Name: Katie Genta
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Name/Occupation: The Glitsea Gypsy
Tell us about your business! I hand make bohemian sea glass jewelry. Each piece contains a shell or sea glass collected from one of the many beautiful beaches on the island of Okinawa, Japan.
Why did you choose entrepreneurship? When I moved to Okinawa I was a new mom, burnt out on my previous career in the spa industry. Okinawa has many beautiful beaches and I was hoarding sea glass and shells. I started creating jewelry with my beach finds. I never imagined that other people would love my jewelry or that I would create a business. A large part of my business is custom work, and it became a way for other spouses to share some of Okinawa with their friends and family and from there it really grew!
Why do military spouses make great entrepreneurs? Being a military spouse does not mean that one is guaranteed to be a great entrepreneur. I believe that many of the situations, challenges, and characteristics one possesses as military spouse, are similar to the situations, challenges, and characteristics of a successful entrepreneur. Many of us are forced to leave behind jobs or take positions that we are over qualified for. We often have to do something we don't necessarily "love to be doing". As military spouse, we are forced to become expert networkers and problem solvers. Many of our civilian counterparts never have to find a new babysitter, friend, or neighbor. When a business challenge hits us in the face, we just deal with it because that’s who we are and that’s what we do. That's the strength of a military spouse.
What is a "blocker" for you in business. What holds you back? I would have to say the biggest "blocker" in business for me is the upcoming change of duty station. We will soon make the move from Okinawa to Hawaii. A new market may mean a whole host of changes and challenges.
What strengths do you possess, that you did not know you had, until you became an entrepreneur? When you create something you put your heart into it. You really want people to love what you make or create, it's a little piece of you. I used to get a little hurt if someone didn't give me the feedback I was expecting. I have learned to handle critism better. It's been a really good learning lesson for me.
What would you tell a milspo entrepreneur who is feeling discouraged? There is a quote by Andy Warhol that I really love in which he says, “Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
What are your five favorite things that you can not live without as a milspo entrepreneur? Five things I can't live without as milspo entrepreneur would be a group of like minded creatives, iTunes, coffee, the support of my husband, laughter and Instagram
What is the most amazing thing you have experienced in your business thus far? This journey with my business has all been amazing. A few highlights from last year were discussing my business with Marcus Lemonis from NBC's The Profit, and I was extremely honored to have Colbie Calliat wear one of my bangles while performing here in Okinawa!!