Representation matters, and a Black military spouse has created a way to make it easier for active-duty minority families to find businesses that cater to their specific needs.
Jennifer Brantley, attorney and entrepreneur, wasn’t particularly excited that she and her husband had received orders to Nebraska from Atlanta, Georgia. They would be moving to a rural area that was unfamiliar.
“I looked up the house that we were moving to on Google maps and all I saw were corn fields and I’m like OK: How am I going to find the things I need?”
After 18 months, the new duty station started to grow on them. “We had our favorite areas of town that we would go and visit on the weekends. We knew where all the festivals were. I had finally found a hair stylist. At the time I had a pixie cut which you know is difficult to maintain.”
Hair care for Black women can be a tedious process. Whether it is chemically sleek or in its natural state, having certain products on hand is a necessity, and having the option of going to a professional stylist who specializes in it is a gem. After arriving at a new location, it’s one of the first things minorities look for. There are even military minority Facebook groups where this is a prevalent and ongoing conversation.
For Brantley, this process of searching would start again after she received a text from her husband that they were moving to England.
“I’m looking and it was difficult. They don’t have Yelp or anything that is specifically for minorities because we have specific needs. Immediately I thought, how awesome it would be to have something directly at my fingertips every time that we moved. Military installations are often in rural locations and if you’re a minority, you’re hard pressed to find things that you need.”
FindMe Mobile App
Brantley is now making the transition easier for people like her. In April she launched the FindMe Mobile App — a mobile directory and social network geared toward the service member, military spouse and veteran.
It helps users to:
Each business listed has been personally vetted and is community recommended. It means, “someone in the community has said, ‘I have been here, and the food was good and the service was good,’” says Brantley.
To begin, users choose a category — hair, health, dining, etc — and simply type in the name of a military base. FindMe will generate recommended businesses nearby. The “ASK THE TRIBE” feature allows for questions between users for clarity and suggestions. There are also guide videos in the app that link directly to YouTube for instructions on how to navigate.
More than an app
Brantley’s app does target minorities, but it can also build friendships. If you’re not a minority and have friends who are, you can use the app to help them in their search. Also, if you’re a part of a mixed family it will come in handy.
FindMe Mobile makes an already difficult journey a lot easier.
To download the FindMe Mobile App go to: www.findmemilspousemobile.com.