Spouses build community support with businesses
August 21, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Aug. 21, 2013) -- Because the military Family lifestyle requires frequent moves across the country -- or the world, some spouses have found alternative ways to build an income through starting their own business.
"Having been prior service and now an Army wife, I know just how unpredictable life in the military can be," said Lucy Hellein, military spouse and an organizer for the monthly Market Monday. "It is sometimes hard for a military spouse to find a full-time job that is flexible enough to fit in with kids and school, our husbands work schedule -- all while keeping things at home running smoothly."
Market Monday is an event where military spouses who own businesses come together to offer goods and services to the community. It also helps bring together spouses, Hellein said. The event allows for military spouses to network and socialize with others who have similar lifestyles.
"Owning your own business means you can take your job anywhere you go," said Cari Morgan, a military spouse and independent senior director with Thirty-One Gifts. "It gives you the opportunity to put Family first, work on your own schedule and helps you meet people in your new environment as you introduce your business to the community."
Although she signed up to be a consultant with the business four years ago in order to receive discounts, Morgan said, she also found the advantage to becoming a consultant with a business she can take with her.
"I had stumbled upon a business that could not only contribute to my Family's income, but allowed me to have time out of the house, offer incredible products and share the opportunity with other women," she said.
Hellein is a licensed massage therapist as well as the owner of a business selling handmade items, including crotchet hats for children. Hellein began going to massage therapy school while at Fort Bliss, Texas in 2006. Her husband was deployed for 15 months, she said.
"Internet and communication were terrible where he was at -- I was lucky if I heard from him once every two weeks. I needed to do something to keep myself busy," she said.
Around the same time, she also began crochet as a hobby, she said.
Soon after, at the request of her daughter, she began to sell her handmade items.
"I also wanted a career that could easily move with me wherever the Army took us," she said. "It wasn't until after we moved to Fort Benning that I really focused on going into business on my own."
Sheena Black, a direct sales consultant with Avon, began her venture into her own business in March 2011.
"A home business is a very rewarding business," Black said. "However, you can only ever get out of it what you are first willing to put into it. The schedule and workplace is great since you choose when you work, when you sell, how you sell and even where you work."
Market Mondays began four years ago, Hellein said, by Becky Litz, former manager of A Bit of Benning. Since the beginning, Hellein and the other two event organizers -- Sheena Black and Cari Morgan -- have been involved in keeping Market Monday going on Fort Benning.
"Think positive and abundant thoughts about your business always," Hellein said. "And be patient -- even when business is slow or when you feel overwhelmed and you will always find success."
For more information on participating, contact Hellein at firstname.lastname@example.org.