A Reflection on 25 Years at WEF


Personalized Products has been attending the Winter Equestrian Festival for the past 25 years.  This week, Carrie (founder and fearless leader of Personalized Products), took a moment to reflect on her very first year at WEF.  Here’s what she had to say:


25 years @ WEF……

Things that have been with me here for 25 years….

Curt & Cody

Rawhide hammer

Original stool

Rex Riveter

Tomato pin cushion

Blue side cutters

Fabulous customers

25 years ago I drove into 14440 Pierson Road with NOT a clue.
My truck blew up in Indianapolis and I went to a U haul place where I met a total stranger and paid $500 to take me and my 20′ red trailer to Wellington.
The stranger got pick pocketed at some gas station in Northern Florida and had NO money.
When I finally got to Wellington I went to the Palm Beach Airport to rent a truck. I paid the stranger and off he went to leave me not knowing a soul in Florida.
My Aunt Dorothy had made arrangements for me to stay in Lantana with her friend Lunny. I drove to the address she gave me and it was a senior citizen mobile home park. Lunny was the BOMB.  She made me breakfast every morning and I paid my rent by picking up groceries and prescriptions for all her neighbors.
It was a single wide trailer but it was my home for year 1 of WEF 1990.
My shop/trailer was parked behind the 2 small office trailers that housed all the office staff and media.
Between Jeff Straw and Myra Jones I learned a lot about WEF and what was to come for Personalized Products. We had fun chasing small alligators from around our trailer and watching morning launches of the space shuttle in the air.
The original Palm Beach Polo was huge and going to the polo parties is what all the Hunter/Jumper folk did. They were the “Cool” kids in Wellington at the time. Everybody wanted items that had the Palm Beach polo logo on it. The store under the grandstand on south shore was the place to shop.
I sold Wilker saddle pads and Walsh halters; Telescope director chairs with canvas seats and backs. I had 1 engraver and 1 single needle embroidery machine and a 286 computer. For those of you who are old enough to remember those, they were BIG and SLOW!
Tom at Stadium Jumping was always super nice and made me feel at home here at WEF. I did go on to Tampa my First Year and lived at the 301 Hotel. My neighbor at the show was Cappy the farrier. He was super grumpy but sweet as could be. He also taught me much about WEF.
Curt, Cody and my in-laws came to Tampa to pick me up with the repaired truck. I had made it through my first of many Winter Equestrian Festivals. Home to Wisconsin I went.