RaeAnne Hadley is a cheery and kind-hearted woman who loves horses.
Her welcoming demeanor and kindred social skills have carried her far, and now she’s sharing those talents as a new business owner in downtown Craig.
“I’m very social. I love people,” Hadley said.
In May, she and her husband opened Northwestern Tack at 565 Yampa Ave., where they sell a wide variety of tack supplies that cater to equine lovers of Craig and Moffat County, giving her a chance to work her social magic on a daily basis.
Hadley runs the store — a new adventure that she enjoys when she’s away from her 35-acre home that’s just outside Craig.
She saw a need for a tack store in the heart of the city after her husband bought her a big surprise a while back.
“When we moved here (five years ago), my husband bought me a horse on my birthday, and there was no place to buy a saddle. And I thought, ‘Wow, for a very Western equine cultural town, there’s no place to buy a saddle,’” she said.
After some time passed, she decided to jump on a new idea.
“I talked to my husband and asked him what he thought about opening a tack store, and he agreed,” Hadley said. “We applied for a small business loan and got it.”
On April 13, they leased a 1,100-square-foot space along Yampa Avenue and embarked on a new business venture.
“It was very exciting, and it happened very fast,” she said, noting that she wasn’t sure how well the business would be embraced by the community.
“I wasn’t sure, because buying tack is very personal, like buying clothes,” Hadley said. “I ordered some of the stuff that I enjoyed. I just ordered fun stuff and basic needs so I could find out what our community wanted us to carry.”
Apparently, her knack for knowing what people like has paid off. Business couldn’t be better, she said.
“Business is amazing. We’re doing very, very well,” Hadley added.
Her two daughters, Ashlie, 7, and Madison, 9, are by her side in the summer months, helping her keep the store full of fun necessities.
Her husband works at Twentymile Mine and she runs the store. When they aren’t working, they’re tending to their two horses, named Charmer and Sadie.
“It’s awesome living on 35 acres and having my own horse,” Madison Hadley said about Charmer.
The store also sells consignments and is starting to do boot repairs. The Western art that hangs on the walls also is for sale. And when you walk into the store, you can smell the leather from the various items, including the intricate saddles that each boast their own personality.
Saddles start at $250 and go up to $2,100, yet Hadley’s most popular sellers are the bling-studded headstalls and breast collars for horses that cost about $120.
Others in the community have taken notice.
“I’m excited about the store,” said Craig Mayor and Downtown Books owner Terry Carwile. “I admire her for opening it. She took a chance when the economy is not that strong.”
Perhaps it’s Hadley’s positive attitude that’s added to her success, or it could be her inventory. Either way, she and her family seem to have found their niche in Craig.
“Everything has flowed very easy for us,” she said.
Noelle Leavitt Riley can be reached at 970-875-1790 or firstname.lastname@example.org.