Her path was altered after accident
She had gone to a good school and gotten good grades, which set a path toward a good career, she said. Despite an enviable academic pedigree, she realized the ongoing surgeries and years of rehabilitation would not be conducive to a conventional career.
“Because of that, I became a very unreliable worker,” she said. “I went to an Ivy League school, got super good grades, had kind of a good thing ahead of me for work but that kind of changed my whole trajectory,” she said of the accident. “Because I had a brain injury and had to go to rehabilitation and had a series of surgeries over the course of a decade, it made me an unreliable worker for corporate America because I would have some bad weeks.”
Her presence as a panelist during the recent Hall of AIME event in Naples, Fla., powerfully illustrates how far she’s come since those dark days and weeks of recovery. She took time to chat with Mortgage Professional America after her presentation at the event staged by the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts that celebrated the group’s top producers.
A love of things equestrian lead to business
Having always loved all things equestrian, Thenhaus launched an equestrian goods store on various sites – Amazon, eBay and Facebook. “I was very successful in that space,” she recalled of the early part of the venture. But then it got complicated. As the business grew, it required more capital – both financial and human – to keep it going. And once seeing how well the equestrian niche was doing, she said Amazon bolstered its efforts in offering similar wares of its own.
“It became very apparent that it was very hard to scale because I had to have six figures worth of inventory,” she said. “It was very money intensive, plus the space to do it and hire enough people to support it. It was so intensive cost-wise. This was more in the beginning stages of Amazon and it became clear from their business model that they would figure out which items were a cash cow. When an item becomes a cash cow, they would sell it themselves. It became very clear they were going to shrink our margins. I don’t fault them at all; it’s genius on their part.”