A love of horses and their health and the memory of a daughter who shared her mother's passion have been the inspiration behind Illawarra Women In Business's Best New Business Award winner for 2020.
Poseidon Equine has operated for less than two years and filled a gap in the industry. Narelle Hawken of Access Law Group said the judges noted how the journey for the new business started when Linda Goldspink-Lord decided to leave a high powered job that included sitting on various ministerial committees and working with the media.
She had also developed training for health professionals and lectured at the University of Wollongong before suffering a serious injury herself and the tragic loss of her daughter at a time when life was already difficult.
But Mrs Goldspink-Lord found the inner strength to push through and pursue a passion close to her heart. In the process she had empowered many others around her.
The judges said what made the business stand out was the exciting potential shown in its infancy which led to Poseidon Equine growing so fast it achieved its five year goal in less than two years. Within 18 months it created 24 full time equivalent jobs in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands.
Poseidon Equine is also moving into the export market with the distribution of its horse gut supplement products to six countries and satellite offices about to open.
When COVID-19 hit the business quickly diversified and effectively introduced a digital marketing strategy that included a new website and greater social media presence. eBooks were created and the product range saw 300 per cent growth.
The judges were impressed with Poseidon Equine's ability to diversity its business strategy with every challenge that came its way.
Mrs Goldspink-Lord said she was was so proud of her team and to be standing in front of the business community accepting the IWIB New Business Award. And knew her late daughter Molly would be proud of her mum as well.
"Two years ago I had no commercial experience and when my husband and I started Poseidon Equine I had a lot to learn," she said.
"It has been a huge learning opportunity. There have been a lot of challenges in my life. Poseidon Equine is very much a heartfelt journey for me. It has helped me on my journey of healing. My daughter Molly loved her horses and I love my horses".
Mrs Goldspink-Lord has combined that passion for horses with her background in education and knowledge about gut health to establish a successful business. And she loves being able to work with and share the journey with her family.
"As I get older I realise that it is okay to take risks and to make mistakes. And I really thrive on the fact that the world is an opportunity".
Challenges presented by COVID-19 were significant but Ms Goldspink-Lord said they found a way to keep the business growing by embracing social media. "It has been a whole new area for me to learn about".
Mrs Goldspink-Lord said she loved being able to help horses. She said many suffer pain because of their gut health.
"We work closely with owners. Our business is very committed to education and it is also about providing evidenced based products so that our horses can run faster and be happier".
Mrs Goldspink-Lord said the business would not have been so successful without a great team of people who shared her vision and her passion.
"They work so hard and we are privileged to have a business that has amazing commercial opportunities. We are leaving an amazing legacy by changing the way people feed and manage their horses. And horses are doing so much better because of the work we are doing. The future is exciting. This is a whole new world and I am loving every journey and I know my daughter Molly would be so proud of me".
Mrs Goldspink-Lord thanked IWIB for pushing ahead with the awards despite the challenges of COVID-19.
She said all IWIB's support, mentoring and inspiration provided opportunities for so many businesswomen to succeed.
"I am loving the connections I am making," she said.
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