Editor’s Note: MilSpouse Entrepreneur Spotlight is a monthly Q&A designed to celebrate the successes and acknowledge the challenges of a milspouse entrepreneur. In the past, we have highlighted Chelsea Hickey of Sparkle Social, Amy Schofield of Schofield Strategies, Breanna Ramey Daughtridge of Untamed Rose, Michelle Campbell of Forte VSS, Jeanette Price of Peachy Keen Perfume and Jessica Bertsch of Powerhouse Planning. This month, NextGen MilSpouse features Bridget Platt of Daddy’s Deployed.
Your Name: Bridget Platt
Military Branch Affiliation: United States Marine Corps
Years as a Military Spouse: 6
Business Name: Daddy’s Deployed LLC
Year Established: 2012
Tell us about your business: Daddy’s Deployed, LLC is committed to making each military family a star throughout an entirely personalized story explaining the complex subject of deployments to young children. When parents order a book from our website, they choose ethnicity, hair color and eye color for each family member, the deploying parent’s military branch, rank and uniform, and the name of the child or children. Our books aim to truly connect each child to his or her deployed parent, no matter how many thousands of miles may separate them.
Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Not at all. I loved teaching high school as we moved across the country, but I also had big dreams that I would do “something,” I just didn’t know what that something was…yet.
What motivated you to start your own business? I was motivated to start my own business when I saw how successful the book I created was with my own child. I knew that if it helped her, there were thousands of other families it could help as well.
What is the best part of being an entrepreneur? The best part of being an entrepreneur is the flexibility in scheduling. I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom to our 2-year-old and, if she’s not feeling well, or just needs extra hugs, I can be there for her at all times.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an entrepreneur? There are several challenges I face, as an entrepreneur. The first is the flexibility in scheduling (a blessing and a curse): if we go on a family vacation to Disneyworld, I’m working nonstop during naptime and after everyone else falls asleep at night. I’m the first one up and the last one to sleep every day to ensure that all the Daddy’s Deployed/Mommy’s Deployed families needs are being met.
Another great obstacle has been learning the business end of it all. As a former English teacher, I did not know anything about registering a business, trademarks, patents, or business taxes. I’ve had to learn it all along the way.
Do you find that being an entrepreneur fits well with your role as a military spouse (or does it even factor in)?
Bring an entrepreneur is an interesting fit with my role as a military spouse. Our product is specifically geared toward military families, so I strongly believe that adds to my desire to create the best product possible. There are certainly obstacles that we face, as military spouses, that other entrepreneurs may not: detachments, deployments, PCSing, etc. I believe that makes me a stronger military spouse and entrepreneur.
How do you blend working from home and your family relationships? My husband is incredibly supportive of my business, so he has always been understanding if I have to work through a prime time football game or skip a birthday ball for a conference across the country. I try to take at least 2 nights off per week and we do special family activities on the weekends.
Biggest lesson learned so far as an entrepreneur: The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is to always treat the customers as though they are family. So many of our DD/MD families have special requests for their books and it would be easy to say that we couldn’t do certain things, but, when you think about all their family is sacrificing for our country, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if we didn’t try our best.
Best piece of advice for a budding entrepreneur:
This advice came to me from one of my advisors: “Do not treat your business as your baby.” I am so emotionally vested in helping our service-families that it’s hard for me to stick with this, but I try to keep my emotions out of all other aspects in terms of running a business.