Lydia Duce, an Equestrian Entrepreneur in the Making
When we caught up with Lydia Duce, founder of stylish and affordable equestrian brand LD Equestrian, to say we were shocked to learn of all she has achieved at such a young age would be an understatement. At 22, Lydia has launched a global brand of equestrian clothing, designed to reinvent equestrian style.
Here, Lydia takes 10 minutes out of her busy schedule to talk to us about the idea behind the brand and her plans for LD Equestrian moving forward.
Hi Lydia, thanks for agreeing to an interview with Everything Horse. Perhaps you could start by telling us a little bit about yourself for our readers?
Hi ! You are very welcome, thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and my brand. I am Lydia Duce, I am 22 years old and I am the founder and director of LD Equestrian.
LD Equestrian provides stylish, affordable technical wear to the modern rider. Our brand is recognised in the UK, North America and across Europe. We hope to reinvent equestrian style and shake up the equestrian fashion industry.
We saw from your website you’ve been an equestrian all your life. What’s your earliest horse memory/who was your first horse?
For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with horses. My earliest memory is of myself sitting on the sofa, in my wellies watching the racing on TV.
I was lucky enough to be bought my first pony by my parents at the age of 13. ‘Merry’ by name and definitely not by nature. She loved to bite and kick me at every opportunity but she was a sweetheart really!
Do you have a favourite equine breed?
In all honesty, I don’t have a favourite breed, I love all horses. But my current horse is a thoroughbred and she has made me fall in love with the breed and ex racehorses in particular. I believe they are just exceptional is so many ways.
What prompted you into creating and developing LD Equestrian, as a brand and a business?
For many years I have thought that equestrian clothing was old fashioned. I always found that the fit, the fabric and the style just was not to my liking and if it was, the price was not to my budget.
So from a customer point of view, I believe even now, that the equestrian clothing industry requires some disturbance, it is outdated in a lot of aspects.
The core value of my brand is to meet the demands of the modern equestrian. I hope to progress equestrians and the industry into the modern times with quality fabrics, modern styles, better technical assets and value for money. The entirety of what I do is for benefit of my fellow fanatics.
Consumers need to discover that there is a brand that can cater to their needs; making them feel good and experiencing a better customer service overall.
What makes your brand ‘stand out from the crowd’, so to speak?
Aside from the modern and stylish designs, LD Equestrian is a small global business and therefore it can offer the consumer requirements of trust, character and uniqueness.
I am deeply connected to my business as I myself am a consumer, I understand what my customers need, I combine it with what they want and I offer it at the prices that they can afford. My brand offers service upon a personal, tailored level.
On your website, we note you have a blog section. Could you tell us more about that?
I incorporated a blog into my website because I didn’t want my customer service to end after the point of sale. So,as a thank you to my customers for their support in the brand, I wanted to offer them free information, style tips, expert advice and industry relevant news.
I don’t want to become a brand known for simply selling clothing. I want to become a brand known for being a leader in its field. For inspiring its network and I believe that my blog helps me to do that and helps my customers to get to know me.
For our readers, and those using your website, who are interested in heightening their equine profile, what does it take to make it as one of your ‘sponsored riders’?
To be one of our sponsored riders you have to be extremely driven and enthusiastic. Our current sponsored rider Vicky possesses these values and she also shares my passion for the brand and believes in my long term vision. She is extremely supportive and a heavily positive influence not only for my customers but for the industry. To become a sponsored rider it takes much more than being hard working, you have to be an aspirational individual, extremely passionate and a positive influence.
When you started LD Equestrian, did you ever envisage that your brand would go global?
In complete honesty, I did. I believe in thinking ‘big’, I trust in my capabilities so, yes I did envision the brand would reach a global scale. However it is overwhelming to believe that I have achieved that in such a short time frame and it excites me for the future.
What’s your favourite stocked product, and why?
I love all of my products because I view them as my packaged up ideas. However, my favourite product is our Snakeskin Patterned Technical T Shirt. I especially love this product because it is my most ‘out there’ piece. I am particularly proud of it because I can honestly say that there is no other product currently like it on the equestrian market. That is a real achievement for me personally because it leads me step closer to breaking the mould. I was so excited to begin marketing this product as it is so unique and it is a piece that divides opinion.
And finally, what are your plans for the brand into 2017 and beyond?
This year is a really exciting year for me. In the next couple of months I will be finally releasing our technical breeches. The design is simple, stylish and it has been combined with technical components along with an affordable price tag. I believe the breeches will really challenge what is currently available by our competitors.
I have also begun the design process of a few casual pieces for a Men’s Collection which I hope to release later in the year.