By Cassy Fiano-Chesser
Mandarin preteen Grace Myers has a love for adrenaline and animals, and she’s combined both into a career that has made a big name for her in the Mandarin area. Myers started a career in barrel racing, but needed more money — so she started another career selling eggs, which she runs entirely by herself. On top of that, she’s also an avid athlete, making her one busy 12-year-old.
1. Tell me about yourself.
I started riding horses when I was four. People would tell me I wasn’t good enough, and I proved them wrong. I would go out there, and I did what I was supposed to do, and I worked hard. I didn’t have enough money to carry on and keep riding, because I would lose money paying the entry fees, and to get horse feed, so my dad and I came up with a plan to sell eggs. So we got our chickens, and we started with eight. Then we advanced to 16, then to 36, and now we have 42. We started delivering in Mandarin to neighbors in subdivisions all over. I get $5 a dozen, and I use that money that I earn for things that are necessary in barrel racing, like feed, hay, saddles, bridles, everything that the horse needs. I go to school at San Juan Del Rio, and I’ve been there since first grade, and I’m in sixth grade now.
2. How did you get started selling eggs?
We had a farm that my grandma lives on a mile away from our house, and we figured that if I needed more money, we should start a cute little business. Most people, when they go to the store, they’re buying these chemical eggs, there are things that aren’t natural, and chickens aren’t free range, don’t get to eat the kinds of food that they should. So we figured, let’s start our own egg business. We let them free range every day, and they eat worms. After that, we realize it was a great idea. It helped me pay entry fees to barrel racing, and it helped my career a lot.
3. And you handle the business all by yourself?
I have a whole egg book, and I keep a catalogue — every time we deliver to people, every time I buy something. And at the end of each month, I add up how much it costs, and everything I bought that month, including horse feed and chicken feed, and other necessities. And I also add up how much money I earned, and I subtract it to see how much I get at the end of the month. It helps my career, because I can buy things like shoes for the horses, so when they go on the concrete, it doesn’t ruin their feet and helps them barrel race. I can buy more products, like brushes, shampoo and conditioner, and leather cleaner for my saddles — everything I need. It’s honestly really easy. You just have to be very organized. You have to know what costs more, what costs less, and what would benefit your future.
4. Why do you love barrel racing?
I love being able to know that I can control these wild animals. I’ve been able to tame them all by myself. I have such a bond with a big animal, and knowing that nothing can come between us. It’s like, everyone always says that they’re scared, because there’s no “off” button on a horse. But it doesn’t scare me. They just want to obey you.
5. What other hobbies do you have?
I play flag football, which I really enjoy. I love running; I’m really tall, and I can run really fast. That’s always been something me and my dad enjoy together, so I’m on a team now. I also like playing volleyball, which I don’t get to play as much because barrel racing and football get in the way, but I love to go in the backyard and try to hit the ball with my friends.
Photo courtesy Grace Meyers