Suzanne Vlietstra

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

WHAT GOT HER HERE: Childhood ambition. Growing up as a self-proclaimed “horse girl,” Vlietstra had a number of goals in mind for her future. “I wanted a horse-related business, a supply-type business,” she says. “And I wanted to have a catalog. Because when I was a little kid, I remember seeing some horse catalogs. And to me, they were like the Sears Wish Book.” A teen sensation of sorts, Vlietstra incorporated her company in 1987, while still in high school. She mailed the first catalogs in 1991. Today, Hobby Horse sells products through its catalog and Web site as well as through 130

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