Military life has all sorts of challenges attached to it. From the crazy deployments and separations for training and what not to just the various problems that come along with the frequent moves. We learn real quick that we need to be flexible in this life and learn how to adapt and overcome. It is the challenges of military life that has made my family look at what we want and how can we make things better. Being a single income family one of the ways of making things better is trying to do what I could to ease our financial stress. I don’t know where some people get the idea but as a military family we aren’t swimming in money. We have a tight budget we follow. So I would set out on the job front searching for jobs that would work with my husband’s schedule and I could work around our special needs son’s needs. Over the years I have applied for countless jobs at various duty stations without much luck. I even tried my hand at selling Tupperware and Pampered Chef products at one point. Making a little bit of money helped me feel like I was contributing to our family.
It has been 10 years since I last sold Tupperware and a lot has changed in our life. The roads we have gone on have varied. I went back to school, I have volunteered, became a military family and veterans advocate, ran a small at home bakery business and helped my husband run his tactical and firearms business. That’s right we found the road to becoming entrepreneurs, a military spouse and veteran entrepreneur if you want to be specific. It wasn’t always easy and it was a constant learning process but we made it work.
My business was small but being a cottage food business that was ok since I worked out of my house. Until I was ready to open a brick and mortar store I was fine and I had no plans of doing that while living in El Paso. My husband’s business was run out of our home also which surprises many people. We mainly sold guns, out of our house after all. We had the proper licensing to do so as well as training from the ATF, my husband and I both were federal firearms licensee’s or FFL’s. People would order guns through us or would buy their gun and we would do the transfer. Basically that entailed us receiving the merchandise and properly logging it. Then when the customer would come to pick it up we would call NICS for the background check before we could transfer it to them. I would handle back of the house stuff such as social media, shipping and receiving, product photos and other related issues. While my husband was more so the face of the company and did probably 95% of all of the transfers in addition to ordering merchandise, keeping the books and paying our quarterly taxes and more.
Having our own businesses not only allowed us to be our own bosses but it gave our family the flexibility we needed. It’s not easy finding a job as military spouse. A problem I have dealt with each time we PCS to a new location. When you add in your families dynamics it can be even harder. Having our businesses gave us the best of everything. We could do something that we loved, in markets where there was a need and in the end make a profit that we could in turn invest back in our company in addition to helping relieve some of the financial stress that are family had. It felt good for me to be able to financially contribute to our family while still being able to be present for them if something would happen.
When we PCS’ed to Fort Bragg my husband did close down shop even though he was successful in El Paso. Heck I still get calls for him and we moved away 2 years ago. From running his business in El Paso he learned that he wanted something more, something more on the lines of a brick and mortar shop and right now he is not ready to take that step. That doesn’t stop him from pointing out different buildings that are for rent. As for myself, the cottage food laws are stricter in North Carolina so there is no more selling baked goods out of my home. Instead I took my brand and found a new road, I jumped in with both feet into the blogging world. It has taken time and a lot of hard work but I am still able to financially contribute to my family.
I can safely say that the entrepreneur bug has definitely bitten our family. It is a road I am glad that we took. My husband and I both have ideas floating around in our heads for other business ventures. Only time will tell what we will do next and what road we will go down next. Who knows maybe we will open a cupcake and gun shop…hmmm that sounds like it could be interesting.
Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant(GM founder) were the entrepreneurs behind Chevrolet and their company has come a long way since it was first formed in 1911. Did you know that GM employs nearly 5,000 veterans and has close to 45,000 current retirees who have served in the military. To help expand this effort, GM Service Technical College is working on a number of initiatives that encourage the hiring of returning veterans. With help from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program, GM is providing dealerships with free access to over 400 Hiring Our Heroes job fairs that connect them to veteran applicants with a diverse array of skills. The Hiring Our Heroes initiative has helped more than 200,000 returning military service members and their spouses find training, career counseling and employment opportunities.
Check out how Chevy is giving back to military families for Military Appreciation Month HERE
Don’t forget to join to join @nextgenmilso and @armywives101 on Twitter on May 27,2015 at 9:00PM for an extra special Military Appreciation Month Twitter Party. It will be a lot of fun plus there will be awesome prizes! Be sure to check it out!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chevrolet via MSB New Media. The opinions and text are all mine.