Welcome to my next guest on the Country Bumpkin Chic Chats to blog series – Louise Overhill from Zafina. I first heard about Zafina after spotting Honest Riders founder Zoe Kiff hair looking super smart in her British Dressage competition on Trev & asked for her inside tips which were Zafina hair accessories.
Last December I had the pleasure of meeting Louise in person on the Zafina stand at Olympia & made a few purchases to smarten up my hair for British Eventing competitions & was also won over by their range of gorgeous hair bands.
So, please welcome the lovely Louise to the blog and find out more about the brand that is smartening up equestrian riders round the globe.
1. Welcome Louise, can you tell us a bit about the Zafina brand & business…
Zafina is a brand that I have created. We sell handmade stocks for dressage in a range of brocades, jacquards and cotton. We also offer customised service and can create stock and hair accessories to match any competition jacket and/or hat. We have an extremely large range of hair accessories for any equestrian discipline which ranges from plain velvet scrunchies to luxuriously embellished scrunchies.
We launched our brand of stocks and hair accessories in 2014 after visiting the European Dressage Championships in Herning, Denmark in August 2013. Taking inspiration from the many European dressage riders we watched competing there. The stocks and hair accessories were quite different from the products that were available in the UK, so I decided to design and produce my range and brand. The story behind the name Zafina, I like to be different and did not want to use a company name that included equestrian or equine. I like the letter Z so googled girls names beginning with Z and found the name Zafina and soon as I found the name, I thought that is the one.
2. What inspired you to set up your own business? What did you do before Zafina?
I also have a natural supplements company called NaturaWorld we sell herbs, spices and supplements for horses and dogs. I started this business when my daughter had her first pony, a lot had changed in the feed market since I had horses 25 years previously, we used to feed our horses and ponies straights and add boiled linseed or extra oats when needed.
The pony was a little Irish Sports pony and when I looked at the ingredients of the feeds that were available so many of them had added fillers and sugar I decided to feed him grass nuts and add supplements such as garlic, micronised linseed, seaweed and rosehips. When I started NaturaWorld I used to have a trade stand at British Eventing events to promote the supplements and then started selling clothing and competition attire. We now just supply tack shops with our supplements and most of our sales are online.
3. What aspect of running your own business do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy all aspects of it, it is great to receive online orders especially now as we are selling our products all over the world. I love the buzz of the shows, we now only do the big shows with large footfall. It’s great to meet existing customers who come back to us time after time they always like to see what new products we have. It’s also lovely to meet new customers that haven’t seen our stand before. My daughter manages the social media for me and does a great job.
4. What’s been your biggest high & lows with Zafina?
My biggest high was having my application for a stand accepted at Olympia in 2016 it is such a prestigious show and I felt very proud. The low has got to be the current situation we all find ourselves in during the pandemic. We had so many plans for new products to be launched at Badminton only to find that it had been cancelled. A decision that I fully support for the safety and well-being of everyone. However, we are making use of the time we now have to plan and prepare for next seasons shows.
5. What can we expect from the future of Zafina?
For a while now customers have been buying our hair accessories for fashion, weddings, evening wear etc, we also launched a range of fascinators at Badminton last year which have been a huge success. We are planning on bringing out a new range of fashion hair accessories including some lovely headbands which we launched at Olympia last year and some winter hats.
Quick-fire Country Bumpkin Chic round:
1. Favourite equestrian event to attend with Zafina?
I can’t decide between Badminton and Olympia, both are very special.
2. Must have Zafina hair accessory to earn those extra points in the dressage?
It has got to be a hair donut as that is the only way to create a neat and tidy bun.
3. What are the big names wearing from Zafina?
Lots of top riders wear our hair accessories, they are also very popular with the pony team riders.
4. Who inspires you the most to excel in business?
My family, we are all hard workers and the more successful I am it inspires me even more.
5. Favourite motivational song?
Tell us all the places we can find Zafina online: