‘Luxury’ is often self-proclaimed status; meta-luxury is always a restless pursuit. ‘Luxury’ is often about showing; meta-luxury is always about knowing. ‘Luxury’ is often about stretch and surface; meta-luxury is always about focus and depth. ‘Luxury’ is sometimes about ostentation; meta-luxury is always about discovery. ‘Luxury’ is often merely about affording; meta-luxury is always first and foremost about understanding.
-Meta-Luxury, Brands and the Culture of Excellence
Manfredi Ricca & Rebecca Robins
A YOUNG EQUESTRIAN'S NATURAL INTRODUCTION TO META-LUXURY
Supple leather. Smooth velvet. Soft Wool. Shining metals. These unique sensory attributes created the ambiance of one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest saddle shops that captivated my attention from an extremely young age. This destination was a special experience with my parents and it was also where I learned to save to purchase coveted items of the highest quality I could afford. To say I was born with an innate passion for all facets of equestrian sport would be an understatement. My family was not connected with horses, but my interest was so intense that I independently listened, read and observed to grow my acumen.
Riding was my introduction to an appreciation for excellence. I was exposed to the importance of education and perseverance in growing skills. Additionally, I developed an understanding of the relationship between fine craftsmanship and superior materials to create equipment that serve a purpose. My eye honed in to details. I learned that less was more. Ultimately, these lessons learned in my youth and adolescence guided my appreciation for authenticity and integrity of quality in all facets of my adult life and subsequently my career.
FROM THE EARTH
Advanced studies in agricultural marketing was an extension of my pursuit of excellence in craft and ingredients. My father’s tiny cabernet sauvignon vineyard and personal production of wine influenced my choice to specialize in agricultural marketing at university. After almost twenty years working in multiple facets of the agriculture sector, I never lost my desire to seek excellence in production and align operations with experts that share similar values. Collaborations with like-minded producers affiliated with food production, ranging from winery owners to privately owned olive oil companies and interacting with Michelin starred chefs continued to enhance my understanding of the passion required in the pursuit of perfection.
ADVISING, INFORMING AND ALWAYS LEARNING
My commitment to meta-luxury has not waivered and in 2012 I formed my own business, K.M. Thornton & Co., LLC, to primarily assist high quality equestrian lifestyle product and service driven businesses. An offshoot of the original business was an education blog that grew exponentially in popularity and thus forced the decision to create a full-time business that is a wholly owned subsidiary of K.M. Thornton & Co., LLC. Street to Stable® officially launched in 2014. We are the storytellers that are dedicated to sustaining and preserving the artisans, educators, entrepreneurs and artifacts that enhance the equestrian way of life. The website is self-funded with the assistance of an online boutique that features collaborations with artisans that share similar values. Advertisement money has never been accepted to prevent bias in content.