/ Laurie Sharma:
World Class Philanthropist /
Businesswoman Laurie Sharma’s interest in horses began in
childhood, but she didn’t have the chance to ride regularly
until after college. Working as a waitress in Newport, R.I., she
became close friends with a woman who owned horses.
“I begged her to let me come clean stalls,” says Sharma.
Her friend accepted, and in exchange, she taught Sharma
how to ride. That same friend loaned her the money to buy
her first show horse, Bailey.
One day en route to the stable, Sharma walked by a boutique and fell in love
with a palm tree ribbon belt. “The dang thing was $75!” she recalls. Eventually,
she bought it, and now says it was the best $75 she ever spent.
That ribbon belt was the catalyst for Sharma’s successful clothing line, Equine
Couture. One day she was laundering the belt with a saddle pad when she was
struck with an idea.
“When I pulled them out of the dryer, I thought it would look cute if that ribbon trim was on the border of the saddle pad,” she says. She found nothing like it
on the market, and decided to make them herself.
She invested $400 in an industrial sewing machine. Sharma quickly taught
herself how to sew and began creating fashionable riding apparel and accessories.
Her creations were a hit with friends, and as the demand for her products grew,
Equine Couture was born.
In November 2004, she rented a booth at the National Horse Show in Wellington, Fla., to debut her hard work. “I sold out of everything in a matter of days! I
knew I was onto something,” she says.
In the meantime, JPC Equestrian, a riding apparel company, was looking to add
flair to their brand. Owner Timmy Sharma appreciated the fashion sense Equine
Couture was bringing to the equestrian community and asked Laurie to join
forces with him.
“I felt like I hit the jackpot,” says Laurie. “What’s even crazier is that just five
years later Timmy and I would not only be business partners, but also lifelong
partners as husband and wife.”
The Sharmas are passionate about giving back to the factory employees in
India who give so much to the equestrian community. In 2010, they founded
Salvation Tree, a school in India that provides free education to their employees’
children, including books, supplies, meals, transportation and uniforms.
MORE AT absorbine.com
Blend of seven essential oils
Not oily or greasy
Proven to repel and
control biting flies,
mosquitoes, and gnats
The Horse World’s Most Trusted Name®
Salvation Tree, a
school in India for