Featured Equine business of the month
Patti Cianflone told me a confession...She is an accidental barn owner! Patti and her husband Steve never really dreamed of entering into the horse boarding business but it happened in a most unexpected way. Patti had many years of experience owning horses when she was younger and spent much of her time riding as a youth. Becoming an equine business owner and having a career in the horse industry was not in her plans but as she told me, God had other plans for her and her family.
Pro Barn Management is excited to announce that the January equine business of the month is True West Campground, Stables and Mercantile in Jamestown Tennessee. This equine business is owned and run by Shawn and Donna Martin and their daughter Brittany. Donna and her husband took a huge leap of faith back in 2011 when they decided to buy the business and become the new owners of an equine campground and stables.
It was Shawn's dream to own a campground and as a family they decided to jump right in. Until they started looking for an equine campground in 2010, they had not heard of many. The Martin's lived in New Hampshire and owned two horses of their own. When they found True West Campground, they were thrilled to say the least. They could combine their love of camping and horses and hopefully if all went well make a go of it as a business and a living.
Shawn and Donna bought True West in 2011, sold their home in NH, left their jobs and moved to Tennessee. Their daughter was going to college and temporarily dropped out to make the move with them. A new journey had just begun for the Martin family.
Struggles early on
There were many struggles in the beginning - the campground had a bad reputation and they didn't know it until after they bought it. There daughter stayed on and worked at the campground for part-time pay...when they could pay her. Donna had to get another full time job in order to support both the business and the family. Shawn's main focus was the campground along with their daughter brittany. There was a ton of work that needed to be done to get the campground in working order. It had been left in poor condition when the Martins bought it. It took three years to build up the business and now they have just finished their 6th season and have been very successful in growing the business. They were actually able to afford their first full-time employee last April (their daughter Brittany) and the business is finally supporting itself.
Donna still has a full-time job on top of running the campground and at times it can be quite stressful juggling both and deciding where the priorities need to be. They are a family owned and family run business that has come with a ton of sacrifice to get it up and going. They have learned that running an equine business goes well beyond the day-t0-day operations and getting your hands dirty. It took time but they learned and developed policies and precedures so that they are running the business efficiently and with consistency. Those two ideas alone have helped them become the premier campground in their area.
When I talked to Donna and she shared the struggles of running an equine business, she was very open with me and shared that at times it did cause some stress on their marriage. But at the end of the day, their marriage and family comes first and they are a true success story. The Martins have just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and when asked if they would do it again if givin the chance?...her answer was...yes they would in a heartbeat!!
Making their business stand out
There is a lot of competition in their area so in order to be successful they had to make their business stand out. They did this by becoming memebers of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds and engaging in educational opportunities. This year they won the Small Park of the Year award (for campgrounds up to 150 sites) from the ARVC. Equine campgrounds are actually a new commodity and this campground caters to horses and their owners. Their campground has two barns and holds 67 horse stalls and they also have a mercantile store where you can purchase hay, bedding and any other horse related items you might need plus it comes fully stocked for the needs of the campers. The Martins like to say that their hospitality is top notch, but their HORSEpitality can't be beat!!
If you would like to read more about this incredible horse and camping facility, check out the links below.
True West Campground, Stables and Mercantile
3341 Leatherwood Ford Road
Jamestown TN, 38556
They are also on Horse Trail Directory!
and you can find them on Facebook
Pro Barn Management is still looking for stories! We would love to share about your equine business!
Pro Barn Management has a new addition coming to its website. Starting in January 2017 we are going to feature one story a month about someone and their equine business. This is where you come in. Send me your story. Tell me about your business and how you got started. Tell us about your family and your life running your horse business. Share your struggles and successes and even what your plans are for the future. Share about one or two things that has helped you grow as a business owner and equine professional. Include a link to your website and where you live. We would love to hear from you no matter where you live in the world!
Amazing stories are starting to come in from people everywhere and each one is truly inspiring but we could still use a few more to fill each month for 2017.
Please also include two or three pictures of you and your business. The story that we choose for each month will be featured on a special page on the Pro Barn Management website. As a special gift of appreciation to each person that has been chosen, I will send you a signed book of your choice from my published books.
I believe it is so important to build each other up and celebrate the hard work and dedication that it takes to work in the horse industry.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will contact you if your story has been chosen.
I am looking forward to reading about you and your horse business!
Tell Your Story
Email Sheri Tell me about your business and how you got started. Each month a new equine business will be featured. If your story is chosen, you will receive a choice of my books (signed) as a special gift of appreciation. I look forward to reading about your equine business! Please Include pictures, your contact info and website.