Putting her Brave Pants on a Rosey Future
A Phys Ed teacher who wanted to start a fitness apparel business is how Rose Cruden describes the way she started the Brave Pants Company. Now, she is about to celebrate two years in business on November 28th and her range is a runaway success among riders both locally and offshore.
It all began when Rose was teaching at Nga Tawa Diocesan School when she wanted to go on an international school trip but didn’t have the money.
“I started it as a side hustle so I could afford to go on an outdoor biology trip to the Amazon jungle. I was never going to afford that on a teacher’s wage, and so I came up with Brave Pants. I never thought it would be at this scale, and now I don’t teach at all,” she laughs.
“I thought, there is not a lot of equestrian brands that considered the whole athlete, and the physiology and performance aspect of the rider. I just felt like something was missing. “
“So, I looked at trade marking the name and was really surprised it was still available,” she says.
The Brave Pants brand and the apparel have been phenomenally successful. When we caught up with Rose, she had just turned over $100,000 in a single day, a huge leap from $30,000 a month when she started out two years ago.
“The brand makes people a bit more empathetic. Being brave is easy to connect to our sport. It feels the same for everyone but in fact everyone’s situation is different. Being brave has made more people more empathetic, and more aware that we are all doing the best that we can with what we’ve got and the knowledge we have. ‘Be your own kind of Brave’ is one of our signatures,” she says.
The iconic sword-and-shield-wielding logo is highly recognisable, and the wearability of the range sets her breeches, show jackets and menswear apart. And now the range is being extended to include Jerseys, shirts, and casual wear.
Most of the fabric is imported from Europe, and Rose designs everything from stitch patterns to hand-drawn patterns made on Adobe illustrator.
“The exciting thing is we’re just launching a kids range in time for Christmas. We also have our biggest sale of the year on at the moment,” she adds.
Rose’s Foxton-based boutique operation – initially based in a spare room at home – has expanded to include a warehouse to accommodate an increasing American market. Rose has a shop in Foxton, and travels both nationally and internationally to horse shows with a portable shop.
Rose wants people to know that when they invest in her product they are also investing in their equestrian sport, as 10 percent of every sale goes back into the sport.
“We have a fund to help sponsor shows, pony clubs and clinics around different equestrian events/trips. And by sponsoring these classes we’re giving back. It is good to show how a brand can support equestrians and their horses in more than one way.”