Journal

All of our latest developments in one place...

A huge thank you to the wonderful Dressage Anywhere, who have kindly given me a 10% discount code to share with you guys. 

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Christmas giveaway

*Congratulations Emily Sandford on winning our Christmas giveaway*

We are running a Christmas giveaway over on our Instagram account Nouvelle Habit

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under the christmas tree gift guide

Are you looking for some Christmas shopping inspiration this year?

I have put together a little list of my top gifts that I would love to see under my Christmas tree this year.

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Titan Splashing

This was photo-shoot No4.

I was excited about this shoot for a few reasons; one being, I love moorland, especially Dartmoor. Two, it was going to be the first time having two models and to see the Navy and Vintage brown side by side. And finally, it was the first shoot where a model already owned her skirt, so we would get to see it once the wax cotton has been – broken in. It is one of the things I love about wax cotton is how it becomes more supple and soft as it is worn.

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Sapphire and Eleri

We would like to welcome Sapphire to our team as our first brand ambassador.

Sapphire volunteered for herself and her lovely pony Eleri to be one of our model sets for a brand photo shoot. It was during this shoot that I asked if Sapphire would like to be an ambassador for Nouvelle Habit. I was so impressed with Sapphire’s level of dedication to her horses, it was so obvious to see the love between her and her pony. It was lovely to meet someone with such passion and drive from showing at a high standard to riding across the rugged welsh mountains at her home.

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Sapphire riding on the road

For our 3rd shoot, we were up in North Wales in a breathtaking location on the edge of Halkyn Mountain.

My Photographer for this shoot was the extremely talented, Martha Lily photographer. I was excited to work with Martha as I had been following her Instagram account for a while, as she offers super photography tips and, I had been trying to improve my skills. So I was looking forward to meeting her in person.

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Model Jody on her horse

Our 2nd shoot was up in Peterborough with the wonderful Jody and her handsome horse Ferguson. Our photographer for this shoot was Laura Fiddaman, who has a great style of capturing beautiful natural photos.

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Galloping horse

After the fun we had doing our original photo shoot, I wanted to organize a new shoot but using a new model, new horse and new photographer. I wanted to offer the opportunity for some of you guys to be involved and so I put up a post on social media asking if any one would like to model with there horses. It was lovely to have such a big response, but I then had the task of picking.

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Tropicana Design model wearing skirt

Over September and October we have several photo shoots lined up, with some of you guys as our models and we can’t wait to see the results.

We want to take this opportunity to thank every one that got in contact with us on our social media platforms to volunteer to be involved in our photo shoots. It was such a success that we are going to do it again in the future so keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram plus sign up for our newsletter to receive updates and offers.

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We are excited to announce that our design for ‘The Moorland’ riding skirt is officially a UK Registered Design.

Design number 6088000

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We have made a small collection of one-off riding skirts for our collaboration with Shop Curious.

Each riding skirt has been made using some curious fabrics, from the outside they are normal business but each skirt has a been lined with fabric to add a little flare. These are one of a kind garments.

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Somerset County Show

Sadly this years 2020 show has been cancelled due to Covid – 19.

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June SXC online virtual show is here and we are sponsoring a class.

Class is now closed.

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Throughout the design process I was inspired to create all sorts of extra finishing touches.

As Nouvelle Habit, my dream business came closer to reality; I decide that I would make sure that those little extra finishing touches were part of my final product.

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The official photo shoot was coming up; I had everything crossed that the weather would be kinder this time.

I booked two full days to give us a greater chance of good weather, hoping to get the shots I needed for the launch of my website.
Celine, my friend was flying down from Glasgow to model for me. Avril would be my photographer and I was going to direct and be on horse duties. The Nouvelle Habit branded clothing had arrived and looked stunning thanks to Team Equestrian

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I buckled down to designing the straps for the skirt fastenings.
I wanted my design to mirror the shape of my logo, to have in-built slits as keepers* so as not to have to attach keepers.

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On the morning of our test run I washed Jester from head to toe, much to Jesters disgruntlement. I carefully wrapped him up and hoped that I had done enough to keep him clean in the January Mud! The location was at Kate’s (my lovely yard owner’s) house, which was a 10min hack up the road. As we set off, a thick cloud of drizzle rolled in over us… Not ideal.

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Prototype No13. Mon pièce de résistance!

I finally achieved what I had been aiming for in my final design, the one that ticked all the boxes. The one that looked exactly the way I had pictured it in my mind’s eye. So it was full steam ahead to get my test riders in skirts and out on horses.

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I was really stuck on this for a long time; I had my business name but the inspiration for my logo just wasn’t there.

After being given a book on symbols, signs and visual codes by my dad the idea came to create my own Coat of Arms. I spent the next few days reading as much as I could on Heraldry and the meaning of colours, animals and flowers to help me create one that I felt would represent my business and me.

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Bespoke Product

In the run up to my launch date, I had a huge dilemma to resolve. Which was going to be the best route for my business? Me, hand tailoring every skirt or, finding a manufacturer that would reflect everything I wanted my business to be. As with most things there are pro’s and con’s.

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For the first time ever, Jester was only a 5 minute drive from my home and now that he was fighting fit, we could start riding again. This gave me the opportunity to ride every day in my skirt and to start putting it though some vigorous testing. Come rain, shine or even snow.

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After Christmas my horse ‘Jester’ fell very poorly and had to be taken into hospital to have fairly big head surgery, which involved the removing of a large tumour. The operation went well but poor Jester then had a fairly long recovery period, confined to his stable.

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Prototype No10 turned out to be everything I had hoped for. So the next big thing was to figure out the best weight of fabric …and the best solution to keep it secure while riding.

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After a few silly mistakes (entirely a product of my excitement and enthusiasm) jumping in and doing, the first short version was complete.

As I had hoped, it behaved in the same way as the long version but something still wasn’t quite right… the length! Having spent so much time contemplating the issue, coming up against the same snag, I realized that I needed to take a different approach. Just the one length, a ‘midway’ skirt, eureka!

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Christmas was coming and I had successfully joined the Princes Trust ‘Explore Enterprise Course’.

I was feeling really ready to embrace every aspect of my business venture, from marketing and selling, even down to the accounting! I was hungry to learn as much as I could and with prototype No8 ready to sew. I was as excited as a child might be on Christmas morning.

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I booked Joy to come and spend another day with me in the studio to help with the next couple of prototypes, as I wanted to change my skirt from a 6-panel skirt into 12 or more panels! Things were about to get a whole lot more complicated…

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Devon County show has now sadly been cancelled for this year due to Covid -19, It will be returning next year on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of May 2021.

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This has been a very exciting week for Nouvelle Habit.

We have been testing our riding skirts on location and photographing the results.

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I’m lucky I have a
super supportive mum and dad, both willing to listen to my crazy ideas, give me
advice and most importantly, let me follow my heart.

During the
prototype stage I had been bombarding them with photographs and filling their
inboxes with questions. Taking them with me on the roller coaster of emotions
that I was going though every day! From elation to devastation, my parents
experienced it all too.

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My ‘Hobby Horse’ was fantastic for cosmetic fixes but as a rider I knew the importance of live tests. Moving in the skirt while mounted, the drape of the fabric and the range of movement the rider would have, the way my design behaved in every kind of weather. These were all crucial aspects of the product in my mind’s eye and I was determined to get them right.

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