Okay so I'm 13 and need money to buy show clothes for the fair. I was cleaning up my mom's old English saddle yesterday that had been sitting in the garage for 15 years....and I wondered if I could make a business out of it. I would post flyers at the local tack/feed stores and people would bring me their saddle/bridle and I'd give them a quote on how much it would cost to oil and clean it. Would this be profitable do you think? How much should I charge?
I started my own tack cleaning business last year. It's been slow and I only get customers at random times, but I think that's better than being overwhelmed with too much tack.
I posted my flyers at feed/tack/livestock supply stores, equine vets, the library, and at my riding barn. You could also try your grocery store, community center, and coffee shop. Once you get into the niche, you could use your profits to purchase a business card ad in a local horse newsletter/magazine.
What seemed to help me was that I got the most dirtiest tack I could find and cleaned it, taking before and after photos and putting them on my flyer. I did one western saddle and an english bridle to show that I do both types of tack.
I charge $10 an hour and have had no complaints, only compliments.
Remember to be safe! Always have an adult with you when meeting new customers and preferably have them meet you at your house/barn.
Okay here's some before and after pics....they're taken with my phone so they're bad quality. I can take pics of the 'after' with my real camera but obviously not the 'before'. Do you think these would be good pics to put on a flyer?
Do you currently board? I could see a need for it. Most horse owners have 2-3+ horses they need to care for and most riders(me included), tend to be on the lazy side. I would definitely pay someone to clean my tack.
Consider looking into local shows as well and posting posters there.
Thanks:).I made some flyers; semi-colorful so they stand out. I don't board....I have my horses on my property. I have a friend who boards, though, so I'll ask her to post one of my flyers in her barn. That's a good idea. As for the knee rolls, how do you know if they're leather or not? I don't know if mine are, or how to tell the difference. What would they be made of if they're not leather? They're a different texture than the rest of the saddle....
They are probably suede. Whether they are faux or leather suede, I probably wouldn't clean them the same way as the other parts of the saddle. My saddle is synthetic, but it has suede knee rolls. I use one of my brushes to try and work most of the dust and grime to the surface. Then I use a damp cloth to wipe it away. Not sure if that's how you're supposed to do it, or even if it matters, but that's how I do it. Haha