If you use social media, its more than likely you have seen or follow the clothing brand Aztec Diamond Equestrian, most famous for their riding leggings and base layers. When the team contacted me about being involved in their Winter 2018 photo shoot I jumped at the chance to get to know more about the brand and the founder behind the fast growing clothes line.
When you meet Jordan McCabe, the owner of AD, she immediately strikes you as a warm, kind person but with the ambition and business savvy of someone double her age (she’s only 23). Inspiring in her visions and drive, I wanted to ask her a bit more about how she came up with the idea for the brand, how she executed the launch and how she and her team continue to grow the now super successful company…..
What is your experience/past with horses?
I first began riding when I was 7, my step mums sister had a riding school. I was instantly hooked and spent every minute possible I could at the yard all the way through my childhood. I got my first pony when I was 9 and started show jumping affiliated when I was 13. I worked on a high level showjumping yard every night after school and every weekend until I was 17 to keep my pony/ horse there and to be able to go to shows. I got my first horse, Aztec Diamond, when I was 14 and competed most weekends up to foxhunter. Diamond sadly had to be put down a few years ago and I never got another one. Unfortunately the business takes up so much of my time and I travel so often that I don’t think it would be fair to have a horse at the moment, but I will again one day!
When did you have the idea for AD and what gave you the idea?
It sounds extremely cliché but owning an equestrian clothing brand was all I ever wanted to do from around the age of 10. I have files and files of drawings from all the way through my teens of designs, although the pink and sparkle has been toned down they eventually progressed into what you see online today. Showjumping through my teens and coming from a normal working class family, it was difficult to afford the upkeep of my horse and everything you needed to go with the sport. At the time there was no high street, cool yet accessible style clothing brand on the market; I saw a niche and acted on it.
What was your goal with AD? Aim?
My goal with Aztec Diamond was to revolutionise the equestrian clothing industry and create a new brand that made girls look and feel good, no matter what their budget or background.
What experience/education/job did you have before you started the company? Experience of running/starting a business and brand?
I had no extensive education in business or fashion design, most of my knowledge is self taught. I was lucky enough to have a mentor for a year at the beginning of the process but everything else I have taught myself. I’m a very proactive person, if there is ever something I don’t know, I just learn it. The internet is an incredible tool.
What has been the best thing about starting/running/growing AD?
The satisfaction of creating something from scratch, I’m still as passionate as I have ever been about my brand and seeing it grow to what it has become has been a dream come true. I have also been lucky enough to be able to employ and get to work with a lot of my closest family and friends, I’m very grateful to be able to see them all everyday.
And the hardest?
Probably the pressure of running a brand this size at this age, its sometimes difficult always being at the top of the triangle, especially when even your family work underneath you. I really struggle with balance and find it very difficult to switch off or delegate work, but I’m very grateful for the position I’m in and wouldn’t want it any other way.
Any advice anyone has given during the company that has stayed with you?
Always focus on yourself and keep moving forward, when you start doing something well people will always be on your tail trying to imitate and replicate what you do. Always look forward and keep moving, people behind you will never overtake if you don’t stop.
What is your favourite product?And best-selling product?
Favourite and best selling product has to be our leggings. A lot of people don’t know this but I invented riding leggings back in 2014. They were not known in the market place. I almost didn’t launch them because I wasn’t sure if they would be a hit – all I can say is thank goodness I did haha!
What experiences/opportunities has running AD given you?
Traveling has to be the main experience from running the brand. I mostly travel by myself but I have been all over the world working on the brand. Also I’ve been very lucky to have been recognised by some huge organisations, my two biggest awards last year were winning Young Business Person of the Year & Entrepreneur of the Year. Both very surreal moments!
Plans for the future?
Huge plans this year including a big re-brand and market movements. This year my new collection is everything that I have learnt in 5 years put into a perfect range, I’m very excited for it to launch. This year is focused on large scale expansion – we will see you soon US!
Follow AZTEC DIAMOND EQUESTRIAN on instagram @aztecdiamondequestrian