Friday, April 22, 2016

Abby and the New Horse shirt.....Run for the Roses

Some animals are just special. Abby is one of those. She is a little girls dream horse-Big and White with the Prettiest face. She is the horse you envision the Princess riding away on to meet up with her Prince. My daughter Phoebe has always been fascinated by her. All of her play horses at home are named Abby. Here she is beside her big fav. :) Hard to believe that this mare will be 25 years old next month. Abby is owned by my good friend Meghan Nichols. 

  Let me back track a little...Meghan and I and her sister Jennifer Pesnell have been horse back riding together since we were young girls at Foxbriar Farms in Calhoun. We all went to West Monroe High School together and Jennifer and I were even roommates for a year at Tech together. Their entire family is very precious to me. I sadly had to put my horse Tango down about 5 years ago and Meghan stayed by his side for his last breaths.
I couldn't bare to be there. That is what kind of true friend she is.  Through our teenage and adult years,  Meghan became a much better rider than me and is now MY trainer! She started her own barn back in Dec of 2012 called Lone Oak Farms. It is in Choudrant, LA. I truly love learning from her and try to go out and ride once a week. My kids have been coming out since before they can remember.
   So, back to the design, I have always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby. It is at the TOP of my Bucket List. Beside the excitement of the race, I am fascinated by the hats the girls wear!!!
(I stole this pic off the internet)

It hit me back in January to design a shirt with a HORSE all dressed up like it was going to The Derby....And what better horse than the very classy Abby!!
They don't get any fancier than she is.  
Here she is jumping high!! In her younger days, she competed in High Junior/AO Jumpers (you hunter/jumper horse peeps out there know what this is). Even won $10,000 one time!!! 
  So, what does one do when they create a special tee depicting a horse wearing a hat and flowers??? Thats right... you schedule a photo shoot with the actual horse!! 
  To begin, I went on a hat hunt for the shoot and ended up at JJ's in Downtown Monroe.
These people are PROUD of their hats!! Who knew they were so expensive?
I will have a new appreciation for ladies I see at church all decked out in their suits and matching hats. I found a pretty pink one that I thought would work (it better! No returns on hats!! hahaha). I left feeling quite fancy with my special hat container.
My beloved baseball hats never got this kind of treatment before. :)

  I also ran into our local West Monroe Tractor Supply and picked up a couple of pairs for rubber boots for the models.
The rain was on its way and we figured we would need these....We did!
  Talk about R-A-I-N!!! We all had to drive through a monsoon to get to the barn.
My phone kept going off because of emergency flash flood alerts.
Im driving down I-20 wondering if I have completely lost my mind trying to make this happen in this kind of weather. But, the other part of me kept thinking how hard it is to line up a horse, 3 models, a photographer, and a couple of creative floral designers....we NEEDED to make this work..
   Speaking of creative designers,  I had seen on Instagram where Taylor Bennett and Lindsey Lowe had started a business called Fine Folks (
 Sounded cool and I always like to support other local businesses.. I approached them about creating something unique for the shoot. Their floral piece of art was way above what I had ever hoped for. They not only made our t shirt design come to life, but they also took the time to hand deliver it (in the pouring rain) and place it on Abbys neck.
I loved watching them add last minute flowers to the garland so it looked fresh. It was BEAUTIFUL!!!

  When I arrived at the barn Meghan and Jennifer were dong last minute touch ups on Abby.

Sweet Eduardo had been out earlier in the day and had given Abby a bubble bath.
She looked impeccable. Taylor and Lindsey carefully placed the flowered garland around her neck and decided it needed to lay a little asymmetrical. Good Eye Fine Folks. :)

  Heather Land was the photographer for the shoot. She is the epitome of cool, calm and sweet. Perfect for this crazy thunderstorm event with animals and models. She got some pics of Abby before the models arrived. 

  I had originally pictured the models outside in the pasture barefoot around Abby, but if there is one thing I have learned in life, you just have to go with the flow. Plans change. Weather happens. So, when our three pretty sisters arrived, I handed out rubber boots to go with their pants and shorts and new tees.
First up was little Carissa Wallace who is in Kindergarten at Kiroli School. She listened carefully to everything Heather wanted her to do. I was so impressed with this little one. Check out these pics...

 Next we had her middle sister Auburn Wallace who is a senior at West Monroe High School. She will be heading to La Tech in the Fall. Love her hair!! Heather got some very nice ones of her too. 

Lastly, we have the married oldest sister~ Breanne Adele Mertz who everyone calls "Bre". She had actually done some photo shoots for us before, but as the photographer!! It was great to see her on the other side of the camera. She moved wonderfully and really interacted with the horse nicely. 

  The behind the scenes pics were hilarious-
Tons of flag waving, peppermints being handed out and paper crinkling...anything everyone could do to get Abby to perk up her ears.

Then Heather was constantly getting licked by Jules the Horse.
The salt residue from her afternoon cross fit workout was exactly what they thought they needed. I think I was just mainly standing there biting my finger nails and watching it all unfold. hahaha

  In the end, we got little Carissa sitting on top of Abby for a group shout
and then got some funny pics of Abby in her special JJ's Fashion Derby hat. 
Thank you Abby for being such a good sport through all of this. You deserve all the carrots and peppermints that your sweet soul desires. 
  If you want one of these special tees, check out our website at  Adult v neck tees are S-XXL $28 and youth crew neck are 2t-Youth12 $24. Ready to ship.

  Stay tuned for Fashion Fusion.....



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