California Riding Magazine • August, 2014

Frilly Fillies
Hand-made ear bonnets deliver function, fashion and fun.

Nancy Dein did not intend to go into the ear bonnet business. She'd always been clever with crafts, so when her daughter, Caroline, and her trainer, Jennifer McFall, could not find a bright red ear bonnet Nancy decided to try to make one.

"It was such a fun process to work with Caroline and Jen to create a perfect combination of colors to match their show clothes," Nancy recounts. It wasn't just Caroline and Jen that appreciated the unique style and custom fit. Olympic eventer, Hawley Bennett-Awad, took one look and feel of the high quality, hand-made bonnets and ordered some for herself and for her coach, Buck Davidson. And that's how Frilly Fillies was first brought into the eventing world, officially launching as a business in June of 2012. Nancy now has orders coming in from all over the U.S. and was thrilled to see that 11 horses in this year's Rolex Kentucky Four Star Event were wearing Frilly Fillies bonnets. She's has even sent bonnets to riders in Europe.

"Getting the bonnet shape and sizing was a longer process than I had imagined," says Nancy, whose prior crafting had not included crocheting. Four or five months of experimentation led to the perfect formula of soft but durable specialty yarn, four-way stretch ear fabric and designs that accommodate ideal fit and infinite customization in colors and accents. Three standard designs suit most horses and there's the option of a custom design, too. Color choices for the body, trim and piping range from the traditional browns, blacks and chestnuts to hot pink, bright red, lime green, lavender and many more. Metallic fabric accents and crystal rhinestones in several colors are additional choices that enable horse owners to match or complement a coat or their barn colors.

Nancy knew from years of being a show mom that nothing stays clean for long. So, she designed bonnets that can take a beating dirt-wise and come back looking good as new after a quick rinse under the sink and a gentle wringing out. A light touch with the steam iron activates the high quality yarn's resiliency and gets the bonnet back to its original shape.

As a small business owner, Nancy knows that customer service is critical and being able to turn orders around quickly, often within a week, is a key to customer satisfaction. As a longtime horse show mom, she understands the need for having things just right come show time and she enjoys accommodating her growing customer base in that quest.

For more information on Frilly Fillies Ear Bonnets, visit www.frillyfillies.com or call Nancy Dein at 916-549-9646.