CQ woman's business gallops to new international heights
"I'M JUST a mum of three and my whole idea was just to have a hobby and it's just exploded”.
Based in Capella, Kelly-Anne Hamann operates a business selling handmade horse rugs and equine related products.
While the business is 30-years-old, it has gone through changes of hands before Kelly-Anne and her husband, Ben bought it in 2015.
"The idea was I would buy a horse rug business to fund my horse riding hobby,” Kelly-Anne said.
But with how much the business evolved, Kelly-Anne hasn't had much of a chance to ride her horses.
"I now have one horse that sits in the paddock that is 20-years-old and eats grass,” she said.
"I don't think I have sat on a horse for two years, I have been very busy.
"My horse riding exploits have gone out the door.
"When I bought the business off my friend, she sold it to me because it was getting too busy.
"Since that time, we have quadrupled it.
"I'm the first owner to step outside from being just a home sewer.”
Kelly-Anne said part of her success was due to Liam Fahey, who she turned tofor some marketing and business advice.
"I was scattered- I had lots of ideas and wanted to put them into work,” she said of her business.
"He did a basic consult how to manage Facebook.
"He assisted with marketing my business on multiple different angles.”
From there, Kelly-Anne grew her business from Showdown Rugs to Showdown Equine Performance Equipment.
Showdown Equine Performance Equipment
- Website: www.itsashowdown.com.au
- Facebook: Showdown Rugs
- Based in Capella, but posts Australia-wide and internationally upon request
"I have expanded my range to sell more than horse rugs,” she said.
The business has grown so much she can't keep up.
Kelly-Anne has introduced a range of horse rugs that are sewn offshore using her Australian design.
"I physically couldn't sew enough rugs to keep up with the demand,” she said.
Going from a one-man show, Kelly-Anne has employed four staff to assist her.
"I employed some people casually and last year I took on permanent employees,” she said.
It has also meant she has needed more room.
"I have gone from having a little sewing room in the front of my house and now we have a shed,” Kelly-Anne said.
"We have just purchased a donga to expand a little more.”
In growing her business, Kelly-Anne is looking at expanding to sell in New Zealand.
"In October we are going to an agriculture show and I plan to have a distribution centre,” she said.
"There are things I can sell in New Zealand that I wouldn't sell much of over here.
"A lot I sell is down south in the colder areas.”
But it hasn't all been rosy success, with three young children at home aged five, six and 14-years-old, it had been a juggle with business and family life.
"It's not unusual to have 10 or 12 hours seven days a week,” Kelly-Anne said.
"To make a rug is five hour process.
"I get up at 4am in the morning, sew, get kids to school, sew, get them from school, come back out at 10pm."
"We hand-make the product you want, we make it to the highest quality.
"The usual thing is when you buy a rug it will get you six months.
"If you have a good easy-wearing horse you will get a long time out of it out of our rugs.”
Being based in a rural area has some downfalls in running the business with internet connection being at the top of Kelly-Anne's list.
"Some days my internet service is so bad I can press a key, go make a cuppa and it is still waiting to click on it when I come back,” she said.
"Nothing is really a problem, it's just how you manage.”