Originally posted on LinkedIn...
For more than a decade, I kept one foot firmly on either side of a line. My week days 9-5 were filled with fulfilling and meaningful work helping A/E/C firms grow, and most recently, at Verdant Studio, working with a group of incredibly talented, inspiring, and passionate artists, architects, and designers.
But...every early morning, evening, and weekend, I've been growing (almost accidentally) something else. What started out as a very passionate hobby, turned into a fairly successful side hustle, and then grew into a full-fledged business: Always August Farm.
I've been involved with horses since I was a young child. I have always been obsessed with learning everything about them; how to care for them, and how be a better rider. Through the chaos and turmoil of my youth, the barn was always my refuge.
In college, I worked for the University of South Carolina Equestrian Team, and then worked for Sandy Hamm Martini, learning all about rehabbing off the track thoroughbreds. In 2009, after I graduated with my bachelor's degree, I purchased some land, renovated an old cabin made out of rail road ties, and moved a couple horses home. I started boarding a few extra horses to subsidize the expenses of my own, then started teaching some lessons occasionally. After a few years, I upgraded my property to some better real estate and land quality, built a new barn and a home from scratch on a bigger piece of land. I woke up one morning and realized I had multiple barns, over 30 clients, and was buying/selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of horses every year. The drive to be the best rider, horse trainer, coach, and competitor hasn't faded with adulthood, it's just gotten more and more relentless.
In June, I got a scholarship from the Maryland International Equestrian Foundation to compete at their FEI event, Maryland International. There was no way in good conscience I could continue to straddle that line and say yes to the time commitment of that opportunity...but there was no way I could say "no." Taking this trip has already led to a number of other amazing opportunities for me as a professional rider and trainer - and they are just the beginning of what I want to accomplish.
While I've left the full-time "real job" life, I'm not stepping out completely. I'm still working on a few special projects and available on a contract basis to anyone needing marketing or research help in the AEC industry.
Seeing many around me in the equestrian industry sorely lacking in business education, support, and professional services, I've also decided to officially launch Stable Business (www.stablebusiness.net), as a way to fuse everything I've learned from both industries so far.
I can't wait to keep learning, growing, and pursuing my dedication to having the best equine facility in northwest Arkansas and helping other people succeed with their horses and businesses!
Adventures eventing as a semi-pro in the mid-south.