"4 years ago, I refused to wear anything but cotton button-downs, with only quiet or no patterns at all on them. 3 years ago, I discovered Sundial Show Clothing, and ordered my first one. Spending near 10x as much on that one shirt as I usually spent on my clearance Wrangler button downs from the local feed store.
2 years ago, I found myself gaining a confidence I'd never had in the saddle before that directly translated to my run times/ placings. I found myself making friends at shows just off the shirts I wore. I found myself able to help my horse more in competitions because I had less restriction in my shirts. And I found myself LOVING the prints, shimmer fabrics, and shirts that didn't look just like every other person's at races. Who would've thought?
I've become close with owner & designer Kaitlin since first messaging her in 2020 about making "team shirts" for my lesson program kids. We wanted to all match each other, but also have the ability to show as individuals, as well. She was incredible in helping with fabric selection, sizing, adjustments, and general customer service throughout the whole process. I had kids of all shapes, sizes, and comfort levels to outfit, and she managed to make sure every single one LOVED their final product & for most, their First Sundial shirt.
Fast forward three years and I am now focusing more on myself & the dreams I want to chase. & as silly as it sounds, knowing that I'll look sharp no matter where I go helps my anxiety & nerves more than anything. It's the whole "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" principle. I don't want to be stuck in the same cycle of being comfortable in the bottom of the placings at small local shows for the rest of my life. That used to be my comfort zone, but so did those plain button-down shirts, too. Growth is inevitable if you want it to be. But so is stagnation.
I wear them because they make me feel confident & comfortable. Which in turn helps my mental game so I can run as best as possible. Ask any pro, if your mental game or confidence isn't there, neither is a winning run. I share them with friends, and let others try them on as a way to share something I love with people I love. I also secretly hope they have a killer run wearing the Sundial, even if it means I take 2nd to them. I bring extras to shows. Not as a way to guarantee I have some to share or sell, but as a way to guarantee no one that is interested in trying one out goes without.
Old friend, new friend, or total stranger that just happened to comment on how pretty my shirt was included. I'm blessed to have owned probably 60+ shirts now in total, but haven't ever forgotten when I was worried I couldn't even afford one. I share photos, posts, and Sundial Sales because I look at it as a way that that many more people can learn, see, and shop the product. I'm able to talk to so many new & different people at races because all it takes is one "I like your shirt!" and I know I'm about to have a new friend.
I have Social & general anxiety, so finding the common ground of them complimenting my shirt (which happens a LOT when you wear Sundials because they are so one-of-a-kind) helps open up that door of opportunity for not only me to make a friend, but also to get to know them, and in turn help them get to know Sundial.
I look at my "sponsorship" as a way to represent Sundial, Kaitlin, & all she works towards having the company represent. It's not a handout, it's not just a discount, and it's not a brag. It's a privilege & an opportunity to help a business/ product grow that works so well for me. All in all, if you've had the honor of being selected as a representative for the brand, the privilege to wear a Sundial shirt, or the excitement to open up your very own brand-new one, don't take it for granted. It's a brand worth believing in, and a level of comfort, confidence, & uniqueness that even the most introverted, nervous riders can jump headfirst into the Sundial Girl Gang proudly with " ~ Sundial team rider Meg Hems