Because Big Girls need clothing Too!
“When we started Fuller Fillies in 2006 we really didn’t think that 11 years on we would still be the only dedicated designer & manufacturer of plus-sized rider wear in the world!”
Coming back to horse-riding as a 39 year old, and with the extra curves that 39 years had bestowed upon her, Designer and Managing Director of Fuller Fillies Suzanne Wild was shocked at the lack of correctly-fitting, flattering and comfortable clothing available to her; recognising that, at a UK size 20 and therefore plus-sized, she was actually in the majority rather than minority, Suzanne decided she had all of the experience and ability to bring a capsule wardrobe of well-fitted, flattering and comfortable clothing to the UK; and so the research for Fuller Fillies was started in January 2004.
A small advert placed in ‘Horse & Rider’ magazine asking for plus-sized lady riders to join a focus group for an, as yet unnamed, brand of clothing yielded 300 responses overnight, which grew to almost 1000 within the month! Gathering together the feedback from those original Focus-Group members showed Suzanne that there really was a demand in the UK market and allowed her to focus the first collection on the garments that her ladies, or ‘XLovelies’ as she calls them, really desperately needed - and deserved!
Fuller Fillies launched formally at ‘Your Horse Live’ (the UK’s largest equestrian display and shopping event) in 2006 where the Company Sponsored the event with Suzanne presenting to the assembled crowd on an hourly basis…”each time I presented the crowd was bigger than before - by the third day the other stall-holders were complaining that all the customers were coming to the talk instead of shopping,” recalls Suzanne.
After six years of selling exclusively to Trade stockists Fuller Fillies launched their ‘Direct to Consumer’ website which allowed them to supply the more ‘funky & fun’ lines that the consumers were asking for, but the stores were scared to stock. The Company now supplies routinely to both Trade and Consumer in 15 countries around the world; offering ‘next day ‘ delivery to the USA* with excellent shipping rates meaning that US ladies pay only marginally more than those in the UK! Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand** are all well-catered for too with the website also offering shopping in a whole raft of currencies.
*for orders placed online before 10am on Friday ** Fuller Fillies has many Trade stockists in other Countries around the world so please see ‘Our Stores’ if you would prefer to buy locally
Chief Fuller Filly is Suzanne Wild; she is both Designer of the Collection and Managing Director of the Parent Company. Having studied Fashion in the 1980s Suzanne originally worked as a Bridal Designer (yes - that’s right - not ‘Bridle’!) moving into the Corporate world in the 90s where she worked as a Consultant in Psychometrics and Neuro-Linguistic Programming until starting Fuller Fillies. With her Husband and fellow Director Chris she owns two horses; Alfie who is a coloured Clydesdale x Trotter, and Coco who is a black Shire x Dales and the inspiration of the Company’s cute logo; both enjoy a pretty sedentary lifestyle as Suzanne & Chris describe themselves as ‘dedicated part-time Happy Hackers’.
Kimmie Snell is the 'baby' of the bunch and the one usually complaining when the rest of us have the ceiling fan on! An old Stable-mate of Suzanne & Chris Kimmie studied at Hartpury Equine College and then worked in Canine Rehabilitation until being reunited with 'The Management' in 2016 when she attended one of their Horse & Country Store's 'Horse Health Days'. You can see Kimmie modelling on some of the pages of our website - she's the one with the glorious long Auburn hair!
Kathy Allen has recently joined the team (2017); with a widely varying background in Law and Promotions and a keen eye for Fashion she is already proving a natural on Social Media and Customer Services. Kathy will be getting involved on the creative side of the business alongside Suzanne...because she needs a day off every now and then! Kathy is a very Typical 'Fuller Filly' or 'Fluffy' - '50 something' with loads of curves and a taste for the off-beat with her feather hair extensions and laugh that sounds like a Chicken laying an egg.
Chris Boast is our Finance Director. He was instrumental in the setting up of Fuller Fillies and worked alongside us full-time up until 2014 when he adopted a more part-time role which allowed him to concentrate on other business ventures. Chris became a horse-lover ‘by marriage’ to Suzanne and has owned Coco since 2003. A typical male rider, he threw himself on a horse and taught himself to ride with no nerves and now rides, largely, like a cowboy!
Joeleen ‘don’t call me Jolene’ Rowen is the Office Manager. The only non-horse-loving member of the team she has been with Fuller Fillies since 2008 and looks after the day-to-day Accounting function along with the needs of Fuller Fillies’ Trade Customers. Despite not knowing one end of a horse from the other Jo wears a lot of the Fuller Fillies’ Collection because of it’s comfort and suitability for relaxed activities such as Yoga and walking the Yorkshire Countryside. We haven't got a photo of Jo because she hides whenever the camera is out!
We are a friendly team who FULLY understand the needs and issues faced by larger ladies and we are always willing to chat with you about your specific needs; you can contact us at any time through our Customer Service section found in ‘Contact Us’. Monday to Thursday, 9am - 3.30pm you can call us on 01226 717178.