This is a story about Laura and her love of horses.
Who’s Laura? She’s Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s Chief Merchant!
At the age of three, Laura attended a dinner party with her parents and spotted horses nearby. She ran toward the horses, stopped at the fence and stood in awe of their beauty. It was in that moment that horses galloped their way into this young girl’s heart.
Laura was in the third grade when she began taking riding lessons at Bonnybrook Farms in Centerville, OH. She was immediately enthralled and knew that she was meant to be an equestrian. By the time she was 12, Laura was riding competitively and winning several ribbons per competition (as you can see below).
When she was 16 years-old, Laura had to sell her beloved horse. It wasn’t easy for her to say goodbye to her faithful friend, but she had a picture taken of their fond farewell that still sits in a frame.
This young woman is now the Sr. Vice President of Retail for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Laura oversees the team that curates the selection of retail items that are sold in all of Cracker Barrel’s 645 stores and online at shop.crackerbarrel.com.
With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Laura’s style and vision have led to the creation of stunning product themes that focus on unique, quality product at a comfortable price point. One of these themes is the very popular, Horse!
Here is Laura pictured with our Jumbo Plush Brown Spotted Horse. A great gift for a kid, but Laura uses hers as a bolster during long meetings.
Of course Laura loves our Horse collection for the obvious reasons, but one of her favorite things about the collection is that you don’t have to own a horse or love horses to enjoy the relaxed country lifestyle of this theme.
In addition to learning more about Laura’s history with horses, I had the pleasure of talking to her about some of her favorite pieces in the Horse theme (aside from the plush horse) and how she goes about creating the collection.
It was interesting to learn that Laura pays close attention to make sure animals, no matter the type, are represented properly. As far as horses go, whether they’re English, Western, Trail, etc., Laura approves décor, toys and more based on how well they are represented. It’s clear that Laura’s passions for horses and retail come to life in this collection.
Laura’s Top 5 Picks:
As Laura walked around, choosing items from this theme, she commented on the quality of the product and how proud she is of what we sell. She picked up a scarf, held it up and examined it closely.
“This scarf [Faux Suede Cut-Out Scarf] is only $19.99, but no one would guess that. It looks to be much more expensive.”
Laura now lives on a farm where she rides and cares for her horses. Here she is a couple of Thanksgivings ago taking a nap with her 18 year-old Dressage horse, Copper Lady, after a long day of riding.
As you can see, Laura’s love of horses is still as strong as it was when she was 3 years-old.
We hope that you enjoy our Horse collection as much as Laura does! You can take a look at the great selection of items by clicking here!