Horseshoe Hearts were founded by artist and farrier team Faye and Barry, and create some truly wonderful gifts and homewares all crafted from horseshoes! I’ve asked Faye to take us behind the scenes of the brand at a time of huge change and rapid progression for them, to see where it all started…
- Where did the inspiration to start Horseshoe Hearts come from?
When Barry was an apprentice farrier and making shoes, he found himself seeing if he could make a horseshoe shape out of an old rasp. He succeeded and being proud of his efforts, he went to show his father who looked and simply asked how many shoes he could have made in the time it took him to forge the rasp? For many years practicality took precedence over creativity until, in 2016, Barry made me a heart and a hoof pick from my pony’s horseshoe. I was utterly enchanted by them, and being an artist, I encouraged Barry to make more and play about with some ideas – once he got started there was no stopping him!
- How have you grown the business to get where you are now?
As news naturally grew about the horseshoe gifts we were creating, there was some interest from friends and family to have things made, sometimes from their own horseshoes. We supported the local village market, came up with ideas of wine racks and boot holders and set up a Facebook page. It was ticking over nicely, and I then read an article near the end of 2017 about product photography and got a little bit creative with backdrops – the response was fantastic and for us, the Christmas rush has never really stopped!
- What challenges have you faced on your journey so far?
The biggest challenge has been going from simply responding to the demand for our products to actively marketing ourselves. It has been a learning curve of logo design, building a website, organisation and planning which has been exciting, but also a little overwhelming at times. We’re early on in our journey with Horseshoe Hearts, and have to remind ourselves to hold on to the essence of what we are doing and why, especially on the days when we feel that we don’t really know what we’re doing!
- What is your proudest moment so far with Horseshoe Hearts?
Every time we hear from a happy client who entrusted us with their horse’s shoes to make a keepsake that will last forever, that really makes our hearts swell. No matter how many times, the warm feeling never gets any less.
On a practical level, seeing our logo and products all come together on our new website just this month has been a surreal but truly lovely time for us too.
- Which of your products are most popular?
Do you know, there isn’t really any one product that is the most popular! We make such a variety of hearts, singles, linked pairs, even heart hooks, that generally there is a heart out there for everyone. That together with the hand-stamped personalisation we offer means the hearts, in one guise or another, are our most popular.
- Are there any Horseshoe Hearts products that you absolutely love, but haven’t ever got around to making for yourself?
Yes definitely! I really love the heart hooks, I would love to mount them on a nice piece of drift wood for the boot room and I’d love some curtain arms from horseshoes too. Barry would love to make an arch for some climbers for the garden and a nice Horseshoe bench or two!
- Tell me a funny fact about the people behind the business!
Oh my goodness, this has to be the hardest question! It’s not so much funny as a little ironic, but I’m actually allergic to horses – yes, a keen horse lover and animal artist who is allergic to horses! Thankfully a plethora of antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops makes it all possible!
- What do you like to do when you are not busy creating beautiful horseshoe crafts?
We are lucky to live in Ashridge, a beautiful AONB in the Chilterns. The countryside surrounding us is stunning and affords a lot of hacking with our own ponies and walking with our two rescue dogs. When we aren’t working, our down time is taken up by the usual family life, caring for our animals, gardening and just enjoying time outside surrounded by nature. Oh – and a lovely cup of tea. We drink a LOT of tea!
- What does the future look like for Horseshoe Hearts, and how are you going about making the dream come true?
We have been so lucky to be working with some fantastic, knowledgeable, kind and lovely people who have helped us so much with design, branding, support and advice. We want to carry that forwards and continue the work that we have already begun in earnest this year. Watch this space!
Visit their gorgeous new website now and see which treasures you’d love for yourself – https://www.horseshoehearts.co.uk.