Across the United States, and many parts of the world, the days of the Stepford wife are long gone. The modern woman is exalted for her superhuman ability to juggle motherly duties and professional careers without breaking a sweat. Military wives are no different.
While many military spouses sacrifice blossoming careers to stand by their revered husbands, there’s a new breed of military spouses who are determined to do it all by turning to entrepreneurial endeavors. Military wives turned military entrepreneurs like myself, are highly educated and have great business skills that they are dying to put to use, however constant relocations often make it difficult for us to maintain a standard “9-5” job. Like numerous military spouses, I knew there was something better for me. A former Air Force maintenance officer, I , wasn’t going to give up easy. After failing to secure part-time work, I started a wildly successful home staging firm, designing homes for local military families and those outside of the base. Several years into my design firm’s lifetime, the call of duty sent my family packing to a new location.
I found my true calling after being introduced by a friend to a unique opportunity to build my own business as an Independent Skincare Consultant. Ignited by the possibilities ahead, I committed to give half of all my earnings to a nonprofit micro loan organization, making sure my donations were set aside for military spouses specifically.
As time progressed, I saw an even greater opportunity for my skincare consulting. I’d always had a soft spot for military spouses and with my newfound team of entrepreneurial military wives, I set out to educate millions of military spouses on the possibilities of entrepreneurship.
My fellow military entrepreneurs, Lauren Myers and Melissa Parent who have also experienced entrepreneurial success as Independent Skincare Consultants joined me in my cause to raise awareness about the options for military entrepreneurs.
Lauren Myers is a former Air Force pilot and currently serves in the Air Force Reserves. Throughout 12 years of marriage to a Naval officer, Lauren and her family have moved eight times making it impossible for Lauren to find and keep any kind of employment. Lauren was always on the lookout for a portable career and started with a fitness business, while simultaneously dedicating most of her time to a non-profit focused on the health and well-being of military families. These ventures were fulfilling, but still had her tied to someone else’s schedule. Finally, Lauren found the flexibility she wanted was an Independent Skincare Consultant. Now Lauren is her own boss. Moving to new locations helps her to grow her network and she’s helping other spouses to do the same. Her favorite part is creating the same supportive culture military spouses enjoy with each other and using that collaboration to help them grow successful businesses.
Yet another military spouse who has forged her own path, Melissa Parent, like Lauren also found success as an Independent Skincare Consultant, “As a military spouse who left a promising career to raise my family, I always felt torn between being the mom I wanted to be and fulfilling the urge I had to maintain some of my professional life. Until the idea of owning my own business was presented to me, I always thought it would be impossible to do both while our family had to pick up and move every three years. Starting over and being paid less than I was worth each time we moved did not make putting my children into daycare worth it just so I could have a career. Being an entrepreneur and working on my terms allows me to have the best of both worlds – I get to use my MBA, make my own business decisions and bring in an income for my family, all without sacrificing any time with my 4 young children as they grow up.”
Inspired by her success Melissa’s husband opened his own business, with her help of couse! Melissa’s additional income will allow her husband to retire in four years and not have to get another stressful 9-5 job. “He’s been watching my business grow and watching my time freedom and decided he wants the same for himself. We took my earnings and invested it into a hockey stick repair franchise that he runs out of our garage in his spare time. I’ve given him lots of help with marketing ideas and inspiration, and in four years we’ll both be entrepreneurs, working from home and watching our kids grow up together,” says Melissa.
Each of these women has seen great success, making six figure earnings while maintaining an extremely happy family life. All four of us will have received Lexus vehicles as of this summer as a reward for exceeding expectations in their businesses. With the rate of unemployment among military spouses three times higher than the national average, it is miraculous that we have made such a success of ourselves. The mission of this blog and website overall is to give other military spouses looking for a way to quench their entrepreneurial thirst the resources needed to start building their success today.