Meet Rachel Geiger Barker, Founder of Weather or Not Equestrian
This feature was originally published by Sidelines Magazine. Click here to read the full interview.
How did you become part of the horse world?
I started riding when I was 4 years old at Country Lane Farm in Greenwich, Connecticut, when my mom and sister both started taking lessons. I never stopped. When I was in high school, I was lucky enough to start riding at Derbydown with Louise Serio. I rode with Louise for 15 years in both the hunters and jumpers. I also rode with Lisa Jacquin and Bob Kraut in the jumpers. I call myself a collector; I keep all my now-retired show horses at my farm in Malvern and take care of them as if they were still showing. They’re my kids and I am devoted to giving them the retirement that they all deserve. I also married into an awesome horse family. My husband’s dad and stepmom, Johnny and Kitty Barker, run their Eight Oaks Farm out of Middleburg, Virginia, and his mom and stepdad, Parker and Ed Minchin, do reining horses out of Southern Pines, North Carolina. Parker even let me ride her world-champion horse this spring when we visited. It was an amazing experience!
What part does your company play in the horse world?
Weather Or Not Equestrian aims to keep riders comfortable and ready for anything by providing a top-quality breech with the added benefit of being made to wear in all weather conditions. Our fantastic fabric is water-resistant, mud and dirt repellent and breathable. Our breeches feel like any other top-of-the-line breech out on the market. While they excel in the rain, they are perfectly suited for everyday use, as our brand name suggests. Many of our customers have said that it feels like you’re not wearing pants when you have them on because they are that comfortable.
What’s the best part of being a woman entrepreneur?
Women have not had the opportunity to achieve all they could for such a long time. I am exhilarated to oversee both my own business and my own destiny. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to bring this idea and brand to life and to be the woman entrepreneur behind it all. I love immersing myself in the horse show world that used to be such a big part of my life, and providing my fellow equestrians with a truly amazing product. I am also very proud of the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired to get to this point. It means a lot to me to have the support of the equestrian community, and I genuinely appreciate each person who has given WON a try.
What are your goals both for yourself and for your business?
My goal is to listen carefully to what my customers say and to exceed their expectations. I have exciting ideas for more products I look forward to bringing to market. I hope to broaden our breeches’ size range and grow into both the kids’ and men’s markets. Personally, I would love to get back into the show ring while balancing the business, the horses and, most importantly, my son and family.
What advice would you give to other women considering entrepreneurship?
Go for it! Anything you care enough about is worth pursuing. It’s hard and the process is long, but seeing a dream come to fruition is a remarkably satisfying experience. Surround yourself with people you trust who support you and your goals, and don’t let the inevitable setbacks along the way get you down. If you never dream, you never grow. It’s a road with many ups and downs, but you must keep your heels down and kick on.