Lindsey Kahn checks out this custom service!
I’m a sucker for custom products for my horses; handmade items from small businesses are, in my mind, even better. I jumped at the chance to review some of the gorgeous hand-engraved custom goods from Cheval Designs, LLC. Brandy-Michelle Hart owns and operates this small company out of Arlington, Virginia, and is the creator of the Horse Hopes line of custom engraved equestrian products.
“Horse Hopes’ inception was very similar to the story every equestrian knows too well,” says Brandy-Michelle. “Much like the seemingly harmless trip to the tack store for one or two things and ending up with a whole new wardrobe for you and your horse, all I needed were a few personalized horse brushes for myself…and I ended up starting a business instead! And so Horse Hopes was born!”
Equestrians quickly learned about her custom wood-engraved brushes and soon her hobby turned into a booming business with orders shipped worldwide. From brushes and grooming totes to nameplate bracelets and even wine glasses, all products are available to order on the Horse Hopes Etsy page. Clients can select from nearly 50 equestrian graphics and many fonts to customize their orders. Alternatively, clients can provide their own images and logos, or come up with a simple idea and ask for a custom design to be created specifically for their order.
“While the individual equestrian is currently my primary customer base, I have created large-scale orders for horse show organizations as well as a non-profit therapeutic riding program,” Brandy-Michelle says. She can also create bulk orders for farms, equestrian organizations, and more.
Though every order is meticulously tailored to each customer’s specifications, the ordering process was surprisingly smooth. I decided to order a custom grooming set, complete with a grooming tote and full set of matching tools including brushes, currycomb, and hoofpick. My farm, Woodloch Stable, hosts an extreme trail challenge twice a year and I thought that the grooming set would make an awesome grand prize for the competition. I sent over the farm’s logo, and Brandy-Michelle worked with me to figure out the text and layouts on the various grooming tools.
I also decided to spoil myself with a Horse Hopes stall sign for my mare Firefly. While ordering on Etsy, I selected the sign’s shape, size, a graphic from the product’s listing, and a unique font from the thousands of free downloads at dafont.com. After finalizing the designs, I handed the reins over to Brandy-Michelle.
The project’s creation was fun to follow; I was sent photos during several stages of the engraving process, which was very thoughtful. Once the grooming tote, brushes, and stall sign were complete, I couldn’t believe how quickly they were shipped to the farm so we could all drool over the craftsmanship and intricate designs. The natural fibers in the brushes are soft and durable, and the engraved wood was incredibly smooth and coated with a glossy polyurethane finish for protection. The grooming tote was sturdy and had room for much more than the brushes, and the stall sign had rings mounted on the back for easy hanging. Everything is very high quality and exactly the way I envisioned.
I appreciated Brandy-Michelle’s exceptional customer service throughout the planning and creation of my order. The prices are reasonable, especially considering the individual attention and intricate, skillful engraving that each order receives. The Horse Hopes products make wonderful gifts with a personal touch, and who doesn’t like having unique items made just for their horse?
Go Horse Hopes. Go Riding.