Claudia Brefeld: Student and Entrepreneur
Submitted on May 23, 2019
Going into her sophomore year at Georgetown College, Claudia Brefeld shows more entrepreneurial spirit than most ever do. At sixteen years old, Claudia founded Cedar Hill Fiber Farm.
Fiber farms differ from other farms in that they don’t grow plants or vegetation or livestock for meat. No, fiber farms involve the raising of animals for their fleece, usually goats, sheep, llamas, and angora rabbits.
I traveled to Cedar Hill Fiber Farm to meet Claudia, and the animals of course, and talk to her about this venture. When I arrive at eight in the morning, she’s already been up and working for a couple of hours.
She introduces me to the goats first. They’re friendly, if not a little smelly. One in particular seems to like the attention he’s suddenly getting.
It’s clear from talking with her that she loves the animals first and foremost. “I always wanted to do some kind of business. I came up with a few business plans, but this was the first business I came up with that allowed me to work with the animals,” she says.
She brings out the angora rabbits next. If you haven’t seen an angora rabbit, they’re fluffier than anything you can imagine. You can get lost in its fur if you’re not careful. She then shows me a baby angora rabbit, born just three days ago. It squirms and yawns, cradled in her hands.
I look around the farm and see all these animals, all the work that must go in to doing this, and I wonder how she does it or whether she ever considered stopping.
“Not doing this never crossed my mind. Once I start something, I don’t stop.”
She does show an awful lot of tact, too, for someone so young.
“I am very careful about how many animals I have, and I consider the school work I have to do so that I can fit everything in and do everything the best I can. The great thing about the fiber farm is that, yes, it requires a lot of work, but it’s not constant work and attention. For instance, some of the animals don’t need to be shorn all the time, just a few times a year.”
Her education at Georgetown is vital to her growth as an entrepreneur and as a person. She joined the Equine Scholars Program right away as a freshman, and the program was a key reason she decided to attend Georgetown.
“It was definitely something that drew me to Georgetown originally. I looked at a few other schools when I was trying to decide where to go to school, but with Georgetown I saw a way to do a business degree while still being involved in Equine Scholars and learning more about that side of the business. I didn’t really see a way to do that at other schools.”
Throughout our conversation, one thing becomes obvious. She is driven. “I do plan to continue after school, hopefully expand,” she says.
Good luck stopping her.