Why Brenda Smith @ Agaso chooses Swindells
Brenda is a riding instructor, ex-city worker, entrepreneur, lecturer and researcher. She’s worked with Swindells for 2 years and has recently launched Equestrian Clothing Brand, Agaso with her husband Stuart.
Could you tell us about your journey to creating Agaso?
“After leaving school with A-levels I worked in a city bank for two years. I soon realised that this sort of work was not for me - the job did not seem to be benefitting me or society in general. Having ridden horses since childhood, I decided to take my BHS Intermediate Instructor qualifications and became a riding instructor, eventually running my own riding school.
Later on I completed a degree in Equine Sports Coaching at the University of Worcester and decided to move into full-time teaching. Sharing my knowledge has always been important to me, and having already been a riding instructor, the transition to full-time teaching was relatively straightforward. Whilst working as a lecturer, Plumpton College enabled me to obtain a PGCE teaching qualification.
I’ve been running a successful riding training business for a while now and wanted a new challenge. Everything that I have done in the past has led me to this moment.”
What prompted you to start an apparel business?
“I saw a gap in the market for sensibly priced, excellent quality & innovative, technical equestrian apparel. I use the biomechanics of horse and rider to enhance the performance of the partnership in all spheres. I have motion analysis software which can be used to measure performance. I realised that all of the experience that I have had to date has put me in a unique position to design equestrian apparel that really takes the rider and horse into consideration and actively enhances the rider’s experience.
Agaso & Swindells
“I’ve worked with Swindells through Agaso for the last two years from conception of the idea through to the launch and beyond. They produce our accounts and VAT returns, I’m always very happy with the quality of the work and service that I receive. I chose to work with Swindells on Agaso due to the expertise that they have in the organisation, they are a local company and have a great reputation.
As Melanie is a fellow equestrian she was the perfect choice for my business, she understands the market as she lives the lifestyle and can offer me deep and insightful advice across the breadth of my business and not just financially.”
What advice would you give to anyone starting their own business?
“In our business we have learned that it takes a great deal of patience and capital just to get to launch; we’ve needed a lot of patience and dealt with a few speed bumps along the way. You have to know your market’s needs and be prepared to take no income for a few years. Be in it because you want to otherwise you are likely to give up. Make sure you have people around you who are better in the areas that you lack knowledge in….stay the course.
I’ve learned a lot over the past few years from working with our factory in India, refining designs, understanding brand and marketing and finally launching a product into the market, it’s been an amazing journey and one that has only really just begun.”
To learn more about Agaso please visit their website at www.agaso.co.uk
If you are looking to start your own business and need sound financial and business planning advice please get in contact with our managing partner Melanie Richards using the contact details below:
Melanie Richardson - Managing Partner
If you’d like to learn more about our approach to working with clients get in touch with Melanie directly on:
Tel 01825 763366
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