“The kindness of others.”
Ask Middy N’ Me’s founder Kimberly Barratt how Middy N’ Me went from a fledgling idea to a coveted clothing brand bringing exquisite, couture riding and resort wear to savvy women across the world, and she’ll say the same thing every time:
This company was built on the endless kindness of others.
First, it was family and friends. Then…the entrepreneurs who shared their unabashed been-there-done-that experiential advice before Barratt even opened her doors. Finally, it was her business-savvy, guidance-giving husband any budding #bosslady would be grateful to lie her head beside each night.
Today, 6 years into the thrilling experience of creating and selling clothing to her ever-growing fanbase, Barratt has taken another idea from concept to reality by establishing the Love Middy Project (LMP), which has already started satisfying Middy N’ Me’s philanthropic sweet tooth while doing some extraordinary good for extraordinary horses.
“From day one, I envisioned giving back; and my dream was that the LMP would someday become the Susan G. Komen Foundation of the equestrian world,” says Kimberly Barratt, Middy N’ Me’s founder and designer. “It’s all about education: We want to do our part to help fight the plight of what’s happening to PMU [pregnant mare urine] horses. And the more we educate folks, the more money we can send to these well-deserving rescues. We’re the perfect vessel for this message.”
Barratt knows the tragedies of the PMU situation better than most. Before Barratt’s buckskin baby, Middleburg McConnell, made her way to her momma’s equine-loving heart in 2004, Middleburg was a PMU mare. (And for you Beautifuls new to this horrendous story, PMU mares are part of the pharmaceutical industry’s practice of keeping mares in a constant stage of pregnancy so that a hormone found in their urine can be harvested and used to make the drug, Premarin.)
Saved from slaughter in Kentucky yet destined to be loved by Barratt at her home in Ohio, with TLC, medical care and all the love in Barratt’s heart, “Middy” has evolved into a kind, wise and gentle mare to all who have known her. Especially to Barratt.
“She’s the horse of a lifetime,” says Barratt. “That Middy herself is a PMU rescue is a huge part of our company, and that also puts her at the very heart of the story of the Love Middy Project.”
So what exactly is the LMP? Well it goes a little something like this:
STEP 1) Your heart is moved by our mission and you decide to be a part of providing “Peace, Love and Happiness for Horses in Need” (our tag line, by the way) by purchasing a “LOVE” bracelet and getting the conversation started…you know: to spread the proverbial LOVE. (Wink.)
These bracelets? They’re made possible by the organization Ubuntu Made and the Ubuntu Foundation, a wholehearted company that empowers women in Kenya by hiring them and providing them with fair wages and health insurance—things we all deserve—so they may support their families and maybe one day go on to be female entrepreneurs just like Barratt.
STEP 2) Your Ubuntu Made LOVE bracelet arrives, so you prepare yourself to be noticed as you start changing lives for horses in need. Friends and family around you will see your bracelet and ask, “WHAT GIVES?” Your answer? “Well, I do!” and you share the story of LMP.
Annnnnd, it’s that simple. You buy something special for yourself or someone you love, and then you feel filled up knowing that your LOVE bracelet is made by women who are strengthening their families…all while you save horses from a horrific fate. Everywhere you look, your love will stretch in the direction where needed…right down to that tagline: “Peace, Love and Happiness for Horses In Need.”
Thanks to our customers across the globe, LMP currently supports The Horse Fund (USA), which fights on behalf of PMU mares like Middy once was but thankful no longer is.
It’s only been a few days since the Middy N’ Me LMP bracelet link went live on our site and Barratt is already beside herself with humble glee. “We’re already selling bracelets,” she says. “To see it coming together after living on my heart for so long is nothing short of a dream.”
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