UO freshman owns business prior to starting pre-business major
Stephanie Scott is an 18-year-old pre-business freshman at the UO, but she started her business career, in Corunna, Michigan long before starting college. Scott has been professionally showing her dogs at competitions since she was four years old.
Scott’s practice with training and showing dogs made her realize how much she loved teaching and being around dogs. At 12 years old, she turned the years of training her own dogs into a service for other people who weren’t able to train their dogs on their own.
“I never really knew what I wanted to go into, I just knew that I really love dogs, and they’re not going to go away anytime soon,” said Scott.
One day Scott came across a video about how unhealthy processed dog treats are. Through her own research and surveys after watching the video, Scott found that many times people don’t even look at the ingredients on the back of the treat bag.
One Green Planet’s research confirmed her suspicions. They’re an organization that functions as an “independent publishing platform focused on sustainable food, animal welfare issues, environmental protection and cruelty-free/green living,” according to their website.
One Green Planet did research on processed dog treats and found that many treats contain cancer-causing chemicals, often disguised as “natural flavors.” These chemicals are commonly used as food additives, according to the organization.
Scott decided to start making her own dog treats that are 100 percent natural, organic and hand-made. “As a business owner, I wanted to be straight-forward with people about how the treats they feed their dogs are harmful,” said Scott.
The idea of an actual business came to Scott while she was “messing around” with business card designs online. Scott had the layout, information and logo for the cards but hadn’t come up with a name yet.
That’s when she looked at the logo and saw what looked to be a heart-shaped cut out of the dog. “I immediately thought ‘Love on a Leash,’ that’s so cute,” said Scott. She said she didn’t realize until later that it was supposed to look like a dog tag, but she stuck with the name anyways. This was the beginning of Scott’s dog sitting, training and treat business.
Over the years, Scott has really been focused on the treat aspect of the business. In Michigan, she sold her treats at dog shows to thousands of customers. “At all the dog shows that I would go to, I would have a display out so people could buy them there,” said Scott. The operation was solely run by Scott without employees or volunteers.
Moving to Oregon means she must build her customer base from the bottom again, according to Scott. However, right now Scott is focused on her education. She is a pre-business major and is currently taking Business 101.
Already owning a business and going into a business class means that most of the time she recognizes the concepts that the professor is talking about, but she’s always eager to understand more about a subject, Scott explained. “In business, you’re always learning something new,” said Scott. “There’s never something you know everything about.”
There are different focuses within the Business major, and Scott is particularly interested in two of them: entrepreneurship and management. She wants to open a store here in Oregon in the next year, which is why she’s leaning more towards the management side of business, according to Scott.
Her business has been successful so far because of her positive mindset and realizing how important it is to not let the couple people that disagree with you bring you down, Scott explained. “If you’re a business owner, you have to work through challenges or you’re not going to be successful,” said Scott.
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