Business is Booming for Horn '22 and CoppersCookiesCo
Last spring, Zoey Horn ’22 participated in Ms. Barksdale’s Global Entrepreneurism class at the same time she welcomed a new horse, Copper, to her family. It didn’t take long before she found a natural connection between what she witnessed with Copper and what she learned in class.
“Copper joined our family in late March, and as with any horse I wanted to reward him with treats that he loved,” recalled Horn. “Copper is a very picky eater though and would not eat the fancy horse treats with icing and toppings. I realized I was spending way too much money on treats that he wouldn’t even eat, so I created CoppersCookiesCo. These are homemade treats with no artificial colorings or flavorings, just five simple ingredients that humans can eat, too.”
As she perfected the original recipe, Horn made sure to let Copper taste-test her creations. She also invested in opening an Etsy shop, CoppersCookiesCo, as an online storefront. Throughout the summer, Horn found her orders increasing and her business growing. Today Horn sells training treats as well as cookies with watermelon and peppermint flavors, in heart and horseshoe shapes, and even a sampler box.
"I am enormously proud of Zoey and all the students in my Global Entrepreneurship class," said Barksdale. "CoppersCookiesCo is a great example of the kind of success that can come from seeing a need in your own life and acting on it for yourself and others. I'm looking forward to watching this and other student businesses continue to grow.”
Barksdale, who leads the Chatham Hall Entrepreneur Program, recognizes entrepreneurship as a valuable economic development strategy and has built the Global Entrepreneurism course around three essential pillars, or areas of focus, for idea incubation. The pillars serve as building blocks, ensuring students have a unique hands-on learning opportunity to create value in their own school, local community, and the wider world. In each of these experiential locations, students test, launch, and scale entrepreneur ventures that can be implemented for the greater good of each community's future. Horn served on the vision committee that helped shape the first entrepreneurship class of the program.
“Zoey has the risk tolerance and leadership skills of a great entrepreneur and she has learned to value the process of continuous improvement a start-up business requires,” noted Barksdale. "I have loved seeing the subtle changes Zoey’s business has undergone and her efforts to improve her product’s delivery."
For Horn, reading positive reviews from customers previously unknown to her is always a motivational boost. In addition to growing her customer base, Horn hopes that this year she’ll be able to grow her connections with other small businesses in the equine world. She also plans to expand into merchandise for her brand in the near future and will continue her studies with Ms. Barksdale in the advanced entrepreneurism course this fall. A three-year member of the Chatham Hall Riding team and a member of the IEA team, Horn also looks forward to returning to the sport and having Copper join her on campus for the 2020–2021 school year.
“Running a business is hard and it takes lots of hard work,” she said. “But I wouldn't trade the experiences I’ve had and the things I have learned through this process for anything.”