By: NetWork Kansas
Ivy Gatton competed in the 2017-2018 YEC Series and won first place in her local competition with her business, Oh Rats! She went on to compete in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge State Championship in April 2018. Below she talks about how this program has influenced her as an entrepreneur.
Q: Describe your business and how it's grown since participating in the YEC Series.
A: "Oh Rats is a rat production and marketing business, specializing in the production and exportation of rats. This is an easy, relatively inexpensive and versatile product for diversified needs. Our product is intellectually designed with many corporations as well as community members in mind. We want to ensure that all owners of carnivorous or omnivorous animals are able to afford and have access to healthy feeder rats for their animals. We are capable of shipping rats nationwide in conjunction with delivering them locally. Live rats are strictly local pickup only.
This business has drastically changed since my participation in the YEC Series. The YEC Series made me look at every aspect of my business and break my financials down. In breaking down my financials and establishing relationships, I bettered myself as well as my business. The business has since developed a higher customer base, as well as found cheaper, more economical ways to save money. This further allows cheaper prices for the customer as well as the business standpoint. I have incorporated local recycling of materials into my operation, allowing relatively inexpensive shipping as well as less input price over time, compared to my leading competitors. I have also incorporated other feeder rodents, such as mice, as well as other feeder animals such as dubia roaches and mealworms."
Q: What were your key takeaways from participating?
A: "My key takeaway was being able to break down every aspect of my business and receiving feedback. In breaking down every aspect of my business, I also figured out what my weaknesses were and how to correct them. Since the YEC event, my business has incorporated recycling, more saving opportunities, and many other aspects that help the environment. In saving money and recycling, it also makes my product and shipping cheaper compared to my leading competition."
Q: What are your plans to grow your business in the future?
A: "I plan to be able to fit the needs of all customers. I am the only local producer of dumbo, hairless, and double rex rats. In further altering my genetics I will be able to better fit the needs of the customers, as well as providing an inexpensive, healthy product to the world through my business. I plan to grow my business to fit all customer need/wants, as well as being able to express more genetics. I also want to be able to help the community and help with natural disasters by donation of feeder rodents for wildlife. My business will grow as the need arises and my customer base grows."
You can view the Oh Rats! website here.