It all started with the riding skirt...
It all started with Uhip's riding skirt, which was launched as a completely new functional garment for riding in the autumn of 2011. Uhip's cover skirt was quickly named “Riding Skirt” among riders and was unique in it's kind as you could ride in it and keep warm in the saddle without sacrificing on the fact of riding in riding breeches. The unique thing about Uhip's riding skirt was zippers front and back, unlike others on the market that had the zippers on the side. The unique design was protected by design at the Swedish Patent and Registration Office and the European equivalent.
The journey begins in the hallway on the way to the stable
In the autumn of 2010, I came up with the idea for a riding- and cover skirt that would make it possible for riders to ride in riding breeches in the winter and let the sides of the skirt hang down and warm the exposed thighs in the saddle. The inspiration came from the already launched cover skirt with zippers on the side. I happened to turn the skirt so that the zippers came front and back instead of in the side and then saw in front of me that it was quite possible to ride in the skirt.
An idea was born - an idea that was too good not to be taken further
The idea grew a couple of months, but it was too good to be forgotten. Said and done, I sewed up a prototype (I have sewn all my life) and went to the stable to try it out while my husband took photos of me riding. Wow, it worked!
The Patent & Registration Office was contacted for design protection of the idea and after a couple of adjustments, the skirt's unique design was protected. In the summer of 2011, one sewing supplier in China and one in the UAE were selected to produce a sample. The choice fell on the supplier in the UAE and the production started at full speed with the first delivery in November 2011.
Jackets with "hand-warmers"
In parallel, a jacket was worked on, a jacket with special cuffs for riders, cuffs with a fold-down hand warmer that could be folded down and warm frozen riding fingers. The cuffs or hand warmer were also design protected. The third major product became today's bestseller, the long coat with a high slit at the back. A coat that you kept warm in regardless of activity but without sacrificing a stylish design.
Smart functions and carefully selected materials
Inspiration for the materials was taken from the Outdoor industry, where knowledge and technology were ahead of the horse industry in terms of manufacturing garments for harsh environments with moisture, wet and cold. What we added were smart functions that would facilitate stable life so you were not limited by either mobility or cold. Riders could simply do what they love most in outerwear of good, appropriate materials and smart features.
The marketing started on Facebook and the collection of e-mail addresses. The first delivery came home just in time for the horse competitions in Stockholm "Globen Horse Show" (at the time Friends Arena did not exist) and the interest became enormous.
The number of followers on social media exploded and equestrian media wrote extensively about the new and smart product.
A new entrepreneurial company had been born.