Erin Fenstermaker is a Dallas-based business consultant, specializing in the pet industry. She helps both service-based and hard goods pet companies in various capacities. She has 20+ years of experience working with small business owners, in operations, marketing and financial oversight roles.
Erin attributes her early life experience as a gymnast and diver as one of the cornerstones of her business success. "My heavy involvement in sports was instrumental in teaching me how to focus amongst chaos, have short and long term goals to guide my daily activities, and be disciplined to reach my goals," says Erin. "I also learned that the difference between winning and losing was often in the smallest details. These lessons from my youth are the same ones I use today when working with small business owners."
Erin also attributes her athletic background for teaching her some of the soft, interpersonal skills necessary to be an effective consultant. "I was fortunate enough to have met and trained with national champions and Olympians while a gymnast and diver," says Erin. "Frankly, it was hard to not be totally intimidated at first upon meeting these amazing athletes. But once I got to know each of them personally, I saw that they had many of the same challenges and life problems that we all have. Seeing how 'human' they were helped me realize that no matter what fantastic things any of us may have accomplished, we are all still imperfect beings in one way or the other--and that is absolutely okay. Our imperfections make us who we are; they make us relatable to each other. There is no bigger compliment than when my clients tell me how relatable I am to them, even when we may have come from completely different backgrounds."
Education, Training and Experience
Erin graduated Cum Laude from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1991, with two Bachelor of Arts degrees--one in Sociology and the other in Spanish.
She returned to Southern Methodist University to earn her Masters of Business Administration, and graduated in 2001--with concentrations in Marketing and Small Business.
Erin received her dog training certification from Animal Behavior College in 2008.
Prior to starting EF Consulting, Erin was COO for several small businesses. In those positions she gained valuable experience in product development, overseas contract manufacturing, intellectual property protection, new business development, strategic planning and financial reporting.
Erin learned to speak Spanish fluently after living in Panama and Puerto Rico as a child. This experience also led to a passion for traveling the world. In addition to having traveled around the world on a personal adventure for six months in 2004, Erin has also visited Mexico, Canada, Malaysia, China, Thailand and India for business purposes. The majority of these business travels were to visit contract manufacturers who were producing product for the companies who employed her.