Now that Ladies In The Field is over halfway through the first year of trading, we wanted to share a more detailed history of how we came to be where we are right now.
The country life has been in our blood since day one all because of our upbringing. Our Dad, Simon Tyers was a gamekeeper, Gundog trainer and falconer, so we were always going to have an interest in one way or another.
We grew up in a small rural village in Staffordshire where our Dad was the gamekeeper for the late John Fairclough and was working 7 days a week from as long as I can remember. Stacey would shadow him on his rounds regularly and quickly fell in love with country life. I was interested in the falconry side of things and would accompany our Dad with the routines of feeding and managing a range of Birds Of Prey, however, I eventually followed my love of fitness and worked as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Manager in Birmingham City Centre for nearly 12 years.
Dad trained his own dogs to the point people wanted him to train theirs which is where the original Hawcroft Gundogs was born. He did this alongside his gamekeeping until the point the business was that successful he could do it full time, subsequently ending his gamekeeping career and making a very successful living from training.
Regularly competing in Field Trials and successfully winning the 2007 and 2008 Championships with his field trial champion cocker spaniels – across his career, he successfully trained up 13 field trial champions, our Dad was a well-known name in his field and to this day, still knows and shares his knowledge of gundog training. Upon retiring from training, he rekindled his love of Falconry now that he had the time to dedicate to it.
From childhood, shoot days, beating, lamping, pigeon shooting and flying the goshawk was all part of growing up. All of which were a family affair with our beloved Grandad sharing the love and interest with us. Our love for country even took us to Scotland – right up to the Isle Of Lewis, flying at grouse, running a team of pointers and working on good ground training cocker spaniels. We spent time there doing everything outdoors, enjoying fishing and visits to the beaches.
Looking back, though I turned to City life and a career far from field sports, I loved and adored my childhood of playing in fields, climbing trees and rides on Dad’s quad bike.
Stacey remained a lover of field sports through and through, regularly accompanying Dad on shoot days, falconry days out and having her own working dogs. Running a successful grooming business now, she is a big dog lover and is able to handle working dogs confidently.
I on the other hand spent 12 years working within the Fitness Industry, managing a busy gym in a well-established health club. My career path changed when I had my son, and so I needed something with better hours than 6am starts and 10 pm finishes due to my partner’s work being long hours too. So I turned to an office job – a Monday to Friday job working for a trade magazine. From there, I found a new career path using my interests in writing and marketing and since being made redundant, I honed in on my skills and since creating Ladies In The Field, have continued to learn and grow my skillset so that we can make this as big a success as we think it will be.
The idea of Ladies In The Field is something Stacey has thought about for many years because of the frustrations she faced finding easily accessible ladies’ country clothing. With Game Fairs, shooting shops and country shops being so heavily male-dominated, we wanted to create a place for women to go to find what they need with ease. We knew we weren’t the only ones frustrated too.
However, it remained a dream due to being uncertain of how to even begin. Fast forward to lockdown 1.0, a warm summer’s evening and a socially distanced walk and she mentioned the idea to me. Something about it stuck in my head, and we started talking about it daily up until the point we decided enough talking, let’s go for it. We started having planning meetings, talking ideas, brainstorming names, contacting suppliers, and finding out about what it would take to get up and running.
Ladies In The Field was the very first name suggested, but we still went around the houses to make sure we weren’t just going with the first idea but we personally feel it hits the nail on the head with exactly what we are looking to achieve.
The aim of our brand and site is to provide everything a woman could need for shooting, hunting, falconry, fishing, working gundogs and even working on the paddock or on the moors. Practical, durable clothing that will be able to last with the hard work being put in, in all weather conditions.
We set out with a list of brands we know and trust, and we are happy that our first 6 came on board. We do have more brands on the list that we aim to bring so watch this space! The brands we work with are ones we trust and know to be of good quality because we wear them ourselves. It is our ethos that we only sell brands we know and have experience of wearing and using, and that will never change.
The first 6 months of Ladies In The Field have gone really well, and we are really happy with everything we have achieved so far. We are offering a great range of clothing and a substantial choice of accessories. We have also been able to bring some fantastic guest blogs to our website, each sharing their journey with us.
From Tania Coxon of The Country Girls UK to Barbara Royale of The Independent Bird Register, we have shared some great stories and histories of some really inspirational ladies in the field.
We have run some great advertising campaigns with the Gundog Journal and Pursuit Magazine, had two extremely successful giveaways on our social media pages, and have sent orders around the country and even overseas.
Amongst all of this, We have also made some great contacts and relationships with people along the way. We are so thrilled with the support we have been shown so far! Coming into the online shop business was new to both of us and so we have had to do our own research, ask some questions, and search for solutions ourselves, but we are both extremely proactive and if we don’t know how to do something, we will find out how to do it.
I run the website mostly due to the flexibility I have of working from home and am now deep in the world of SEO, advertising, accounting, stock and order management and I must say, I am really loving it. Although I have been surrounded by country life since day one, I am still learning new things. I love speaking to all of the other people in this industry and community, and the recent Game Fair gave us the opportunity to put faces to names and meet the people that so far have just been a voice on the end of the phone or an email.
In regards to plans for the future, we have many…but we will play our cards close to our chest on this front. What I will say is we have some exciting things up our sleeves and all will be revealed sooner or later.
We hope you can find what you need on ladiesinthefield.co.uk but if there is something you are looking for that you cannot find, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, and will do our best to source it for you. We also welcome ideas, so please do not hesitate to let us know if you think there is something we are missing.
Written by Kelly Usher-Tyers