Double LL Tack & Feed in Coats, North Carolina, was started in 1980 by Leroy and Lynda Byrd. The Byrds had been operating a horse boarding business in addition to breeding and raising Arabians and were often asked where people could purchase quality tack for their horses. Seeing the need for such a store, Leroy and Lynda opened the Double LL Stables Tack Shop in a 144 square foot building. What started out as a side venture has expanded over the years into a full time, full service tack and feed store. The business name has subsequently been changed to Double LL Tack & Feed, since they no longer board or raise horses.
Double LL Tack & Feed is still family owned and is now managed by their son, Jim Byrd and their daughter, Vicky Schiller. Although Leroy and Lynda have retired, they are both still active in several aspects of the business.
Left to right: Lynda & Leroy Byrd, Cindy (the Double LL Mascot),
Cody & Duke (Vicky's horses wearing Trails), daughter, Vicky Schiller and son, Jim Byrd.
The business consists of a 5,000 square foot building housing quality tack, equine health supplies, gift items, boots and so much more.
In addition, there is an 8,400 square foot warehouse to store the various brands of quality equine and companion feeds.
Double LL Tack & Feed's mission is to provide customers with excellent customer service in a well-maintained environment and a friendly, down-home atmosphere. Their goal is to supply quality products, feeds and services that their customers need to make themselves and their animals healthy and successful.
Double LL Tack has been carrying EasyCare Hoof Boots and products since the year 2000. They currently stock the Easyboot Glove, the Glove Back Country, the Easyboot Trail, the Epic, the Rx Therapy boot and the Soaker. Vicky states that the Easyboot Glove is their most popular boot.
When we asked Vicky how she felt the hoof boot industry had changed since she became involved, she responded, "Dramatically! In our area, hoof boots were only something that you carried in your saddle bag as a spare to get you by in case your horse lost a shoe. Now, the hoof boot has surpassed that mindset and our customers are looking for the perfect boot for their horses and their riding discipline."
Vicky and her brother, Jim, attribute the success of Double LL Tack to "listening to the customer." "We don't claim to know it all and we can't carry it all, but we do listen to our customers for feedback and suggestions on all types of products for our store. We ask our customers, who specialize in specific equine activities, advice on certain tack/equipment that we need to carry in the store. Our goal is to carry durable, quality equipment needed in those activities."
Vicky told us that their best marketing strategy was just as simple as having a website created for the store. And, now with social media, Facebook has been their next smartest marketing strategy. They get to freely share all types of information with their customers. She says that their goal is to educate, entertain and inform their customers about Double LL Tack & Feed and the current trends in the equine industry.
Double LL Tack & Feed provides different types of events for their customers throughout the year. They have had Coggins/Vaccination Clinics, Veterinary Informational Clinics, Canine/Feline Rabies Clinics, Horse Training Demonstrations and Equine Nutritional Clinics.
Vicky says that they have two events that they look forward to each year. They host a Nu 2 U Tack Sale in March, where customers set up (for free) and sell their used tack items. This allows the sellers to clean out their tack rooms and get rid of unused items and allows the buyers to get good deals on some used tack. Their other favorite event is their Customer Appreciation Day, which is always held the first Saturday of October since the business was started in 1980 by her parents.
Vicky and her brother, Jim, both have experience in customer service and sales. They have both been around horses for a long time, as their parents boarded horses while they were growing up. Vicky owns two horses: Cody, a 16 year-old Arabian and Duke, an 11 year-old Morgan. Both horses are currently using the Easyboot Trail. Vicky says she is just a casual rider so the Easyboot Trail fits her needs due to ease of application and room for hoof growth. She has been using the Trails for about a year and says that, so far, the Trail is her favorite boot. However, she feels that she may be getting ready to try the new Glove Back Country.
What is their most memorable hoof boot success story? Vicky says that recently, two ladies brought their horses to the store. One of the ladies wanted to get her horse fitted for boots, while the other lady just brought her horse along for the ride. While fitting boots for the first lady, Jim discovered that the second lady had been discouraged from boots in the past because she could never achieve a good fit and often lost boots when riding. Once Jim successfully fitted the first horse with boots, the second customer decided that she would let Jim attempt to fit her horse as well. They found a great fit for her horse with the Easyboot Gloves. She purchased the Gloves that day!
Vicky sees that the barefoot industry is gaining interest in their area. She feels that the consumer seems to be more receptive to the idea of maintaining the integrity of the hoof. Also, farriers in the area are also more positive in their views on barefoot trimming and the use of protective hoof boots. She said that some of the farriers have recommended boots instead of shoes based on the needs of the hoof and have sent customers to Double LL for boots.
You can visit EasyCare's Dealer of the Month, Double LL Tack & Feed in Coats, North Carolina or on their website at www.doublelltack.com. While you are there, sign up for their Newsletter and visit them on Facebook.