By Lauren Mauldin
Three intelligent, creative women walk into a barn — it’s not the start of a joke, but instead the formation of a global fashion brand, Rönner Design. When driven women put their minds to something, nothing can stop them and the Rönner ladies are no different. Utilizing their unique blend of talents and style, mother Ines Rönner Stellabati and her daughters, Carin and Jessica, form a trio of entrepreneurs creating a splash in the global market with their company, Rönner Design.
Though the company is based out of Bogotá, Colombia, Rönner Design carries influence that extends further than South America. Ines was originally born in Colombia, but moved back to Germany as a young baby with her parents. Growing up in Europe, she became an accomplished dressage rider, earning her bronze medal and top honors in Germany.
However, her South American roots continued to intrigue her. “My only connections to Colombia were the stories my mother told me,” Ines explained. When she was 22, she decided to live out some of those stories for herself and booked a trip back to the country where she was born. “I was curious and wanted some adventure, so I planned a three-month trip to Colombia. That three months turned into 35 years.”
Setting the Foundation
When it was clear that the adventurous country of her childhood stories would become her permanent home, Ines wanted to bring horses back into her life in South America. While watching a show jumping competition, a friend approached her to help fill a spot on a team that had lost its rider.
“They handed me breeches and boots, and I was their third rider!” Ines laughed about the improvised re-entry into competition. “When I got down off that horse, I said to myself ‘I must go back to riding now.’”
Ines traveled to Germany and brought back a nice Oldenburg mare that would become her dressage partner as well as a broodmare for generations to come.
It was young Ines’ adventurous spirit, whether turning a three-month journey into a lifetime in Colombia or spontaneously volunteering to ride a strange horse in a jumping competition, that resulted in her daughters, Carin and Jessica, growing up in a collage of Latin culture, equestrian sportsmanship and German values.
“We were lucky to grow up with a bi-culture education,” Carin said. “We went to a German school and my mom spoke German to us, but we also had our Latin side because my dad is Colombian. Growing up with both contrasts, we had the very flexible, easy-going Latin culture but also the German which is more straightforward.”
Within this multi-cultural childhood, Carin and Jessica also spent time riding. With horses home at the farm, summers spent at Pony Club in Germany and weekends watching Ines compete at dressage shows, the sisters had plenty of equestrian exposure. “We did a lot of leisure riding, more as a relaxed hobby,” Carin said about her childhood on horseback. For the Rönner sisters, their competitive nature lent itself to other pursuits.
Bringing Everything Together
After beginning her studies at the prestigious Los Andes University in Bogotá, Carin headed to the fashion capital of the world, New York City, for her masters degree in fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Jessica, too, excelled in her own direction: business school at EL CESA in Bogotá. And while her children chased their dreams, Ines worked on her own accomplishments outside the show ring, namely a tack store that represents many of the German riders living in Bogotá. It was during a summer visit with family that these three creative, successful women came together to start Rönner Design.
“We met one summer and started talking about all these ideas, and it seemed like the perfect match and the right timing to create a brand inspired by the lifestyle we had growing up,” Carin said. The trinity of fashion expertise, business knowledge and a reputable equestrian background was the perfect foundation for a family business. “All the ingredients came together.”
The company started in 2010 with Ines as PR and horse expert, Carin heading up the creative aspects and sales and Jessica handling the business side. “We feel really lucky and fortunate to complement each other as a team,” Carin said.
Looking through Rönner Design’s offerings, with their colorful patterns and elegant features, the collection feels more like a lifestyle than simply articles of clothing. The designs sport a happy blend of classic equestrian style and colorful Latin American flair. “The grace and elegance of the equestrian world has given us endless inspiration,” Carin said of the designs. “That, mixed with our Latin American roots where color, pattern and femininity thrive, provides us with continuous ideas and
“I think it’s very exciting to see that equestrian fashion is getting more daring in terms of materials and color,” Carin added. The Rönner Sport line embraces this new future of fashion with riding attire and competition wear that balances style with sport. “It’s thrilling to design for such a specialized, classy and elegant sport, yet be able to propose something rather distinct and unique.”
The brand’s fans across the globe agree with this innovative fashion of pattern and tradition. Recently, Rönner Design traveled to Spoga, the international trade fair for equestrian sport, and received positive feedback from all over the world. Rönner Design was even dubbed “The Hermès of Latin America.” “People would walk up to us and say ‘Oh my goodness, thank you! Finally something different on the market,’” Carin said.
For more information, visit www.ronnerdesign.com