December 2010 is to be known as the coldest winter in Sweden ever.
That winter, in the north of Stockholm, the hobby rider Ulrika Falkman got a present from her husband, a present she has wished for a long time; a thermal skirt.
She tries it on for the first time wearing here riding pants under. When she looks at her self in the mirror she notices a detail. Something that could have been done differently.
The idea was born
-A lamp was turned on inside me. I got a vision of a different thermal skirt. A thermal skirt you could wear in the saddle. The one I had on me had zippers all along the sides that you could zip up to take it on and off. The vision I got was to put the zippers at the front and back instead and let the skirt sides hang down and cover and warm up your thighs while you sit in the saddle. I would, with this thermal skirt, use thin riding pants all winter through without freezing and avoid big and bulky thermal pants.
An idea was born. The start of something that Ulrika thinks could be really big.
She drops the idea to her husband, and he likes what he hears. A couple of months passes, but the idea is to good to not take further. Ulrika moves along with the first step towards a new journey.
The first functional riding skirt saw the daylight
The first models of the riding skirt under test
-My grandmother was a seamstress and both my mother and be has followed in her footsteps and sewn our own clothes etc. Therefore it was very easy for me to put together the first prototype. I tested my self in the saddle, and after a couple of adjustments, I was satisfied with the functionality. I had put leg straps on the skirt inside for the skirt sides not to flap in the wind, and the positions of these where well tested.
The first functional riding skirt was born. The first company names was "brainstormed", we fell for Uhip. A U from Ulrika to the word “hip”. Easy to say and a story behind.
The project was started and at high speed
-We had to look for a factory that could produce for us ASAP. At that time (which probably was good….) I didn’t know that the normal lead time was 6-8 months. I found a factory during the summer of 2011 and the first skirts arrived in November.
The marketing began. A Facebook page was created and the first posts were published. The receiving was positive! The number of followers increased day by day.
-I remember one day, sais Ulrika, when I got a call from a leading media called "Hipson" and they told me they hade nominated the skirt " riding outfit of the year". This was really big for me!
Nominated as "riding outfit of the year" and the result was 2:nd place
The journey continues
The home office was replaced by the first warehouse, office and showroom. The ideas of additional functional wear were taken from idea to a real sketch and later on, the skirt got new members in the family of functional wear for horseback riders.
The Uhip journey has been a success story with warm, comfortable, functional wear that enables the everyday life in the stable for many horseback riders.
Every journey is unique.
This journey started with a mirror.