• Elena Cawley

Creator of Marsha de Arriaga label for equestrian attire chooses Shelbyville


One of the unique experiences Shelbyville provides to visitors is equestrian apparel shopping. Marsha’s on the Square boutique, located at 115 Public Square South, Shelbyville, offers equestrian attire. Even if you’re not a rider, stop by Marsha’s on the Square boutique to see and appreciate the beautiful work of Marsha Shepard, owner of the store and creator of the Marsha de Arriaga label.


“I am the owner and developer of the business,” Shepard said. “In Shelbyville, the store is called Marsha’s on the Square, and our brand name is Marsha de Arriaga. We manufacture all of these clothes with the Marsha de Arriaga label.”


The store in Shelbyville opened its doors in 2006, according to Shepard. The history of the brand goes back decades.


“I established Marsha de Arriaga in 1987,” Shepard said. “I was a horse trainer for a very long time, and I designed clothes for a company that did Carroll Reed catalogue clothes.”

Shepard planned to continue designing fashion clothes, but thanks to a friend of hers who knew she had a talent for creating riding clothes, her career in the equestrian apparel field took off.


“I wasn’t going to do riding clothes, I was just doing fashion,” Shepard said. “A friend of mine, who was a horse trainer, called me and said, ‘I know you made all the riding clothes for your family’s clients, and I would like you to come and do the clothes for my riders.’ At first, I said no. But he was such a good friend that I agreed. And all of a sudden, I turned into mostly riding clothes designer and not as much fashion designer.”


She started her business in Massachusetts. Even before her line of equestrian clothes was launched, Shepard was known in the horse world. Her family owned a horse farm in Massachusetts, and Shepard was an American Horse Show Association judge for 30 years, according to www.marshadearriaga.com.


“I grew up in Massachusetts,” Shepard said. “I started the business in Massachusetts in 1987, and then moved to Naples, Florida.”


When she visited Shelbyville, she loved the town.


“I was invited to come to Shelbyville to do clothes for a world champion during the walking horse celebration,” Shepard said. “I fell in love with Shelbyville and Tennessee. It looked just like Massachusetts, with the rolling hills and the streams but without the snow. So it had all of the advantages, and I ended up staying here.”


Since 2006, the store in Shelbyville has offered high quality English riding apparel and Western attire. Marsha de Arriaga attire has adorned award-winning walking horse riders, as well as famous musicians.


“We have a ready-made line for showing horses,” Shepard said. “We also do a lot of business suits and sports coats. We do a ready-made line of Western attire, and we do a ready-made line of hunt attire. We also do custom suits for businessmen. We have done some work for some of the music people in Nashville. We do a little bit of everything.”


Shepard loves spending time at her company’s factory, where “expert tailors and seamstresses turn her clothing designs into extraordinary creations her clients expect,” according to www.marshadearriaga.com. Her factory is in Santa Fe Bogota, Colombia. Marsha de Arriaga label is known throughout the equestrian world, customers all over the United States and the world appreciate Shepard’s work.


Shepard has the finest craftsmen working for her. She believes Marsha de Arriaga clothing is exceptional thanks to excellent design and dedicated craftsmen.

While she enjoys spending time in Colombia, she loves Shelbyville and invites you to experience the town’s hospitality.


“What I love about the square is that the people are so friendly,” Shepard said. “We support each other completely. Even though my business is for a select group of people who show horses, all my neighbors around me and their stores are very receptive to all our customers who come here. When some of my customers come from other parts of the country to be fitted for a suit, they are probably going to go next door and have lunch and they are going to shop on the square. Shelbyville just has a good, friendly hometown feel. It’s not a big city, and everybody likes each other. We work together nicely. It’s just very nice to be here, and people will enjoy visiting us.”

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