December 20, 2014

New Businesses in Florida

What were these small businesses thinking?

Amid one of the nation's worst recessions, these entrepreneurs forged ahead.

Mike Vogel | 1/30/2012

Dimitri Khoury
Self-employed farrier, Mims (Brevard County)
Startup costs: "Minimal." All he needed was a small trailer, specialized tools and horseshoes.

Galloping Ahead

Dimitri Khoury
[Photo: Dominic Agostini]
When Dimitri Khoury, 49, was laid off from his job at Kennedy Space Center in June 2010 after 23 years working on the space shuttle's exterior insulation system, he turned an avocation into a vocation. Khoury, who lives on 10 acres in Mims with a few horses and a horse arena, had gotten involved with horses in the 1980s through his girlfriend (now his wife), who owned and rode horses. To keep costs down, he learned to trim and put shoes on his horses and friends' horses. Since his shuttle job ended, Khoury has worked as a farrier — a specialist in equine hoof care and shoeing horses. His fees, he says, are based in part on a horse's demeanor. "Some are very mean and take a little more effort. Some are calm and gentle and very easy," says Khoury, who charges $20 to $30 for trimming hooves, $55 to $65 for shoes in the front and $80 or more for shoeing all four hooves. He's busy enough that he's had to turn down some requests for services — and he's happy in his new work. "I've always liked working outside and knew that was the direction at this stage of life I wanted to go. I only wish I'd done it many years earlier."

Tags: Florida Small Business

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