Inlander.com - Full Article
By Carrie Scozzaro
April 8 2020
hat do Arabian horses, women veterans, ceramics and the food industry have in common? They're all things Jill Ann Smith has built businesses around.
"I've always been a niche marketer," says Smith, who lives in the Little Spokane River area in an older home with a newer shop surrounded by funky outdoor sculptures and a garden. From the road, a unique metal fence reads like a biography of Smith's life with cutouts of things like leaves and horses.
Cutouts of Air Force jets relate to her husband, Doug, whom she met while on the westside, where she grew up and earned her art degree at the University of Puget Sound. Fairchild Air Force base brought the couple to Spokane.
Smith likes to tell the story about a trip to Serbia she and her husband took to secure contracts for EarthGoods, one of many ventures she has run or created in her 50 years as a self-styled entrepreneur.
"In Serbia," explains Smith, "business is done over drinking." Only one person spoke English and none had ever dealt with an American nor a woman. Through hand gestures and smiles, they persisted, with Smith pointing to her husband as the "designated drinker," so as not to offend their hosts.
"My husband drank the Serbs under the table," says Smith, laughing.
Her husband also gave Smith her first horse, opening the floodgates, she calls it. Although she never rode a real one as a child — she made do with stick ponies and stories of the Black Stallion — Smith was especially enamored of Arabians...
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