Name: Jennifer Crane
Business Name/Occupation: Bottle Breacher LLC
When did you know starting a business was right for you? Tell us about your business: I started my own business in 2008. It was perfect because I could be at home with my children and help bring home income at the same time. I worked at nights or during nap time while they slept. I have my Bachelors it Business, so it made perfect sense! I made graphic prints and frames and sold them on Etsy. My first business, Poppyseed Prints, is still open and active!
Eli and I started Bottle Breacher in 2012. We aired on ABC’s SHARK TANK last November and partnered with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary. We sell 50 caliber bottle openers called Bottle Breacher’s. They make great wedding gifts (groomsmen, father of the bride), Father’s Day Gifts, Stocking stuffers, or just a special occasion for that special guy in your life. We only sell online at www.Bottlebreacher.com.
What is the most disheartening thing you have encountered in your career as a military spouse?: Timing and funding. It’s hard to run a business around when my husband is home as well as vice versa. Now that we run a business together and both of have a vested interest it’s become much easier. We work at nights together and has brought us closer.
What career challenges have you faced because you are a woman?: Bottle Breacher has 4 partners, and I’m the only woman. The challenges I face is balance. Being a Mom, Wife, and Business owner. I try and focus on work when I’m at work and my kids when I’m with my kids. Putting down that phone during family time is hard, but a MUST! Especially when you work with your spouse, it’s easy to turn date night into a “talk about business night”.
What advice would you give a woman, in particular a military spouse, interested in starting her own business?: Keep up the hard work and don’t take no for an answer. I’m strong at what I do so if I come up against challenges I stay determined, or I find a person that can help me. I set high goals and weekly check myself on where I’m at. Keep a list of things that need to get done, on your phone or a notepad, and check back with yourself. Journal all that you have accomplished. It’s empowering reading them during setbacks.
What is the most challenging thing about being a military spouse and business owner? What is the most rewarding thing?: The most rewarding part is that I LOVE working for myself! I set my own pace and hours. However, the buck stops with me. I find that being the most challenging as well. I have no Manager to go to with a complaint, if I don’t like something I’m the one to fix it.
How did it feel when you made your first sale?: I was so ecstatic! I still remember it. I felt proud and thrilled someone wanted something I made myself.
What is one obstacle you have faced as a business owner, or on a personal level, as a military spouse, that you would have never expected?: Having to wear so many hats as an entrepreneur! Accountant, Wife, Marketing Director, Mom, Sales Advisor, Legal Team, Production... It’s a lot and you have to be wise with your time.
What is one business goal you hope to accomplish by the end of this year?: To introduce all of our new products and have them in production smoothly and possibly take a vacation. It’s our 10 year wedding anniversary this year and I’m still waiting on our honeymoon!
As a military spouse, or business owner, I know one thing for certain. It is . . .: I can do it.
What strengths do you possess, that you did not know you had, until you became an entrepreneur?: How truly strong I am. I thought at some point I might give up but I just keep making the most of everything., focusing on the silver lining, and keep reminding myself how blessed I am. Hard work does pay off and I’m the hardest worker I know.
My biggest fear is . . . : Failure. For as many hours I have dedicated to my business and sacrifices I’ve made it would be hard to fail. However, every business needs an exit strategy!
My greatest accomplishment is . . .: My kids. Raising those kiddos while my husband was away was hard. I still feel like my life isn’t as balanced as it should be, I wish I was home more. However I know I’m trying my best!
When I grow up I want to be . . . : A pilot. I know, really different!!
In 2050 I hope women are/can/have . . .: Have more hours in the day!! I love being a mom and a business owner. I want women to have it all!
What is your legacy?: I want to leave behind a legacy of hard work. The idea that you can be anything you want to be. To set goals and work towards them. You’re never too old or too far behind.