Steve and Sarah “Harley” Bolinder have quite a unique story and it leads straight to the heart of Gadsden County.
Steve and Sarah’s journey together started in 2005 when they were married and later led to following a shared dream.
Steve was a barber and Sarah was an attorney. As several years passed by, the couple continued to work their regular jobs, raise three children, brainstorm, and collectively create and design a book of ideas for a business concept.
In 2013, a certain unforeseen circumstance instilled a health scare for Sarah; she became determined to make her and Steve’s creative concept happen as soon as possible.
The couple decided it was time to make an investment with their savings; soon, after sharing nonstop 12-hour workdays together, their dreamed-up concept became a reality!
An infusion of Steve’s vintage-hipster style and Sarah’s love for design was the beginning of a great business venture; the combination led them to be the founders and owners of Chop Barber Shop (based in Tallahassee), which rapidly grew so popular in demand that the couple started opening more shops just to keep up with the growing numbers of clientele.
What was once a plan to open one barber shop quickly turned into what is today a successful and popular franchise chain.
This year, life had yet another uncanny turn for Sarah as she discovered her destiny…
Like a huge oak tree that is deeply rooted, so are Sarah’s memories of an old Greensboro equestrian farm from her childhood, eventually pulling her back to planning another great dream.
As a child, Sarah’s parents, Tom and Fran Harley, owned a 72-acre farm just outside Greensboro.
Tom and Fran Harley were drawn to, and loved, the small town of Greensboro, in which they bought the perfect farm to raise their daughters and newly purchased horse.
“[The horse] was only $300,” Sarah explained.
Her sister Lisa, who was just 11 years old at the time, found an ad with a horse for sale at Coventry Farms, in Tallahassee.
The two sisters convinced their father to buy them the horse and everything fell into place from there; the sisters shared a love for their horse Loki, and would both grow to develop a long-lasting love for horses in general.
The 72-acres of the family farm, and his daughters’ love for equestrians, prompted Tom Harley to build barns around the family home, as well as horse jumps; the Harleys began hosting horsing events out of the Greensboro farm.
It stayed that way for some time – the Harley home and equestrian center where Sarah had grown up stayed in the family for several years, until tragedy struck.
In 2002, Sarah’s father, Tom, was suddenly and tragically killed in a car accident that would forever change their family and life on the farm as they knew it.
The unfortunate death of her father took its toll on Sarah, Lisa, and their mother Fran.
A few years later the Harley family farm was sold –leaving childhood dreams in the past.
But when Sarah discovered, only a few years ago, that the farm where Sarah grew up was once again for sale, Sarah said she and Steve both knew that it was time to start a new business venture together…a venture that would bring her father’s equestrian dreams back to life, re-open the equestrian facility, and continue a family legacy.
The farm may have been lost for a while, but it was not forgotten, and as of Saturday, December 11, Harley’s Hollow Farm an Equestrian Facility opened once again.
The facility is rich with family history and opportunity for new family roots to grow.
Steve and Sarah hosted their first Forgotten Coast Horse Show.
As memories flooded back strongly for Sarah, she says she enjoyed the warm feeling it brought to her heart as she was able to share the day with her husband Steve, their children, her sister Lisa “Harley” Maguire, and niece Jesse Maguire (Lisa’s daughter).
There is much still in store for Harley’s Hollow Farm, the equestrian center located in Gadsden County’s heart, but those interested in learning more about the facility can do so at harleyshollow.com
Information about upcoming events, accommodations for horses, and more is available on the website.
Patricia Smith – Gadsden County News Service