We are so fortunate to exclusively offer We 3 Equines' very FIRST interview to Ribbons and Red Tape blog readers! Curious about the riding gloves you want to buy? Want an honest opinion on your new horse product (and great advertising traffic for free)!? We 3 Equines is the site to visit. Read on for my interview with "the Woman," the head honcho behind the site.
Ribbons and Red Tape: What is your business and what does it do?We 3 Equines™, which is less of a business and more of a resource for horse owners and riders. W3E™ provides unbiased and honest product reviews, as well as the occasional horse related blog post, gift guides, and topic discussions. And just to make it a little more fun than your typical review page, it's all written from the horses' perspective. They make fun of me a LOT, those naughty horses ;)
How did you get your start in the horse review business?Honestly, I created my website and blog because I wanted somewhere I could write about horse stuff. I didn't even think anyone except a handful of close friends would read it. All of a sudden I had companies contacting me asking me to review their products, and it just grew from there! I have a lot of experience in the equine industry, in many facets, and have used hundreds upon hundreds of products, so I hope that the reviews published can help horse owners find what they are looking for, without spending hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. There are a ridiculous amount of products on the market, and sometimes you don't know if a review on a website is truly a good review or something that was paid for. I want my readers to know that the reviews I give are 100% honest, all the time. No exceptions.
What have been the main legal or business hurdles in getting to where you are now?My hurdles are less legal (at this point, anyways) and more business. Do you know how many equine blogs are on the internet? A LOT. Why on EARTH would people choose to keep coming back to MY blog? I ask myself that all the time, and really work hard to try to keep it fun, engaging and present unique ideas. Another hurdle is that some people don't know that a lot of the "reviews" out there, especially if they are in a magazine, are less of reviews, and really just another form of paid advertisement.
What is the W3E seal and why did you create it?The W3E seal is the "We 3 Equines Approved™" seal, and I created it in hopes that when someone looking for a specific product sees a product with this seal of approval, they will know it's very high quality, extremely unique or effective in it's product category. It will have gone through a stringent application process to earn that seal.
What does receiving the seal require?The company must send in an application with an application fee (which is returned if the product is not approved) as well as the product they wish to have approved. So, if a company has a whole line of products, each product must be individually applied for approval if they wish for more than one product to carry the seal. Just because one product in a line is approved, does NOT mean the entire line is approved. The qualifications will vary from product types. Say, for example, a company says their product is "waterproof", I make sure it actually is. I have a "stock tank test" for gloves (and yes, I do that in the middle of winter too…my hands hate me sometimes), and a "hose" or "bucket" test for apparel like jackets and boots. Grooming products that make certain claims must also submit the test/product analysis of their product if they make certain claims. If it seems like every other product on the market, then there needs to be an extremely unique feature or be highly effective to be approved. If a product fails to meet the claims, then it's not going to be approved.
What types of businesses would benefit from receiving the seal?Companies that manufacture products. Things like training or concepts, etc would be very hard to administer any kind of standardized testing, since results can vary so greatly. You can't take a trainer or training idea and have the exact same results over and over.
What are the traditional ways of getting this type of credibility, and why does the W3E seal a fast track to getting there?Lots of advertising, having big name equestrians endorse your brand/product etc. But again, something that some people have to keep in mind, is that this is often considered just another form of advertising as they can often be paid (or have things paid FOR) for their endorsement. Do you really think Shaq would have said he was going to Disneyland if he wasn't compensated? Of course, this isn't ALWAYS the case, but it's something people have to keep in mind about "endorsements". Of course, in argument someone could say the same for the W3E Approved™ seal, but companies aren't paying for the endorsement itself. Just because they submit an application with the fee does NOT mean their product(s) will qualify.
If a business wants to get this seal or learn more, where should they go?They can visit my website and follow this link. It gives a sample application as well as information as to WHY they would want their product to bear the seal.
We 3 Equines has built a robust, engaged, and growing audience- and rightly so! I find "the Woman's" voice (and her horses' voices!) to be entertaining and authentic. When so many horse bloggers offer one-off sponsor or product reviews I think it is reassuring that We 3 Equines has become the place to go for hundreds of different reviews. The seal of approval could be well worth your consideration if you are a business owner marketing a horse product!
As a consumer or producer, you can find out about We 3 Equines' special deals and giveaways on its Facebook page.