We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Knox and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The short answer is that we never considered we might NOT succeed, truthfully. The long answer…
There are so many components. If I had to whittle it down to one factor, I’d have to say the Healthy Leather team. We’re well rounded and versatile in our strengths. We keep it open and honest; all of us feel free to pitch new ideas and to pipe up if a direction or decision doesn’t feel right. That’s something that has made staying on brand relatively easy for us as we grow and develop. We have an eclectic set of talents and strengths between us. Everyone has a lane and we stay in them when needed. But we’re learning from each other at the same time, becoming more well rounded entrepreneurs in view of that fact.
One of the Healthy Leather partners, Josh Knox resides in Utah. Josh’s ability to work numbers and run cost analysis has been invaluable. He helps us with the the more technical side of the sales and business. He’s got some major irons in the fire with his own businesses, and one of the major things he’s taught Jill and I is to have an agenda and come prepared. Make the time when you are working count.
Jill McConaughy, another Healthy Leather partner, just moved to Michigan. We worked very closely on design and production in the first few years, so she’s absolutely ready and able to start the Healthy Leather movement in the midwest. She’s gathered a list of possibles, and will start vending at events at the end of September. She continues to do the social media and website work as well as making our marketing materials and ads.
I’ve got a full schedule myself of vending opportunities, and have been working closely with some well known stores to secure shelf space in the other locations in their franchise. We’re always looking for new niches to explore. I’ll be traveling this winter with Healthy Leather to the winter horse show circuits of course, and we’re really looking forward to seeing new markets discover and love this product too.
And that’s the long answer. A well rounded team. Surround yourself with talented people. Trustworthy people. People who share your passion and inspire you.
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” ~Henry Ford
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work has always included animals in some way. I mention equestrian sports a lot because we use Healthy Leather more doing that, But I also train dogs professionally. Working with animals as a career can be a pretty tough road, and I don’t think many people who aren’t passionate about animals make it very long. I absolutely LOVE my career and what I’m doing and that makes it worth it. It’s all a labor of love.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Really depends on the season. The National Western Stock Show is a deep dive into the history of Denver. The stock dogs are always a favorite of mine. Watching them herd is astounding. I usually attend the Grand Prix Show Jumping competition and say hi to friends and family. A stop at Buckhorn Exchange can be fun any time of the year.
The Tattered Cover book store is the perfect stop when you want to relax, enjoy some coffee and a good book.
I might take them to see a concert at Red Rocks. I’m a volunteer with Friends of Red Rocks, and feel really in tune there. If you’re going that far, you might as well stop at The Morrison Inn.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We’ve stumbled into some astounding opportunities thanks to supporters and friends! Angela Otten shares so much advice and has such a skilled eye for design and marketing. She’s been a foundational part of our online presence, and helps in so many ways in impossible to list them all. She’s an incredible business person and an even better friend.