In recent years, there has been a rise in female-founded companies devoted to progressive change in the equine industry. From performance-enhancing technologies and digital tools to cleaner products and smarter gear, there is a collective enthusiasm for innovating across essential aspects of everyday horsemanship. The many entrepreneurial women we’ve encountered are motivated by a responsibility to which we can all relate: providing the very best care for our cherished companions.
Therefore, today seems a fitting occasion to honor one such girl-crush. A lifelong rider a few years out of college, Amanda Lee is in pursuit of overhauling the rider’s grooming box, an often crowded inventory of necessary supplies. With her Purvida Healthy Horse line of grooming solutions using natural ingredients, she combines remedies for everyday grooming needs into a tidy collection of must-haves, reducing chemical exposure, cluttered shelf space, and all sorts of skin and coat problems. Below, Amanda shares her journey, and even spreads the love with a little something extra special for those who sign up for the weekly Outside Rein.
What is your Purvida ringside pitch?
Purvida Healthy Horse helps make grooming easier, and more effective for equestrians by providing them with grooming solutions made with 100% natural, quality ingredients.
What inspired you to pursue your own product line?
A few years ago, I made the switch to natural skincare products myself, and I noticed an immediate difference not only in the way my skin looked, but also how it felt. This got me thinking about the difference between natural and synthetic ingredients, and if it makes that much of a difference on me, a human whose products are heavily regulated by many different health and safety agencies, I wondered about the difference it would make on my horse.
Finnegan, my now nine year old Trakehner, was at the time absolutely and completely terrified of spray bottles. We’re talking break-the-cross-ties-and-bolt if I even moved one within his line of sight, and his blanket rubs were chaffed and badly in need of some conditioning. Though he was still young at the time, I wondered why he was having such an unreasonably dramatic reaction. I began looking into the ingredients of all the grooming products I was using and was somewhat shocked at the list of chemicals, pesticides, and added irritants found in many of the products I reached for on a regular basis.
After doing some initial research, I began tinkering around with different natural ingredients until I found the perfect formula that would help clean and hydrate his skin and hair, prevent breakage, and promote hair regrowth. From there, I continued to work on additional ingredients to help with insect repellant in the summer, and mud fever in the spring and fall, and thus, our Original Conditioning Spray was born.
Branding a new idea is critical to success. How did you decide on a name?
I wanted the name to be something that reflected the things that I valued when I made that first product: pure, simple ingredients for a healthy lifestyle.
“Pura Vida” is a term that I love from Costa Rica, which, simply translated means “simple life” or “pure life,” but if you’ve ever been, you know the saying goes far beyond the literal translation—it is a way of life. It symbolizes the idea of enjoying life’s daily pleasures, which is something that I value a lot, personally.
From there, Purvida Healthy Horse just seemed like an obvious choice.
How is this different from other products currently on the market?
One of the biggest frustrations that I had with respect to grooming B.P. (before Purvida) was the number of slightly different, but essentially identical products that I found never really worked particularly well. Something that I always strive for when coming out with a new product is not only how I can make it different from other products on the market, but how this product can make an equestrian’s grooming routine easier and more effective. Whereas most grooming sprays focus on one task (i.e. dry shampoo, OR conditioner, OR detangler, OR fly spray) our conditioning spray is an all-in-one, year round grooming tool that makes it quick and easy to clean and condition your horse’s coat, repel insects, kill bacteria, whiten socks, detangle manes and tails, and promote hair regrowth for a thick, healthy, and shiny coat.
While doing your research, what is one thing you know now that, as a horse owner, you wish you’d known sooner?
These days, I work with a bio-chemist to formulate all of our products in a lab that runs microbacterial tests on all of our products to measure exactly how long they are effective and safe to use. One of the most important things I learned from her, not only with respect to horse care but overall cleanliness in general, is the actual danger of DIY concoctions. Unless you use a preservative, anything with water in it will grow bacteria after two weeks. That means everything from your reusable water bottle to that homemade fly spray you’ve had kicking around the barn all summer can start to grow bacteria with the potential to seriously harm you or your horse’s health after just 14 days.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t make any homemade remedies, but you should be thoughtful when you add water to something you’re making and consider how long you’re storing it.
Please share some of the stories you have received from customers.
Every before and after picture and story of how one of our products has helped make a customer or their horse’s life better is definitely one of the most satisfying things for me when it comes to Purvida. I’ve had customers whose horse’s mane was so sparse it couldn’t be braided, and after applying the conditioning spray daily for a few months, it grew into a luscious mane by show season. I’ve also been told our conditioning spray has prevented static electricity shocks on horses from their blankets over the winter, while others praise it as a safe, pesticide-free way to repel insects for both humans and their horses on hot, buggy summer days.
I think one of my favorite stories that I’ve ever received from a customer was in response to the Roll-On Liniment. A mother who had initially purchased it for her daughter’s horse, pulled a back muscle so badly that she couldn’t move from the position in which she had strained herself. Her daughter administered the liniment and within two minutes her pain was completely gone, and she could move around as if nothing ever happened.
Do you personally guarantee your products?
Absolutely, 100% satisfaction guaranteed! I personally test each product for 8-10 months before introducing it, to make sure it does exactly what I want it to, and I am always super proud once we have something new to share with everyone!
What do you have in mind in the near future?
Right now, I’m really excited about finishing up the horse line while continuing to attend equestrian events across North America. Down the road, I would love to look into expanding into the UK and Australia further, and would love to explore a natural product line for dogs!
What has been the most rewarding aspect of pursuing your own business?
I think the most rewarding aspect is that you get out of it what you put into it. If you’re passionate about the problem you’re solving, you have a good attitude, and you put the work in, the possibilities are pretty endless. Looking back and seeing how far this brand has come, how many ways we’ve been able to help make grooming easier and better for so many equestrians, and the number of many amazing people I’ve gotten to meet along the way definitely makes me excited about Purvida every day.
What is most challenging about doing business in the equestrian industry?
I see a disconnection with the rest of the world. We are totally our own little bubble, which is both good and bad. Word of mouth is like gospel for equestrians, and with the internet it seems our world has become accessible; but it’s a pretty exclusive club that unless you’re in, you really have absolutely no idea what it’s about. Unfortunately, I think that has caused a bit of stagnation in our industry. From a business perspective, this makes it challenging to find manufacturers, materials, business partners, or even packaging that isn’t the exact same as what everyone else has been using as far back as the invention of the saddle, which in turn has made it harder for companies in the industry to evolve. That’s not to say it isn’t possible to do things differently, but with a sport as rich in tradition as the very companies serving it, it has been a challenge to break away from established conventions.
For those of our readers who have scrolled this far, can they receive a special discount? 😉
If you are still with us, THANK YOU! I’d love to hear what you think of our natural grooming line. Please enjoy 20% off your first order by signing up for Outside Rein to receive a special code. And don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any time. I welcome your feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org.