Ava Whetstone-Magee, the founder of Avalanche Equestrian talks about the lightbulb moment which led her to start her business at the age of 13, which has seen her become a finalist in the young entrepreneur of the year category of the 2023 Business Champion Awards
What do you currently do at Avalanche Equestrian?
As Founder of Avalanche Equestrian I look after every aspect of my business. We have a small team of staff so my role consists of managing them and their time as well as designing new products and bringing them to market.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I remember clearly when the idea for Avalanche first came to me. It was winter. I was standing in a field up to my knees in mud with the sun setting.
I soon realised I couldn’t see my horse and no one could see me, being able to see and be seen is where is all began.
This was the moment I developed the SeeMe range of clothing and from this point onwards Avalanches ethos has always been to design clothing that has a practical and stylish but designed for a purpose .
Who do you admire?
That is a very good question, however difficult to answer. There are so many people that have influenced my success but no one singular person I can honestly say that I admire totally because there are so many.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
When I started Avalanche Equestrian I was only 13 years old. I received a lot of negative comments and criticism at school in the attempt to belittle me.
The honest truth is, it set me back, I started to wish I’d never started Avalanche and should just keep my head down. It then occurred to me the reason why this was happening and I used that frustration and drive to prove a point.
Looking back now I would really wish I didn’t care as much as much at the time about the negative comments however the irony is, it drove my ambitions further.
This is one of the reasons why I want to launch a Young Entrepreneur Academy for children who have drive and ambition. Just because we are young, our ideas and plans for our future should be nurtured and guided not overlooked.
What defines your way of doing business?
Customer focused, listen to our customers, give them what they want. It’s a simple ethos but it works.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Plan your business, look at the market and find your niche, do the ground work and put the effort in. You have to resign yourself to the fact it won’t make money overnight and whatever money you do make has to go straight back into the business. In essence, prepare yourself for alot of hard work with little financial reward to start with. If you can reconcile this and still believe in your business then do it and don’t look back.