Karen Hummel Kinsley (Founder & CEO) is a freelance costume designer and equestrian. She has designed costumes for many venues including Off-Broadway, regional theaters, national tours, museums, colleges and universities. Born and raised in Montana, she started out as a western rider. As a theatrical costume designer, she moved to New York City and, ironically, in the heart of Manhattan she learned hunter seat equitation and dressage. For many years she rode at the legendary Claremont Riding Academy located on West 89th Street. She enjoyed many holiday rides through Central Park that included a stop at Tavern-on-the-Green for a cup of mulled wine for the riders and a tray of carrots for the horses. For many years she served as co-director of the Claremont Drill Team and enjoyed sharing Claremont’s “dancing horses” with audiences in Manhattan, Long Island and New Jersey.
In 1995, Karen founded a company featuring equestrian-theme gifts and crafts called COUNTER CANTER CREATIONS. When her daughters fell in love with their 18-inch dolls, she couldn’t find equestrian patterns that had the style and proportion that looked like “real” riding clothes. REINWEAR was born in 2001.
Both Claremont and the Tavern-on-the Green are gone, but Karen’s love and appreciation of horses, their owners and their riders continues. These patterns are dedicated to the girls, moms, aunts, godmothers, grandmothers and dear friends who have never stopped dreaming about horses.
When you are sitting behind the sewing machine creating these lovely garments, stop for a moment and let your your imagination take you for a ride with wind in your face and your heart in your hands. You’ll feel fantastic!