Because Big Girls need clothing Too!
“When we started Fuller Fillies in 2006 we really didn’t think that ten 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 Thursday as Fuller Fillies’ Warehouse isn’t staffed on Fridays
** Fuller Fillies has many Trade stockists in other Countries around the world so please see ‘Our Stockists’ 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 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’.
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.
Sarah’Bob’ Haigh is in the process of re-defining her role! Sarah joined Fuller Fillies in 2015 in a part-time, temporary role managing the dispatching of goods and has gradually weedled her way into almost every aspect of the Company! Largely responsible for online Customer Services Sarah also acts as assistant to Suzanne - mainly because Suzanne would like to retire one day! Rodney is Sarah’s steed, a complete ‘dufus’ of a horse who should probably have joined the circus; he is a super-lovable Trotter cross. If you’re interested, it is Sarah’s perfectly rounded bottom, honed through her love of kick-boxing, which is used on our Product shots these days!
Emma Leadley manages our Flagship Store ‘Robin Hood Horse & Country’ which is attached to our offices in Brierley, on the borders of South & West Yorkshire and opened in 2015. Emma is a legend amongst the equestrian community who have followed her as she has built her career in equestrian retail. She is ‘between horses’ right now having lost her beloved Arab cross horse ’Sunny’ in 2014. Emma has a long history in competing and so lends essential advice to Fuller Fillies in the design of competitive clothing and the requirements of the BHS (British Horse Society) in this respect.
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!
We are a friendly team who are always willing to chat with you about your 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.