Off-Farm Income

We have talked about the different ways in which businesses get started on this show many, many times.  The most common answers are people being frustrated that something does not exist and then creating it, or people seeing a product or service and knowing that they could do it better.  While these encompass the vast majority of stimulus behind business development, there are other reasons that can be even more compelling.  In today's episode our guests, Karen and Nik Fitch, will share their story of the development of the Cuddle Cow Company and how unbelievable adversity inspired this business.

Nik and Karen have been married since 2017, and prior to meeting each other they were both already on a path to farming and raising cattle.  After they exchanged vows, they were able to obtain a farm together that was in CRP.  This gave them time to focus on fixing up facilities as well as the home, and they continued to build a herd of cattle that Karen had already started on her father's property.

Since she was very young, Karen had been dealing with a congenital condition called "AVM" or "arterial venous malformation" which was located on her upper spine.  This had required constant monitoring by physicians and some surgery to deal with, but the prognosis was good.  However, in 2019, quite by surprise, that all changed and Karen found herself with a significant spinal cord injury as a result of the "AVM".  This led to months in multiple different hospitals, her having a very elevated risk to Covid when that began and her not not having the use of her limbs and needing 24 hour care.

This is the type of situation that can and does lead so many people to lose hope or to blame the world for being unfair.  However, in Karen and Nik's case it led to inspiration.  After the spinal cord injury took place they were inspired to start a business that would raise money for spinal cord research at the same time as it functioned as a business for them.

Seeing a gentleman whose business model was donating a pair of shoes to somebody in need for every pair that he sold inspired them to try the same thing.  There were a few criteria for this business.  First, they wanted the business to somehow share their farm and love of agriculture with the world.  Second, they wanted the business to help further spinal cord research.  And last, they wanted to provide the comfort to their customers that had been brought to Karen when somebody sent her a blanket to snuggle with while she was in the hospital.  Cuddle Cow Company was born.

In today's episode hear the incredible story from Karen and Nik themselves, and find out all about how they decided to sell blankets, how they are able to enhance those blankets and how they have broadened their product line!

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1485-Nik_And_Karen_Fitch-COMM_10_54-090722.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MST

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