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WikSmart Coolers: One Woman’s Journey into Invention and Business by Misty Caston

A popular dream is to start your own business and/or invent something. Misty Caston of Wiksmart Coolers did both.  She realized that properly cooling a horse quickly after riding in the winter can be a challenge, especially in Minnesota. So I asked her to share her story as our “Guest Blogger.”

A Horsewoman’s Journey into Invention and Business

Have you ever had an idea that made you say, “Hey, I should invent this?” Well, I did; and I did! Here is the story of how the WikSmart™ Cooler came to be a real thing and not just an idea. And of the surprising lesson I learned along the way.

I have been training horses and teaching lessons in Minnesota for almost 10 years now. One of my least favorite things became waiting around in the freezing cold for the last horse I rode to dry. At one point, I even brought a hair dryer out to the barn to try to speed things up. Of course I’ve tried just about every cooler out there, but the problem was always the same. The horse would never be completely dry. Regardless of what brand of cooler I used, or the material it was made from, two parts of the horse’s body that get the most sweaty the belly and the chest would always still be wet. I would then have to spend more time and effort toweling off these areas after I’d already waited forever for the rest of the horse to dry. All of this while it’s freezing cold outside!

In February 2012, I got out one of my stuffed horses and cut up some old towels and set out to make a prototype of a cooler that would cover these important areas that traditional coolers miss. After the stuffed pony, my real horse kindly stood tied for hours on different occasions with my cutting up thrift store sheets and pinning them on him in different ways. A friend with sewing skills helped me and these sheets became a home sewn, Polar fleece prototype of the WikSmart™ Cooler (patent pending).

This journey began in 2012 as an idea in my head. WikSmart™ Coolers went into production in 2013 and since then I have sold about 350 units. I started out in 2013 selling small numbers to friends, local tack shops, and online but have recently moved to a wholesale model as well. In 2014, HorseLoverz.com started carrying them and largely due to that, I sold out in less than a month and had to place an extra order with my manufacturer. In the last month I have been picking up however many units they can make once a week and usually before I go back the next week, they are gone. I can’t give details here but WikSmart™ Coolers may be carried by another large online tack store in 2015. Keep your eyes peeled!

Things have gone better than expected and it makes me very happy that people not only understand my idea, but rave about it once they try it. It also makes me happy that horses are getting dry all over, faster, and thereby not at as high of a risk of getting sick. One of these days, I’m hoping this business will allow me a lifestyle that gives me more time for my horses. Besides a desire to pursue a dream, that’s what this whole thing has been about! Misty Caston CEO WikSmart Coolers www.wiksmart.com 612-423-9774 wiksmartcoolers@gmail.com

Cowgirl Logic:

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the titanic.” Dave Berry

Celebrate Your Horse!

 

Joyce Ferreiro

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