Founded by Emma Batcheler in June 2018, Hooves & Love is an absolute treasure trove of equestrian and country-inspired gifts that all arrive beautifully hand-packed and personalised.
It’s the perfect place to find presents for horse lovers young and old, with both ready-made boxes and a tool where buyers can create their own gift box, choosing the items the recipient will love the most.
Emma, who lives in Berkshire with her husband, children and various family animals, was inspired to start her business to combine her lifelong passion for horses with her love of seeking out the perfect gift for loved ones. Emma comments:
“My love of horses is all thanks to my aunt. Growing up on farms along with my father, she just adored horses and everything around them. I’m lucky enough to now have three horses of my own to look after, although one is retired now. The other two are an affiliated dressage horse and a half-blind ex-polo pony who, despite having sight in only one eye, is my ‘go anywhere, do anything’ horse.”
Prior to starting Hooves & Love, Emma worked as a project manager, travelling the globe as part of her high-flying career. The keen attention to detail needed for high level project management means Emma is an incredibly organised business owner and has an obsession with ensuring that every single gift box is expertly wrapped (Emma even admits to ironing tissue paper on at least one occasion…).
It was during a career break to have her children that Emma first dreamt up the idea of Hooves & Love, hoping to find a way of sharing her present obsession and ensure people could buy amazing and unique gifts online. Horse lovers can be tricky to buy for, unless there’s a budget for a new horse, of course! Emma has done the leg work for us, spending many hours seeking out products from small British brands and artisans and ensuring that the gift boxes are packed with items that you just don’t find on the high street or local tack shop.
Everything is carefully tried and tested to make sure it’s both great quality and excellent value for money. There are gifts which can be personalised with letters or names, and a hand-written gift card goes into each box for a perfect finishing flourish.
“Seeking out the products for the gift boxes is a really fun part of my job. I genuinely love buying presents for other people – even more than I love unwrapping something for me! I get an idea in my mind of what that person will like, and I search high and low until I find something that will make them smile when they unwrap it. Plus, I’m absolutely obsessed with the presentation. I wanted to give horsey people that same individuality and experience through bespoke gifting, so Hooves & Love was brought to life!”.
Emma has spent many hours seeking out products from small British brands and artisans, ensuring that the gift boxes are packed with items that you just don’t find on the high street or local tack shop. Everything is carefully tried and tested to make sure it’s both great quality and excellent value for money. New gift boxes are being added to the website all the time and there are even some exclusive products made especially for Hooves & Love. One of the recent additions to the Hooves & Love website is the ‘Neigh Collection’, sweaters and t-shirts for adults and kids with the brilliant slogan (and horsey take on a famous movie quote) “You Had Me at Neigh” emblazoned across the front in silver lettering. Perfect for that tricky to buy horse lover if an Oakley or indoor school is a little out of the price range!
Emma readily admits that life became a bit of an emotional rollercoaster when the Covid-19 outbreak reached the UK. Sales slowed to a virtual halt immediately and everything seemed very uncertain. Faced with figuring out how to manage the business with the whole family at home was hard work but Emma soon learnt to take every day as it comes. Emma actually credits lockdown and the slower pace of life for helping her to progress projects that had sat resolutely at the bottom of the to do list until then.
As things slowly started to pick back up Emma has seen an overwhelming sense of love and kindness from her customers sending gift boxes out to their loved ones. Her vision for the future of Hooves & Love includes the continued expansion of the gift box range and a step into the world of corporate gifts – watch this space!
“I’m so proud of my business – after just two years I’ve had so many amazing testimonials and comments from delighted customers and the box recipients. I’ve got exciting plans for the future and can’t wait to share new products with my followers and customers. Putting a smile on other people’s faces is just amazing – who wouldn’t want to do that for a living!?”