National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

11 December 2020

Creativity and welding skills have helped two Kenn Valley YFC members forge a new enterprise using horseshoes. Katie Northmore and Charlie Land launched KC Horseshoe Designs and have been selling popular products, such as welly boot racks, in the build-up to Christmas. 

Q. Tell us about your business?

A. K C Horseshoe Designs offers a range of unique, handcrafted items for your home. All items are made from recycled horseshoes, giving them another purpose once they are too worn for the horses.

We create boot racks, boot jacks, hanging baskets, wine/gin holders, kitchen roll holders, trivets and farm yard animals. We also create bespoke items and we have recently launched a service where we can make items for customers using the horseshoes that they give to us.

Q. Where did the idea for your business come from?

A. Charlie completed his welding course in November 2018 and during some time off, he helped with some welding on my parent’s dairy farm.

On discovering some old horseshoes in our stable yard he had an idea to make a rodeo-themed wine holder out of them for a Christmas present for me. It was so good, we entered it into the Devon County Show and it won!

As we’re a large farming family, our boot room is always full of wellies so we used the remaining horseshoes to create a boot rack for my parents that could fit six pairs of wellies – not the easiest item to wrap!

After showing family and friends what we had created, we thought we could offer the items to others. We got more creative with the designs and expanded the range of products and we get lots of requests for unique items too. My favourite has to be the hanging baskets, even though I still don't have one hanging outside our home!

Q. What is your role in the business?

A. We are both do all the roles apart from the welding – I leave that to Charlie, who is a coded welder!

The roles include cutting, grinding, cleaning and polishing the horseshoes, this is usually my job and Charlie focuses on the welding.  Most of our items come primed in a black gloss so spraying is another role which we share. We have actually just invested in a spray gun, which has made the process more cost and time efficient, as well as being more environmentally friendly – no aerosol cans!

I deal with the majority of admin, packaging and posting jobs.  Between us, we are busy!

Q. Can you describe some of your most popular products?

A. Our most popular product is definitely the Horseshoe Boot Racks. This was the first item that we created so it is great that it is still a favourite!

The boot racks come in various sizes, the majority of the ones we make can fit four pairs of wellies/boots, however two and three pairs are also very popular. They are designed to store the boot off of the floor, allowing it to dry whilst keeping the floor a little less dirty and well organised.

Another popular item is the Wine Bottle and Glass Holder.  We have also adapted these to fit a gin bottle and gin glasses! This product is able to hold one wine bottle and two glasses either side, making it the perfect table centrepiece for a date night!

Q. How busy are you in the run up to Christmas?

A. Christmas is definitely our busiest time of year. We didn't know what to expect this year due to COVID however we are currently busier than ever!

Neither of us have taken much time off from our 'proper' jobs this year due to COVID, however we have just had a week off to prepare some stock for Christmas.

Q. Has COVID impacted your business this year? 

A. We currently only sell online and all of our materials are sourced locally so it hasn't affected us.

Q. How can people buy from you? 

A. We currently have a shop on Etsy and our own website. We also use our Instagram and Facebook pages to promote sales and take orders. 

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