Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rebecca Haddock, Owner of Equi-Tape, Inc Holding, located in Defuniak Springs, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business - Equi-Tape® - Equine elastic kinesiology tape and education. My customers - Any and all equestrians. Equine healthcare professionals looking to expand their knowledge and horse owners frustrated and tired of not being able to help their own horses.
Tell us about yourself
Chip, a 17-hand gelding backed off the trailer, looking around nervously. His owner Linda grabbed the lead rope tightly as she started towards me. I could already see the stiffness in Chip; both had anxiety written all over them. I smiled. "Hey Linda, this must be Chip," I could see many physical issues already. Another horse brought to me for behavior issues that had physical issues instead; so frustrating. I started evaluating Chip, sore back, stuck SI, tight hamstrings, reduced stride, and stiff head and neck…. I pulled out the phone and texted the list of practitioners I was going to need before I could even start training him. Aggravated, I called my business partner Amanda, "I wish I had the knowledge to do it; I could save so much time and money if I could fix this horse myself." She said, "I know Bec; maybe it's time to look into it." I sat on the bale of hay, contemplating; she was right, it was time to make a change.
A few months later, I saw a guy taping a horse with kinesiology tape; I was shocked, "Who in their right mind would put tape on a horse?" The horse had an open wound that wouldn't heal. Within a few days, I could see the difference, a week and the wound was closing; two weeks and the skin had closed!!! Wow, that is all I could say. I called him, "Can you teach me?" He replied immediately with a "YES!" For months I studied, taped, and interned with chiros, vets, and bodyworkers. I was exhausted and overwhelmed. So many separate pieces that needed to be put together to make something logical and systematic I knew there had to be a better way.
Finally, a breakthrough, I got in touch with the creator of the equine kinesiology taping modality, Dr. Gordon. I couldn't believe it; she had done it, created a modality that really worked. She was brilliant; I spent years working with her, learning every little thing I could pull out of her head. She challenged me to progress the modality, prove the results in clinical research, and figure out a way to bring this amazing modality to the world. So that's what I did. Equi-Tape® was the first to develop courses and the best equine kinesiology tape. We stood for three different boards for accreditation, researched the effects of the tape, and so much more… And the story continues to this day; the commitment I made to her, "Bring this amazing modality to the world, Bec!" is as important to me now as it was back then. We have taught thousands of professional and non-professionals the modality in over 15 countries, but the most amazing thing we do and will ever do is help horses!
I look back at this story often, so humbled and thankful for all the people that influenced the journey that led to changing horses' lives everywhere. I knew when I was very young all I wanted to do was be with horses. All the work, frustration, painful hands freezing while taping in the middle of winter, sweat rolling off me while filming in June at noon to get the right light in Florida, sleepless nights, and no days off for years were worth it! I am and will forever be obsessed with helping people help horses.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I guess this could go a couple of different ways. We are still here, so that's a pretty big accomplishment. Then there is the fact that I have more accreditations than anyone in my field, making me the world's expert in equine kinesiology taping. But in my heart, my biggest accomplishment in the amount of horses alive, happy, and healthy that would have been euthanized, written off as useless, or forced to work in pain is now in the hundreds of thousands.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Carrying the burden that if I don't succeed, then all the people that work for me can't provide for themselves. The people who depend on my company to provide them with a tool that greatly impacts their business and ability to provide for their families. And the horses that depend on the tape would all suffer. Some days this burden can be overwhelming.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If you don't have faith in a higher power, you better get some. For me, it is in God.
- You must do something you are extremely passionate about, it can not be about the money or you will fatigue and burn out. When you are exhausted it is the passion that will help you through.
- Recognize your weaknesses right away and find people that are strong where you are weak. Weakness will only hurt you if you are too proud to acknowledge it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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