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Holiday music and Christmas décor has been filing stores since the summer as hope grows for a holiday season much different than last year. When it comes to shopping, it’s important to me that I support small businesses more than ever. Maybe you’ve had the same desire. I’ve recently discovered Spouse-ly, a place where many military spouses and veterans are creating the most amazing items to supplement their family incomes and showcase their passions and talents.
Monica Fullerton is the founder of the online marketplace Spouse-ly. Check out our USAA member interview with Monica to learn about her military spouse journey to entrepreneurism and how she is helping other military spouses, veterans and first-responders showcase their businesses online.
Tell us a little more about you, Spouse-ly and why you started this online marketplace?
Monica: I am an Air Force spouse, twin mom, and Founder/CEO of Spouse-ly. An online marketplace to shop a wide variety of products and services created by military & first responder families. Think Etsy meets Angie's but with a focus on shopping for social good and supporting our nation's heroes & their businesses. I was so inspired by the amount of talent & creativity within the military community alone, that I knew I had to bring everyone together in one easy place for people to shop small and make a big impact. For our community it's so much more than just a marketplace it's providing flexibility and stability in a world filled with the unknown and frequent cross country moves.
What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned along the way as a small business owner?
Monica: The most surprising thing I have learned along the way is that when you believe in yourself, others will believe in you. We are great at talking ourselves out of things in life, but when you just go for it, great things continue to happen. Now don't get me wrong there are going to be a ton of ups and downs along the way but the power of community and strength will help you keep pushing forward.
What kind of feedback are getting from the military spouses and veterans on Spouse-ly?
Monica: Feedback means the world to me, I wasn't quite sure what to expect especially since we launched right before the global pandemic. But we have continued to prove that our mission is viable, impactful, and powerful. The greatest feedback that we get is that Spouse-ly is a community and together we are building a one-of-a-kind marketplace that supports those who support us. I love hearing that our platform has empowered more people to turn to entrepreneurship and to do what they love!
How has Spouse-ly matured since the platform began?
Monica: Since launching in early 2020, we have grown our vendor base by 550% YOY and have continued to find ways to connect with our community filled with makers, creators, and entrepreneurs. We host a monthly vendor meet up which allows us all to connect, go over updates/changes, and get to know one another and our businesses. We are also getting ready to launch Spouse-ly University powered by USAA Small Business Insurance which will provide our community with ongoing tools and resources! We have a great foundation poured and we are continuing to build every day together!
Why is purchasing with a purpose important to you?
Monica: Many people are always looking for ways to support our military community, and now they have one easy place to discover thousands of products and services. It's not just any purchase, it's a purchase that supports dreams, supports our heroes, and gives back to those who give!
Thank you, Monica, for your support of military families, your commitment to service and taking the time to chat with us today!
For more information about Spouse-ly, check out their website and the Spouse-ly Featured Sellers list which is sponsored by USAA Small Business Insurance.
Have a military spouse or veteran entrepreneur story you’d like us to highlight? Let me know in the comments.
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