Our promise at Town's End Outfitters has always been to bring you the top lifestyle brands for the elite amateur sportswoman in skiing, golf, tennis, sailing, equestrian and sporting. We've been so fortunate to work with and amongst some of the top brands in the world and we are proud to showcase them to you in our newest series - Behind the Seams.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jackie Eckert, Founder of Equi in Style, to learn more about her passion for horses, interest in fashion and her all-American approach to retail.
Town's End Outfitters: What inspired you to create Equi in Style?
Jackie Eckert: Inspiration often comes from necessity. I was tired of a farmers tan and sun burned arms and searched for a long time for a long sleeve shirt that could be worn in hot humid weather. Originally this was a golf shirt. I was convinced after a trial period with the shirt at a horseshow for three days, where I washed it out in the sink and hung it up to dry everyday plus lifting hay bales and trying really hard to ruin it, that this would work in the daily life of an equestrian. So, I worked for the golf company and brought the shirt into the equestrian world. The golf company went out of business and I became a manufacturer and the “shirt lady”. Equi in Style, LLC came from the idea that you can have “style” and still have function. In fact the acronym for EIS is: Energetic, Innovative and Stylish.
Town's End Outfitters: What are the guiding principles that define your business?
Jackie Eckert: When I think of what defines EIS as a company and having the great fortune to have made it to our 10 year anniversary this year, I would say that having quality control (being made here, USA) has enabled me to produce Quality garments, followed up with great Customer Service. So guiding principles would be Quality and Customer Service.
Town's End Outfitters: As an early innovator in sun protection, what differentiates Equi in Style from other SPF rated tops?
Jackie Eckert: Well, being the first one out of the “gate” with a long sleeve shirt with mesh and cooling factors would have given me an advantage in the equestrian world, but to stay here this long I believe our attention to detail, our quality control, our customer service and being MADE IN THE USA (I am very proud of this) I believe has served the EIS brand very well.
Town's End Outfitters: Who are your brand ambassadors and what about them aligns with Equi in Style?
Jackie Eckert: We have had many different people who have approached us over the years to represent EIS. Our grass roots approach (I’ve not forgotten selling my shirts at local horse shows and having barn party’s) has brought us individuals who just love the brand and young people (that we still keep in contact with) so, I would say in the beginning before brand ambassadors became a “job title” that it was more of a family feeling and being associated with EIS.
Town's End Outfitters: Who are your personal style icons?
Jacket Eckert: First would be Coco Channel for bringing form, function and simplicity of style to the fashion world. Also, a nod to Ralph Lauren for making his classic style part of American fashion.
Town's End Outfitters: Where is your favorite travel destination and where do you hope to visit?
Jackie Eckert: The Dartmore Castle in England (falconry on horseback) and to play Freddy Couples golf course in Mexico.
Town's End Outfitters: What are your favorite hobbies? Golf, tennis, equestrian, sailing, skiing, shooting, others?
Jackie Eckert: I have had many hobbies over the years most of which involved the outdoors such as golf, tennis and skiing. I also loved doing stained glass when I had the time. But I have to say my passion is riding and horses.
Town's End Outfitters: Recently, you’ve expanded your product selection into golf. What inspired that?
Jackie Eckert: Well, bringing us back to golf life style is like going full circle for me. Golf is a lifestyle which has many similarities in traditional and classic style that we have in the equestrian world. I was able to take many garments made by the golf company and sell them in the equestrian world.
Town's End Outfitters: Tell us about a new piece that you are excited about.
Jackie Eckert: We are very excited about our new print collection. We have four new shirts with different prints in the collar, which we have not done before. Also, we will have four new short sleeve shirts coming out in July to coordinate with our current skort. We are working on new designs for next season.
Town's End Outfitters: What do you want your legacy to be?
Jackie Eckert: A Legacy sounds so grandiose, but when I think back on EIS and how this company came to be, I think of my very first “sale”. A single shirt to my trainer (she is still my trainer) and 2 years later (when I had my own company) a call from her in Lake Placid where she took a picture of the rings down below and said “it’s a sea of Pistachio” (my first signature color) and ALL these people had my shirt on, I was amazed and still am, that I brought this kind of “change” of what we can choose to wear riding into our everyday closet.
Town's End Outfitters: In three words, how do you hope women feel wearing Equi in Style?
Jackie Eckert: I really hope that everyone that wears EIS feels Confident, Stylish and Happy!