I started Smart Foal after my Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
As kids we had ponies. You know the kind – viscous, people hating, child murdering, cute, adorable ponies. We never really got along. It felt like I fell off at least as often as I got on. One time my pony wasn’t trying to murder me, but I fell off anyway. I was learning to canter. We needed to go around a corner. The pony went one way, I went a different way. I was eating dirt. After several years of what felt like professional falling off practise I gave horse riding away. I love giving them scratches and cuddles, but riding isn’t my thing.
While at school I became fascinated with genetics and forensic science (this was LONG before CSI). I put myself through university studying, what I thought, would lead me to a career in forensics. My degree had no electives, so I had to do a bunch of courses that I never would have chosen in a million years, plus the ones I wanted to do (forensic science, genetics). As it turns out – the subjects I had no interest in were fantastic and I still use that knowledge today. Forensics and genetics on the other hand were a big snore!
After graduating I got a job in a research and, at the same time, attended electronics at TAFE at night. I always had a keen interest in electronics (just ask my boarding school – that’s a whole other story) so I thought I would try to learn a bit more. Fortunately that year the TAFE was running the first year of a 2 year electronics diploma designed for electricians to upgrade their skills. I wasn’t an electrician but they let me do the agricultural subjects as part of a Statement of Attainment.
After several months of work/TAFE I realised that even the most boring parts of electronics are more interesting than the work I was doing. By the end of the end of the year I decided to move to Canberra to study electronics full time.
I had jobs soldering/assembling printed circuit boards from scratch, testing/repair assemblies for military suppliers, designing/fault finding equipment for elite sports and within 3 years of moving to Canberra, started a consultancy company with my partner (who is also an engineer).
The electronics consultancy company we started was hard work. We didn’t know how to value our time and we mostly did it for fun. Needless to say we did it all wrong! After a few years of that we threw in the towel.
After that experience I was extremely reluctant to go into business again. So I spent a few years in academia discovering what it’s like to not have deadlines. I did a bit of laboratory demonstration for first year engineering students (and sighed at the state of students these days); wrote a thesis, drank a lot of tea and took up paragliding. I am not sure what I was thinking. I must be the most accident prone person I know. Naturally, I dislocated my knee cap while attempting to launch and that took me out of work/life for MONTHS. I can tell you from experience, no injury I ever had from a horse hurt as much as flying/landing with a dislocated knee cap.
Then mum was diagnosed with cancer. I thought I could help. I thought I could bring my love of electronics to horses and foaling down. It took a bit of effort to talk myself into starting another business. But sometimes things have a way of working themselves out, whether you like it or not.
And if you have made it this far, well done! Here is a 15% discount code for you to use on any order value: sneaky15. It’s only for people who took the time to read this whole story so we know who the true Smart Foal fans are! Valid until the 19th of February 2020. Perseverance pays. Happy shopping and best wishes for a prosperous 2020!