Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrienne Hendricks.
Hi Adrienne, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up riding horses. I took a bit of a break from riding and got my undergraduate degree in Chinese Art History. That lead to a career in Mutual Funds. I lived around the country for 9 years and worked as a Stockbroker and Licensed Banker. I moved back to Idaho with my MBA from Virginia Tech and was able to start riding again. After I was home for a few years, I met my husband and had my twin boys. That was when I happened into saddlery. My dad helped me with getting started as he had always done some leatherwork. He helped me with working on some of my bridles for some small repairs.
That led to larger repairs and I found something that combined my passion for making things and horses and started searching for someone to train with. I found 6 Master Saddlers in the US as recognized by the Society of Master Saddlers in England. The one that was the furthest West was in Colorado was Suzie Fletcher. I emailed her and she agreed to give me a chance to prove that I was serious. My husband helped me by using all of his airline miles from travel, so I could travel every other month to Eaton, Co to train in a formal apprenticeship with Suzie. After a few years, she decided to move home to England.
She combined her shop with mine in Eagle, Idaho, and back to England she went. During this time, she also introduced me to Steve and Janet Lovatt, the owners of Lovatt & Ricketts saddlery. As Suzie moved back to England, they agreed to take me on as an Apprentice with their factory in Walsall, England. I now manage all of their US saddle distribution as well as running my own saddle repair business.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I have had to work really hard for the first few years, I still had a full-time job and could only work on saddles in my spare time.
All of this while trying to raise my twin boys! I am grateful for my Parents and Husband to have helped so I could travel to train with Sooz and work in my shop. Being full-time has really helped as the business has grown.
I also struggle with time management. It is hard to switch from working on the bench to shipping a saddle to answering the phone. I have lots of hats that I wear throughout the day.
As you know, we’re big fans of Adrienne Hendricks Saddlery. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I am a Professional Saddler and am working to become the third American Master Saddler as recognized by the Society of Master Saddlers. I specialize in English Saddle repairs and work for several companies that are located in Europe.
I perform warranty work and repairs for these companies as well as most repairs on English saddles. I strive to do the absolute best that I can and hope that my passion for my job shows through in my work.
Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
The biggest risk was leaving my full-time job to become self-employed in a very small industry with two small children at home. Leaving the security of that job was very scary.
Luckily it all turned out and I am extremely grateful but that was a huge risk. I still wake up every day remembering that I need to do my best and keep striving to grow my business. Any day it could all stop.
- Website: EnglishSaddle.com