- Katie Hoog and Sarah Hoog White- CUatX Tack
*Sarah, tell us when you and Katie Started riding?
I’ve been riding since I could walk, for some reason the horse bug bit me and my parents were NOT horse people! Started out taking hunt seat lessons around 3 but I really learned to ride in central Florida on my grandfather’s hobby cattle farm. We rarely used saddles and halters were great bridles when bits were hard to come by. I learned to ride, stay on and how to fall off pretty early on! Jumpers came later in my early teens and I switched to Dressage in 1997 when I got my first warmblood mare.
Katie became horse crazy a little later, in her mid-teens and she went to Wellington as a working student for Lisa Payne (El Ramey) and the rest is history.
*Whose idea was it to start C U at X Tack?
Sarah: I’ve been in high end retail for 20+ years and was ready to get back to my passion, horses, and work for myself.
*Why did you start the tack shop?
Sarah: Visiting Global for the first time in February 2017 and in visiting the vendors, I felt a need for a younger, trendier version so I jumped right in.
To order The Stock tie: https://cuatxtack.com/collections/show-clothes/products/crystal-fabric-stock-tie
*What jobs do each of you do in the tack shop/online?
Sarah: Handles the business end, buying, AP, AR, website builds, and product/pricing selection. Sarah also runs the stores.
Katie: Is the bit fitter and fills in on the road and when Global gets to be too much for one person to handle.
*What are some of your favorite pieces you sell?
Our JUDI Bridles and browbands are my favorite and I am SURE Katie would say the same. The Rocks Weymouth is pretty spectacular, not to mention unique.
*How did COVID impact your business? Did you find the online business to get busier?
COVID shut us down two weeks early at Global in 2020, cancelled World Cup and most of our road trips for 2020. Our online business went bonkers though and that was super fun seeing all of the online orders come in! We had also rented a small space at The Dressage Connection to give us a year-round presence in Wellington and it was great timing. Once lockdown was lifted, we did shopping by appointment and it worked very well!
*How is business on the Global Showgrounds in Wellington, because of the limited spectators and COVID in 2021?
Sarah: It was extremely tough, and I know it was frustrating for our customers. To only allow VIPs and people directly tied to a horse has really limited our shoppers. In hindsight I would have worked more closely with management to get shoppers access, as they aren’t spectators, and I feel we could have done more,
To order the Weymouth Bridle: https://cuatxtack.com/collections/bridles-1/products/black-rocks-weymouth
*What are your future plans for C U at X Tack?
Sarah: We’re pretty happy with the niche we find ourselves in. Katie and I both ride, show, breed, and in doing that we use the products we sell daily. We know how a particular bit feels, what an Incrediwear leg wrap can do for your horse, and how our merino saddle pads wash. Because we are riders we know the features and benefits of our products and that is just a small part of our amazing customer service experience. #byridersforriders
You’ll find us on the road this year, at local shows in Florida and Georgia, USDF Region 3 Championships in Conyers, Festival of Champions at Lamplight and USDF Finals in Lexington!
*Who is one of your mentors in the business and why?
Sarah: This is tough, because my mentors would not be in the equestrian market as I came from high end retail with The Orvis Co. So, I would say the Perkins Family, who has owned Orvis since 1965, is my inspiration, as they have a family-owned business that is extremely successful while still maintaining that family-owned feel.