The Argentine lockdown has served, in some cases, as an opportunity to complete time-consuming projects for which time was needed. At a time when the phrase "closedown" is heard everywhere, we share an example of both courage and hope.
Opened up in September, the new Spirit of Polo and Spirit of Jumping brand showroom welcomes players, riders and lovers of equestrian sports. After two months of expansion and renovations, the brand offers a new 100 sq m space where innovation, know-how, and Argentine craftsmanship merge with the smell of leather and details of the equestrian world in a setting exquisitely designed by its owners.
Alexis Ruffat and Verónica Ambroa, owners of the brand and passionate about horses, welcome us -with the mandatory facemask- for a tour around this new equestrian corner, just a few steps away from Plaza San Martín.
Caballos Cría y Deporte: At this moment a showroom? It seems a contradiction, when everyone turns to e-commerce…
Alexis & Verónica: We are already well-established in the digital segment; our online boutique has been operating since 2004 and is undoubtedly the strongest selling point. However, our showroom offers a new opportunity to check quality or sizes. The strategic location in the heart of Buenos Aires makes it simple to pick up a mallet or try a saddle. Most of our products are manufactured in Argentina, and our portfolio is completed with a selection of foreign garments.
CC&D: Polo or Horse Riding?
Alexis & Verónica: Both! Plus any equestrian sport. Jumping, horseball, endurance, turf... Our proposal is designed to cater to most of them. Riders and horses. And also to those who do not dare to ride, but are loyal followers of the equestrian style and fancy a belt or a pair of polo style boots for streetwear.
CC&D: What can anyone expect when they enter the showroom?
We think of this as a meeting place to have a good time, share horse stories, watch a polo game, organize a horse ride or a polo week. First and foremost, we are riders and we enjoy this passion.
We believe that this is evidenced both in our work and in the quality of our products. The experience of people who visit us is very positive. Comments like: "I’d like to take everything," "It's like a dream," make us feel that we created an attractive space.
CC&D: 2020… a year to forget?
A&V: On the contrary. In such a special year, we were in contact with many clients who got equipped, while patiently waiting for equestrian sports to go back to normal. And we were able to comply with their orders without problem.
Thanks to social media and our great effort in online communications, we can cross borders and get in touch with riders from all over the world. We speak Spanish, English and French (Alexis is French), and we get by in German and Italian.
CC&D: If you had to choose one characteristic of the brand, what would it be?
A&V: Customization. Each rider and each horse are unique. We know that the same saddle cannot fit every horse. Each rider also has his/her own style. So why not customize your equipment? We think about the design together with our clients; our goal is to make them happy with their purchases.
CC&D: Does Spirit partner with other brands?
A&V: Of course! We like to call ourselves “personal shoppers,” because we offer a full service to our clients. For 2021 we are working in an alliance with the world's top saddle brand. We always try to partner with firms that share our values. The last one is Emanuela Pirina Collection, a Spanish clothing brand which helps organizations dedicated to saving horses, as we do with the CRRE, Center for Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation.
CC&D: Any announcement for 2021?
A&V: There is a project that we have had for a long time, and that we are developing to celebrate this opening: our own perfume line. Four scents that embody the equestrian world for us. In this case, we partnered with the cosmetic brand Ryderm, which, along with its perfumer, worked with us in the development of 4 captivating scents.
Then... we'll see!