By Naya Seth

Photos courtesy of Allie Koss

Allie Koss, a high school junior and teen entrepreneur, founded a business called Happy’s Horse Treats. Named after her horse, Happy, who she got when she was 14, Allie started this business about three years ago, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her friends, after trying her first batch of horse treats, encouraged her to start a business. Although it was something way outside her comfort zone, Allie decided to give it a shot. Baking is one of her passions, and she also loves horses, so selling horse treats was the perfect way to combine both interests. She bakes her cookies in a separate kitchen and then brings them home to frost before shipping them out to customers. Now, her business has grown significantly. She has five different retail locations across Arizona, including Black Mountain Feed in Cave Creek and Tack Solutions in Phoenix, and she also ships nationwide.

The primary way Allie promotes her company is through social media and at horse shows. She manages an Instagram and Facebook account for Happy’s Horse Treats. To order treats, customers can reach out to her through social media or her email at [email protected]. She also sells cookies at horse shows.

Another major lesson Allie has learned through her entrepreneurial experience is networking. She has met many new people through her business, and she believes this skill will benefit her in the future. Interacting with others and meeting new people has become one of her favorite aspects of the business. At one show in Scottsdale, she had to step out of her comfort zone to promote her business, which she found to be a rewarding experience. A significant challenge she faces is managing her time. It’s difficult to balance a business, which takes about 40-50 hours of her time each month, with school, especially since her school offers an advanced curriculum. Allie is already taking college courses, but she manages to keep everything on track with her mom’s help and by planning her week well in advance. Allie understands that sometimes sacrifices, like skipping an extra activity she might want to do, are necessary to maintain this balance. She plans to continue her business during her senior year and possibly through college, although her long-term goals don’t necessarily lie within the horse-treat industry. In the future, she hopes to become a veterinarian, helping wildlife whenever possible.

To other young entrepreneurs, Allie’s advice is to take that first leap and start a business. She has gained invaluable life skills and experiences from her company. Despite the obstacles, she believes no challenge is too great to overcome.

Allie is also a competitive hunter-jumper horseback rider who frequently attends shows across Arizona. She has an older brother and three dogs named Lucy, Jewel, and Jack. A student at a school in Paradise Valley, Allie is now 16 years old. Her favorite color is teal, and she loves baking cupcakes.

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