If you don't know the name The Paisley Pony, I will give you a little background on how it came about.
Prior to 2003, I was selling horses and ponies. I realized there was a need for an affordable and effective NATIONAL publication. At the time, there were a few affordable regional magazines that were good - but they failed to reach a broad enough market- and The Chronicle was the main national publication. It was great- but very expensive. I thought it would be great to have a magazine priced like the regional ones- but with the broad national market The Chronicle had.
Starting my own magazine seemed like a great idea. I had no experience in publishing. I had no experience in graphic design. I knew nothing about the magazine industry...so what could go wrong?
In April of 2003, we started out as The Equirer. It seemed like a fun name, though it always seemed to confuse people. In December of 2003, we received notification that we were being sued by The Equiery because they thought our names were too similar. At that point we added plaid patterns to our covers to be sure we were not confused with other publications. We were going to fight to keep our name...but then we realized we didn't really love it anyway. We thought and thought on a new name and my father finally said "Why not call it The Plaid Horse!" That was how the name came about.
The very first hurdle I faced upon starting the magazine- was a mailing list. I did not have the money to buy one but I knew the magazines had to get into the hands of people to be effective- so I realized I could use the list of horse shows and distribute directly to them. That seemed like a great idea! The people would be at the shows and they would be able to read the magazine during the show- rather than having their subscription magazine sitting at home waiting for them.
This worked- but we ran into a new problem. The boxes were arriving to the shows- but sometimes they were not getting opened. So... we decided to add bags of candy to every single box we shipped to shows! This dramatically increased the opening of the boxes!
At this point, we got things rolling. We added a few awesome sales reps... upgraded our graphic design...and we were on the map so to speak! The magazine was getting widely known as a fun and effective horse show publication and was filling up with awesome advertisers.
Back up a couple of years to 2005. That is when The Paisley Pony magazine came about. I had an amazing pony I hold sold whose name was Paisley. I thought "oh what a cute name...The Paisley Pony"...so I decided to start a second magazine and that is how The PP came about!
Over the years, The Plaid Horse was the main focus. Most of our attention went there- and The Paisley Pony was more of a labor of love because I really adore ponies. We had some unbelievable support for The PP - and none greater than that from Thalia Gentzel of Helicon Ponies. Her welsh pony stories were always the centerpiece of the magazine!
In 2014, I received an offer to sell The Plaid Horse. It had grown into a well respected publication and after 11 years of publishing it, I decided it was a good time to sell it. My intention was to focus on The Paisley Pony at this point.
I continued The PP for a few years- but it got to the point I felt my original intention for both magazines- AFFORDABLE and EFFECTIVE advertising- was not really happening. Print costs and mailing costs kept going up and though we did our best to not raise our prices, we did have to to match the rising costs. The original market I wanted to serve was beginning to not be able to easily afford advertising... plus I honestly felt print advertising was no longer the best way to go for the cost. It was just not as effective as it had once been. Social media (for free)was taking it's place. So at that point I made the decision to retire The Paisley Pony. For then. I knew I would some day do something with it again- I just didn't know what.
And- that brings us to THE PRESENT!
After so many changes on social media (algorithms changing constantly- sales groups/pages being taken down abruptly- people not seeing other peoples posts- facebook jail getting more and more crowded by the day- etc) - this seemed like the perfect time to re-launch The Paisley Pony as an online/digital only publication! We can keep the rates to advertise ridiculously low so everyone can afford it AND we can add all kinds of neat things like embedded video links and all. As we move forward- we will get better and better at creating a fantastic online experience for both our readers and our advertisers.
If you are reading this- I hope you will be coming along for this new adventure! If you can remember The Plaid Horse in it's earlier days... you will see what the plan is for The PP (and no- it's not just for ponies!) We plan to fill it with fun, feel good stories- highlight people and equines of all levels and disciplines- not just the top riders- showcase shows that are making a difference- cover events that are going the extra mile and doing things in a special way- the list goes on- but you get the idea!
Have ideas or questions- feel free to call, text or email me!
Because almost all horse people LOVE dogs too...we are adding a new section in the magazine just to highlight dogs!