top of page

Why I started an Equestrian apparel line...An inside look from Velvet and Pie's founder, Emelie

This is kind of a surreal moment, having to sit down and write out why and how I decided to start Velvet and Pie Apparel Co. Where does one start? How can I possibly convey my passion and dedication to my brand and in turn inspire you, the reader, to become a part of our journey? I say “our” journey because I am not in this alone. I truly believe that be successful you must have the support of a village…or maybe a large town… however you look at it, it is based upon collaboration and acceptance of who we are as both athletes and equestrians, and as strong, mindful, independent women.

I cannot talk about how and why I decided to start Velvet and Pie without mentioning one of my first and favorite horse movies, “National Velvet” with Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney. It is iconic, a gem, and inspiring. A girl, a young girl, against all odds and better judgment believed so fully in herself that she would not let anything stand in the way of her dream, of riding The Pie in the Grand National. LOVE!!! If you have not seen this movie, then I would love it for you to put this article down right now, find it on Amazon or somewhere and indulge yourself. One of my favorite quotes from the whole movie is from Velvet’s mom, and she says to Velvet upon hearing that Velvet plans to ride The Pie in the Grand National herself is,

“…everybody should have their chance at a breathtaking piece of folly”

~ National Velvet

Velvet and Pie is my piece of breathtaking folly in this world. It is a piece of my soul and spirit out there in big, wide world. I am an athlete, I am an equestrian, and I am a strong and sassy lady who has a voice. I want to celebrate who we are and what we do. I want to turn the world on its head and make them think twice about questioning our strength and athleticism. This is only the beginning, my dream for Velvet and Pie Apparel Co is so much more than that, but the key to building a strong and enduring business is to think long-term, and act accordingly in the short-term.

My mission for Velvet and Pie is to bring functional and athletic wear for us while in the saddle, and then some super fun and classy pieces for out on the town. When I go to the gym and see men and women in their athletic wear that showcase their love and dedication to their sport, I want to showcase and celebrate ours. I want everyone to know that our irons (i.e. stirrups and horseshoes) are better than theirs!

If I had to give a reason as to why I am doing all of this it would boil down to deep desire to have something of my own. To grow something organically from an idea and see it build has been a dream of mine for a long time, it just took me a while to find my way with the right idea. I want to bring something different to the table. These are pieces that I felt like were missing from my wardrobe and I had this crazy notion that maybe others would feel the same.

There is something else that should be said about Velvet and Pie Apparel Co, the business may not be set up as a non-profit organization, however, I will do my part in giving back to our community. It may not be the same every quarter, it may vary in amounts, but I am dedicated to doing what I can to improve the lives of us and our horses in the equestrian community.

See you in the ring!

Emelie Dillman


National Velvet. Dir. Clarence Brown. Perf. Elizabeth Taylor, and Mickey Rooney. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, 1945. DVD


bottom of page