1492659780253 - Palmerston North sisters build business to fund horse hobby

Palmerston North sisters build business to fund horse hobby

For many children “we can’t afford it” is the end of their horse riding dreams, but for two sisters it was a reason to get down to business.

Ezraela Horvat, 14, and Sanja Horvat, 12, have always wanted to compete in horse riding events, but their parents couldn’t spare the money for lessons and equipment.

“We aren’t a rich family, and money doesn’t grow on trees, so we thought let’s get down to it,” Ezraela said.

So the Palmerston North sisters built and have run an arts and crafts business from home  for the past year. And, this month, they became one of the first suppliers of Cuba St’s newest florist and gift shop, Jillybud.

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Ezraela started the business selling greeting cards in a stall down the street from the Horvat house.

People found it hard to get good, nice cards, she said.

“Everyone uses text and Facebook instead, so cards are on their way out.”

Sanja would help out her big sister, fetching things or working on bits of the cards, and Ezraela would pay her some of the takings.

“She decided we should be business partners, so she saved up her pay and bought half the business. It was all quite cool and funny.”

The sisters wanted to run things right, so they worked out a contract and had an official signing with their mum, Leah Horvat, acting as witness.

The new partnership expanded their range with fridge magnets, and other small gifts such as cement candleholders.

“We like to make things that we can be really creative with, so we try a lot of different things.

“Mum takes all the first ones when we make something new to decorate the house with.”

Almost everything that makes it past their mum goes on to Jillybud’s shelves, and the sisters are proud to be supplying a store.

Jillybud owner Jill Titter wanted her new store to be a hotbed for Palmerston North craftspeople.

She will hold workshops teaching art and crafting techniques, and provide space and materials for people to work on their own projects.

Titter offers shelf space in her store, in exchange for a percentage of any sales, but she  pays a full wholesale price for everything the Horvat sisters bring her.

She did it to encourage the girls, and because their work had already proven popular with her customers, she said. 

“They’re clever young girls … [They’re] exactly what I’m looking for – local people who make funky little gifts and crafts.”