NextGen MilSpouse is excited to share our interview with Krystel Spell, military spouse entrepreneur and the creative mind behind the widely popular milspouse blog, ArmyWife 101. Krystel is a featured parent contributor on CNN HLN’s “Raising America” a news series that discusses current events from a parent’s perspective. Find out how she went from military spouse to blogger to parent panelist on a nationally televised cable news outlet….and most importantly, what she has to say to you about achieving your dreams.
NextGen: Tell us about your newest venture as a contributor CNN HLN’s newest show, “Raising America”. What’s it all about and why should we watch?
K. Spell: Raising America’ is a daily show that will discuss headline news stories from the perspective of parents in a round table format. Several influential bloggers were chosen to appear on different days weekly. In fact, we did a rehearsal the other day and we touched on the topic of Women in Combat from the angle of parents. The show is very interactive and not traditional and formal like the regular news. A lot of the topics we touch on will come from the viewers themselves. HLN is very focused on the military and making sure to share our stories, so I am extremely honored to work with them. Raising America premieres 2/4 on HLN and as of now you can catch me every Tuesday around 12:30PM EST.
NextGen: How the heck did you go from blogging to being a contributor to CNN Headline New’s “Raising America”?
K. Spell: A producer contacted me out of the blue at the end of last year saying that they really enjoyed my blog and had been following me for sometime. As I mentioned HLN loves our military and so they were (from what I gathered) looking to bring in someone from the milspouse community and include their viewpoint as well. I have been on national TV a few times, but never on a regular basis and I am still pinching myself!
NextGen: We hear that you’ll be filming “Raising America” from home…how does it feel to share yourself and a
little of your world with all of America?
K. Spell: Yes, thanks to the magic of the internet and the awesome production and technical crew at CNN/HLN, I will be filming from Skype most of the time and possibly on occasion in the studio. I started my career as a blogger by way of video. To most people’s surprise I am not a huge fan of writing, and so video has always been easier for me. Opening up my world via TV or video doesn’t bother me. I am a very transparent and visual person, so I believe I will enjoy this.
NextGen: When you started ArmyWife101, did you know that it would lead you to where you are right now in your
K. Spell: I had no clue that you could even make money blogging or do all of these things. I knew some bloggers were getting free stuff and occasionally going on a free trip here or there. I had no clue that my kids would meet the first lady, or that I would be in a room in the United Nations overlooking Midtown Manhattan partying with people like Nancy Pelosi, Oprah and having fashion icon Diane Von Furstenburg coming to our table to chat. I am amazed at how my life has completely changed.
NextGen: What does your spouse think about all of your business ventures?
K. Spell: Honestly at first I think he was just glad I had found a hobby! When he saw my first paid venture he became even more interested and even proceeded to start a blog of his own called the Army Dad. He actually did really well with it but had to deploy and, unfortunately due to internet issues overseas, could not keep up with it as he would have liked. He tells folks he likes some of the perks.
NextGen: What’s the best part about being a milspouse entrepreneur?
K. Spell: As I am sure NextGen knows, there tends to be a stigma placed on the milspouse community that we don’t have goals or have anything going for ourselves. Through being a blogger I have met so many other ladies who just happen to be married to someone in the military and who have thriving careers and businesses. I am thrilled to be able to show people that many military spouses do own businesses and have made great strides and accomplishments.
Check out Krystel’s First Feature on HLN’s Raising America!
K. Spell: You know working from home can be addicting. People assume because you work from home that is it easier. To a degree this is true, but since us WAHMs never “leave work” I find myself over working. I struggle at times with finding balance and making sure that I not lacking in the family time area . I try to even things out.
NextGen: What’s the one piece of advice you would offer to military spouses working hard achieve their dreams?
K. Spell: When I attended the “Women In The World Summit” last March, one of the best pieces of advice I heard was “ It’s easy to think outside of the box when you aren’t aware you are in one.” I have lived by that motto. I attribute my success (and I say that humbly) to never limiting myself and thinking of myself on the same level as anyone else no matter how further up the ladder they are then me. I think military spouses especially lead unique lives and should use those life experiences to help further their dreams and goals.