Within three months of opening in 2016, the Springfield Riding Club had met its 18-month forecasts. Founder Elizabeth Brooks says that’s just one of the remarkable parts of her equestrian business venture.
Others? Over 100 students joined the lesson program in less than 12 months. She secured an international level trainer and began hosting a local competition series. More recently, three instructors have grown their lesson clientele to the point of financial independence. And not a single injury from a horse-related incident, she says.
With roughly 50 horses, Brooks has branched out to collaborate with Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association for horse therapy. Her entrepreneurial spirit has led to one more venture: Hay farming.
What are you doing to make the Ozarks better? I am working to help people have positive firsts and further experiences with horses. They can teach all that sports have to offer.
What was your professional aha moment? I have worked alongside horse people from all backgrounds. What they all have in common is their ability to produce a high quality, lasting finished product out of the horses and riders they train. The real reward is not in the trophies.
What’s your most treasured possession? I am lucky enough to still have and care for my favorite childhood horse. It changes your perspective on many things to grow up with an animal.
Cuban cuisine arrived on C-Street with the opening of La Habana Vieja; independent brokerage Gateway Real Estate opened its first office; and a veteran of the restaurant industry invested in her first food truck.
Barak Hill gives advice based on what he learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected his business. He says we should all have a backup plan ready to use.
Sandy Higgins, owner of the Crackerjack Shack, recommends the book "The E-Myth Mastery" by Michael E Gerber. She says it changed the course of how she runs her business.
Aaron York describes the work culture he tries to foster at Donco3 and why he attributes to it a part of Donco3's success. Rachel York is a co-owner of Donco3 and Aaron is the General Superintendent.
Hollie Elliott, executive director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group, explains how local schools factor into business decisions and affect a local community.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, says an important lesson she learned was not to over-expand and to do her research before hand. She gives examples from her experience as a startup business owner.
Jim and Debbie Meinsen own TCI Graphics, and are now celebrating 50 years of business. Jim Meinsen takes some time to explain his philosophy on debt, and how to stay out of it.
Caleb Scott, owner and coach of Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football, says the early grind was hard, but it was worth it. The team is in their second season carrying a national ranking of number 2 in the NFA IDFL.
Barak Hill, local musician and entrepreneur, tells about his switch to livestreaming in 2020. He says it was a necessary move, but also not an easy one.
Jessica Burkland, a SCORE mentor and an instructor at the MSU Department of Management, gives us a rundown of the non-profit organization SCORE. SCORE stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives and offers free consultation and advice to business owners.
Hollie Elliott, the executive director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group, discusses some of the ways helping small town businesses is different than in larger cities. The Dallas County Economic Development Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit aimed at helping local existing and new businesses in the county.