TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
My name is Krystel Spell and I am the creator of ArmyWife101.com a popular military spouse lifestyle blog, and I also am VP of Brand Outreach for MSBNewMedia.com, a digital media company where we connect brands with the military community through military spouse bloggers. We have worked with Chevy and Oral B to create online campaigns and allow military spouses to utilize their social media platforms (blogs, FB, Twitter, etc.) to share military promotions and initiatives with their audiences and be paid for it.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW STARTING A BUSINESS WAS RIGHT FOR YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
I didn’t know at first. I was in the middle of a PCS to Hawaii and had started blogging out of boredom. While researching designers for my blog, I realized that female and mom bloggers were leveraging their blog audiences to create businesses. Brands were paying these influencers to authentically share about products and services they actually used. It was at that point I figured I could do the same for the military sector.
WHAT IS THE MOST DISHEARTENING THING YOU HAVE ENCOUNTERED IN YOUR CAREER AS A MILITARY SPOUSE?
I would have to say getting businesses and people to sometimes see that I am more than just a milspouse and actually have my own career outside of my husband's.
WHAT CAREER CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED BECAUSE YOU ARE A WOMAN?
I can’t say I have faced any because I am a woman. That is something I don’t think about. It’s easier to get a lot of things done when your career is computer and internet-based. Rejection because I am a woman, and male chauvinism are a bit easier to avoid.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A WOMAN, IN PARTICULAR A MILITARY SPOUSE, INTERESTED IN STARTING HER OWN BUSINESS?
Do something you are really passionate about, and something that is portable. Don’t let obstacles such as PCS moves and deployments become anymore of challenge than they are. Utilize some of the free time from those challenging times to work on your business. Also, in terms of marketing your business, look for what makes your business unique and let that be your selling point.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT BEING A MILITARY SPOUSE AND A BUSINESS OWNER? WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING?
I think for many, the challenge can be the frequent relocations, which can make it hard to own a brick-and-mortar business. The most rewarding thing for me personally is showing other military spouses that you can support your spouse but create something for yourself too in the midst of the military life.
HOW DID IT FEEL WHEN YOU MADE YOUR FIRST SALE?
In my case, I get paid for campaigns I work on, and the first time my husband saw that check his face was priceless. It made me feel great for him to see what I had created in the 10 months he had been deployed.
WHAT IS ONE OBSTACLE YOU HAVE FACED AS A BUSINESS, OR ON A PERSONAL LEVEL, AS A MILITARY SPOUSE THAT YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER EXPECTED?
The lack of support in some cases from other milspouses. It can be a bit disheartening that some of us are so busy being in competition and tearing each other down that we forget to support each other.
WHAT IS ONE BUSINESS GOAL YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH BY THE END OF 2014?
To hire on two more full-time milspouse employees for Army Wife 101.
HOW HAS BEING A MILITARY SPOUSE HELPED YOU GROW ON PERSONAL LEVEL?
Being a milspouse forces you to meet and come in contact with various people from all over. When you are thrown into an unfamiliar territory (imo) it’s easier to become friends with people that you may have thought you would never associate with and also helps you to become more independent. My social skills have certainly improved.
AS A MILITARY SPOUSE, OR BUSINESS OWNER, I KNOW ONE THING FOR CERTAIN, IT IS . . .
There is a life beyond your spouse's career. You can support your husband’s dreams and your own at the same time.
WHAT STRENGTHS DO YOU POSSESS, THAT YOU DID NOT KNOW YOU HAD, UNTIL YOU BECAME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I have grown a tough skin. I use to be extremely fearful of rejection, but in the business I'm in you get a thousands "no’s" in general. It comes with the territory and I have learned to easily roll with the punches.
MY BIGGEST FEAR IS . . .
My biggest fear is is not as big as it used to be but it was rejection.
MY GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IS . . .
My greatest accomplishment is paying all my household bills with money earned from my blogging career.
WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE . . .
When I grow up I want to be exactly what I am right now, a successful business woman.
IN 2050 I HOPE WOMEN CAN . . .
In 2050, I hope women have the exact same opportunities as men and an equal playing field.
WHAT IS YOUR LEGACY?
I’m not quite sure at this point but I am still working on it.