Name: Elizabeth Beck

Business Name/Occupation: Golden Bud Designs

Website: www.goldenbuddesigns.etsy.com

Tell us about your business! I run an Etsy shop specializing in custom special occasion wine, mini champagne and beer labels, but also includes products that can spice up and personalize a party, shower or special occasion. My business began in Fort Benning, Georgia in October of 2013 solely with pinback buttons. The sense of deep pride that military spouses and family members feel for their service members plus the numerous graduations that take place at Fort Benning sparked the idea in my head to make buttons that could showcase this pride and appreciation. I called and emailed various military surplus stores and a month later, got my buttons in a gift shop and a surplus store. From there, my business expanded and grew as I found my niche in labels. At the beginning of 2016, managing my Etsy shop became my full time career. I have had more success in this job than any job I've ever worked and I am in disbelief that I get to wake up every morning and do the career that I am most passionate about and actually make a great living while doing it.

Why did you choose entrepreneurship? I have always been interested in entrepreneurship. My grandfather owned his own business and my dad currently owns his own business so I truly believe it is in my blood. Choosing entrepreneurship became more desirable once I became an Army wife in the summer of 2013 I was fresh out of college and my husband and I got settled into our brand new apartment in Columbus, Georgia. With a degree in Communication Studies, I was desperate to get a job anywhere I could find. After applying to various places and not even hearing back, I was incredibly frustrated. I knew I was a smart, hard working woman with a lot to offer. I settled for a job at a boutique and babysat on the side. I randomly bought an entrepreneurship magazine, which initially sparked my desire to start my button making business. Because I had no luck finding a career, I vowed right then and there that I was going to forge my own path and create a career I could take with me everywhere. I also loved the idea of working on my own schedule and creating my own hours. My husband was gone all day Monday through Friday and out in the field every other week. As newlyweds, we wanted to be able to spend time together. Entrepreneurship also gave me a way to have my own identity. Although I enjoy my title as an "Army wife," I don't want it to define me. I am my husband's biggest cheerleader and support him 100%, but I also wanted to have an individual outlet to thrive.

Why do military spouses make great entrepreneurs? As a military spouse, you learn to be a number of things very quickly. You learn to adapt, to be flexible, to be creative, to be independent and to be strong. In the almost 3 years we have been married, my husband and I have been apart for almost half of that. Although I hate the time we have been apart, I credit it to my self growth. Time apart has challenged me in ways I would have never experienced had we been together. Time apart has allowed me to become stronger more than anything, and has really contributed to the growth and success of my business. I am more confident in myself than ever before and I tackle challenges in my business head on.

What is a "blocker" for you in business. What holds you back? The biggest blocker in my business up until recently was me. For so long, I was under the impression that our lives as a couple were all about my husband and his career. I was so focused on being a great "Army wife" for him that I didn't push myself to do anything for me. I think a lot of women experience the same blocker. I absolutely think our spouses have one of the most important careers in the world, but I think society contributes to the bad rep military spouses have, and that is incredibly discouraging. The stereotyping got in my head and I believed that what my husband does would always be more important than what I do.

How has being a military spouse changed your for the better? I am so thankful to be a military spouse because it has changed me for the better in countless ways. I am now able to adapt to any situation. If bad news comes my way, I am resilient and able to deal with it and move forward better than I ever have before. I also am more independent. I value alone time and see it as a way for self- development and growth. Most importantly, it has helped me foster and maintain great relationships. I am more confident and outgoing when meeting new people and value the relationships I have with people who do not live close by.

“I am so thankful to be a military spouse because it has changed me for the better in countless ways. I am now able to adapt to any situation. If bad news comes my way, I am resilient and able to deal with it and move forward better than I ever have before. I also am more independent.”
— Elizabeth Beck

What strengths do you possess, that you did not know you had, until you became an entrepreneur? Until I became an entrepreneur, I did not realize how innovative I could be. I was always scared to take the next big step in my business because I was always unsure about how to move forward. When I let myself let go of all my doubts and fears, I began to thrive. I now trust my sense of direction and am not scared to take risks.

What would you tell a milspo entrepreneur who is feeling discouraged? To milspos feeling discouraged, I would remind them of why they are stronger individuals for being military spouses. I would encourage them to keep faith during trials and hardships and make them feel confident for possessing amazing skill sets that most people do not. I would also remind want to remind military spouses that they are important and they matter. Our service members would not be able to do their jobs as well as they do without the spouse who runs the show "behind the scenes."

What are your five favorite things that you can not live without as a milspo entrepreneur? Jesus, My husband Chris, coffee, encouragement from my husband, family and friends, and my golden retriever Buddy, who keeps my company while I work.

What is the most amazing thing you have experienced in your business thus far? The most amazing thing I have experienced in my business thus far is the support and encouragement from my husband Chris. Chris knows me very well, as we have been dating since we were both 13 years old! Chris knows my strengths and weaknesses. He has seen me work traditional jobs, and knowing I wasn't happy and they weren't right for me, has always encouraged me to pursue my small business and not give up. No matter what, Chris never complained about my lack of revenue or growth in the beginning and constantly challenged me to be better. His support, encouragement and love throughout the duration of my business and to this day is truly invaluable and has absolutely been a huge contributor to my success.

How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as someone who encouraged and motivated people to dream big, work hard and never lose their sense of determination. I want to be remembered as being kind, gracious, selfless and full of love.

Instagram: @goldenbuddesigns

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/goldenbuddesign