Like it or not, the holidays are coming before we know it and it’s time to start shopping for those holiday gifts and goodies. Why not support some amazing MilSpo owned businesses?Below are some of our favorite military-connected businesses to consider as you celebrate the season!
Brave Crates (https://www.bravecrates.com/)
Braves Crate’s mission is “for heroes at home.” Brave Crates is the brainchild of Becky Hoy (US Army spouse) who wanted to provide military spouses going through deployment with personal development and self care resources to help them pass the time. Brave Crates are subscription boxes that are delivered monthly and carefully curated around a specific theme each month. Brave Crates include all sorts of products from tech gadgets to wearables to snacks. The fun part is that subscribers don’t find out what is in the box until they open it! Brave Crate also has a members only Facebook forum where military spouses can talk, share tips, and get inspiration on ways to “embrace the suck.”
Charlie Madison (https://charliemadisonoriginals.com/)
Wendy Hively (US Navy spouse) creates gemstone beaded jewelry in colors that represent all branches of the military as well as civilian first responders. Her bracelets are tied off with a special knot that represents the past, present, and future. Her jewelry is a beautiful yet subtle way to show your military pride. Charlie Madison also has a featured “Bracelet of the Month” which is offered for a special low price and is a great way to build your collection. To top it off, Charlie Madison gives back to a number of mission driven charities such as Semper K9, the National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple Camps, and the Duskin & Stephens Foundation.
Hope Design Ltd. (https://www.hopedesignltd.com/)
Lauren Hope (US Army spouse) is a milspo entrepreneur OG. She has been called “the Ann Hand for the new generation of military spouses” and the style evident in her creations can be recognized from a distance. Lauren creates inspired and bespoke military jewelry representing all branches of the armed services and many different career fields. She has packed and moved her shop from station to station following her family and currently sells her handcrafted creations on her own website, the Etsy platform, and with selected nonprofit/ military spouse/ mission-driven gift shops. Lauren is also the creator of the #shopmilitary movement.
Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse are literal sharks in the water. After finding difficulty finding traditional employment as military spouses the two appeared on the CNBC Show Shark Tank and won an offer from billionaire Mark Cuban to launch their business making handbags from upcycled military materials. Inspired by the iconic Rosie the Riveter, R. Riveter bags are both beautiful and functional and they’re made by a cadre of military spouses. R.Riveter has several classic styles and frequently releases seasonal and limited editions styles and each bag bears a tag with the ID numbers of spouses that made each part of the bag which means that no two handbags are the same.
She Swank Market Place (https://sheswank.com/)
Lakesha Cole (US Marines spouse) is milspo entrepreneur royalty. Her personally curated boutique shop currently has two locations: one in Portsmouth, VA and one in Jacksonville, NC as well as an online shopping platform that offers everything from clothing to home decor to self-care products. Lakesha keeps her ears to the track and frequently crowd sources with various outlets in the military spouse community to find out what military spouses are looking for and finds interesting and innovative ways to supply those needs in her shop. Lakesha is also the co-founder of the ROSIE planner, the first and only day planner created just for military spouses.
#shopmilitary is a movement started by Lauren Hope of Hope Designs Ltd. that indexes veteran and military spouse owned businesses of all types. There is everything from legal consulting to handcrafted bridal accessories and puts it in a searchable database. Seriously, don’t spend a dollar on a product or service unless you’ve looked on Shop Military first to see if there is a way to support small, veteran and military spouse owned businesses. If you need it, someone in the #shopmilitary movement has it. Members of the #shopmilitary movement are also leading the charge to advocate for reform in veteran and military spouse employment and seeking to make a change to the ways military families earn and living.
Jennifer Burns is an active duty Air Force Spouse currently stationed with her husband at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware. She is a West coast - East coast transplant still adjusting to mid-Atlantic winters. Jennifer works part-time for the United Methodist Church as a Home-bound Outreach lay minister and is an active volunteer in the DAFB community. She has also written for My Military Life, the official blog of the National Military Family Association. In her spare time Jennifer enjoys reading, scrap booking, and cooking/baking.
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