Hello all. I am writing this week’s blog because quite frankly Jochen is suffering from writer’s block and to tell the truth, I’m not much better. August has been an absolutely crazy busy month for us – beginning with our daughter Samantha getting married to her long-time love Jordan Rothery. (The “Schlotherys” as she says.) Jordan is the son of our business partner and CEO Earl Rothery and his wife Cathy, our Director of Education. One would think that this is truly a match made at birth in order to further the continued well-being and success of the company. Truth is, however, neither of these young people have anything to do with the business of saddlery!
Samantha has M.A. in Performance Dance and is a professional dancer/teacher/choreographer, while Jordan is a master cabinetmaker working on high-end (and truly gorgeous, state-of-the-art) kitchens. Not much in the way of saddlery there…
They tied the knot at the beautiful Whistle Bear Golf and Country Club in Cambridge Ontario, in front of over 200 friends and family members. People arrived from as far away as California, British Columbia and Germany, with one of her bridesmaids coming from the Yukon! Her sister Danielle played the dual role of maid-of-honour and emcee, and had the guests in stitches with her improvisational comedic skills for most of the night. Samantha choreographed an amazing ‘first dance’ number including the entire wedding party and the parents which was performed to much acclaim.
Samantha was recently the subject of an award-winning triptych ad showcasing the Schleese Jeté saddles (which also happened to be the backdrop at the Royal Winter Fair last year) but has not had much time to pursue her riding interests since she was younger. For many years every summer she and her sister would attend Saddlewood Riding Camp in Bethany and enjoyed their time there very much. With this basis of riding instruction she is still able to get on any horse and ride. She certainly managed to look the part professionally for the ad!
We barely had time to catch our breath when we segued into our annual week long sales conference with our representatives coming from all over North America (including Alaska!) to learn about the latest product offerings, newest technology, and to get recertified under Saddlefit 4 Life®. The week was jam-packed full with sessions on Mindfulness (learning how to step back, breathe, and deal with the issues rather than the person), Facial Intelligence (recognizing archetypal characteristics of people and various adaptive communication styles), Business Development (setting targets and strategies for growth), as well as hands-on sessions in the barn with the latest measuring tools and software to optimally fit the newest products in the mix.
The week ended with a 30th anniversary celebration and a Toronto Harbor Boat Cruise for our 100+ guests made up of past and present employees, clients, key elite riders, consultants we have worked with over the years, and other people who have played a role in our successes. It was a fun evening and great conclusion to a busy week, and a good time was had by all. The orange harvest moon was absolutely breathtaking, as was the Toronto skyline.
So now, as August draws to a close, we take a few minutes to reflect on the events of the summer. Jochen has not been out since the beginning of June when he was waylaid and hospitalized with a mysterious illness that was at first thought to be meningitis – but after numerous tests, MRIs and CT scans (without results) it has been deemed to have been probably nothing more than a really, really bad migraine. Scary, and a wake-up call. His travels begin again in early September, when he will be pretty much on the road until Christmas. We are opening up South Africa as a new market in early December, which is pretty exciting, and launching a couple of new lines in the next weeks. Remember also to submit your applications for one of our 30th anniversary free giveaway saddles – the first draw with 7 lucky recipients will be announced by the end of October!
Lots has happened, lots is going on, and much more exciting stuff to come! Enjoy the last few days of this beautiful summer, and Happy Riding!
~ Sabine Schleese