Editor’s Note: Military Spouse 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 Patricia Marzella Mathisen of Nutrisha, Rosemary O’Brien of Pocket Parks Publishing, Kristine Schellhaas of USMC Life, Vista Bartholomew of VistaPix Media and Jessica Roberts of Aim High Writing College Consulting. This month, NextGen MilSpouse features Julie Riggin of Julie Kay Design Studio.
Military Branch Affiliation: Army
Years as a Military Spouse: 3.5
Business Name: Julie Kay Design Studio
Year Established: 2012
Tell us about your business: Julie Kay Design Studio is a creative boutique that specializes in artisan crafted accessories for the home and interior design. Currently, and still growing, I have a natural soy candle line of 28 fragrances. I hand pour in small batches to ensure quality and consistency. In addition, I create hand-painted watercolor pillow covers for indoor/outdoor use. Each pillow is painted individually as its own unique piece of art.
What’s your biggest lesson learned as an entrepreneur so far?
My biggest lesson learned so far has been to not be afraid to change things up to fit my family’s transient lifestyle.
I began my business offering interior design services, but shortly after getting married we moved 3 times in 4 years. I quickly realized that my chosen career just wasn’t going to be the right fit for my growing and transient family in this season of life.
So, I decided to switch gears by developing a product based business that I could easily move with us without losing clients. What a difference this has made!
I still get to use my creativity and it’s a really rewarding feeling to know that my products are bringing character and beauty into homes across the country.
On managing work and life – is it all about blending or all about balancing? Why?
Having my own business makes it easy for me to create a balance of work/life. I work when it fits best into my family’s schedule. I try to focus on what I am doing in that moment to get the most out of it, whether it be family time or work time.
Tell us the one thing that makes your dual-working military family successful?
I would say that putting our family first is the most important key. It’s the time spent together that we can control and on the other hand can never get back.
Choose one: Coffee, wine, water or soda?
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without:
My cell phone, it can do everything!
Must-have song on your productivity playlist:
I like to mix it up on Pandora.
Leave us with some wise words…
Don’t give up on your dream. You may have to switch gears to find what works best for you and your family.