra mile to create the precise specification whether that be in product, embroidery, design etc – no two orders are the same and that is simply the nature of the sector.
A bespoke walker rug made for a horse's rehabilitation after undergoing colic surgery.
What difficulties do you anticipate ahead of Brexit?
Perhaps naively – not many. Consumer confidence seems to be wobbling and there is no doubt that ours is an industry which could be affected by discretionary spending power however horse owners love their horses and would rather go without themselves before trimming back on their most prized assets.
If you would like to find out more, Please visit www.yarisequestrian.co.uk
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