Photos: Quinn Saunders Photography
TKEQ blends athletic performance materials with classic equestrian style.
How did you get your start in the equestrian world?
My mother introduced me to the equestrian world. She has ridden all her life and – no pun intended – handed the reins over to me. From my first Breyer to Walk-Trot lesson, my mother turned my horse love into an obsession.
Where does the company name come from?
When I was young, my mother and I had a string of horses. We both showed in the hunter ring – it was so much fun. Trainers and fellow equestrians would refer to us as Team Kennedy. When brainstorming a company name, it literally fell into place – TKEQ.
Sharing the love of horses and business with my mother makes it even more special.
What inspired you to create TKEQ?
I started TKEQ at seventeen when I could not find casual equestrian apparel with a modern look. It started as a graphic t-shirt and sweatshirt brand. Over the years, TKEQ and I have grown up together. They are becoming more sophisticated and polished together.
I love looking back because each year of TKEQ truly reflects my life and how I was growing at that time.
What’s the most important detail for you when it comes to designing clothing?
Creating pieces with myself in mind has been the key to our success. Pieces I want to wear to the gym, to the barn, to run errands, or meet friends for coffee. Knowing I love each piece we launch helps me connect with our customers.
Can you speak to any green/sustainability initiatives you’re taking?
Sustainability is an initiative we’re continuously working towards mastering. Since 2020, we’ve offered products made with 73% recycled materials & use recycled mailers & hangtags. My goal is for our athletes to look good while doing good.
Do you have any big plans for winter you can share with us?!
Lots of big things coming up. For the first year ever, we are doing a fifth KENNEDY Seamless launch. The colour is called Rich Burgundy – get excited! It will be included in our Holiday Collection launching November 1.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
It’s hard to choose a favorite – I love my job! The design process takes the cake. It is very rewarding to take a collection from color swatches to samples all the way to the photo shoot campaign.
Your show shirt, the Sloan, is so amazingly buttery soft and has a pretty silhouette – tell us about the design process for this top.
I’m glad you love SLOAN as much as I do! We first introduced Competition in September 2020 with the style “QUINN”. After hearing feedback from riders, I wanted to take QUINN’s best features and create an elevated show-ready style.
SLOAN features the 4-Way Stretch, Breathability, and UV Protection our athletes know (and love) with traditional collar and cuff.
Are you still riding?
Not at the moment. Within the last two years, TKEQ has gone from my parent’s basement to an office building and warehouses. The expansion of my business has totally changed my life, so I’m learning to juggle.
I’m excited to take my amateur equestrian athlete career by the reins and get back in the saddle soon!
Learn more about TKEQ at tkeqtheshop.com