An Air Force wife created an easier way to shop from military-owned businesses with a new marketplace called Spouse-ly.
Monica Fullerton launched a community-driven website this month offering a one-stop shopping experience for service members, veterans and military spouses to buy and sell products all over the U.S. The idea was inspired after she watched others in her online newsfeed constantly ask for recommendations on where to buy certain goods, combined with the fact that military families often move to new areas they are unfamiliar with. The mom of twins said she wants to build Spouse-ly to be a large platform with a shop local focus.
Military life leads to a light bulb moment
Fullerton and her husband, Myles, met in high school when they both lived in Ohio. However, when it was time to go off to college, the couple chose different routes with Monica relocating to Florida where she received a bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism and a master’s degree in business. Myles joined ROTC at a college in Colorado.
“I wanted to be in broadcasting,” Monica says, but as most military spouses can relate to, she ended up on a different career path.
“Going into military life, as any other spouse knows, sometimes means putting our own dreams on hold,” Monica shared. “But that is also what turned me into an entrepreneur.”
After working remote for a company that allowed her to not only go up the corporate ladder but also meet and network with Fortune 500 companies, Monica still felt a hole in her heart.
“After meeting all these successful business owners and CEOs, hearing their stories and watching their dreams come true, I knew I wanted to be in that position as well,” she said.
Buy local. Sell local.
She made the decision to embark on her own entrepreneurial journey. Being part of the military spouse community for over a decade, she had met many talented spouses who owned their own business.
“How can I build a platform where I can bring everybody together so that they can all showcase their talents and businesses?” she asked herself.
The concept for an online marketplace was born with months of preparation going into the official launch of Spouse-ly. The site’s unique appeal, Monica says, is a priority to deliver users local products and services that are often hard to market with small business budgets, or are hard to find if you are new to a duty station.
“When we move, we have to start looking for local services, such as a photographer or a beautician,” Monica said. “Instead of going on a social media group and asking a question that might have already been asked many times before, all you need to do is go on Spouse-ly and search your local area for military or veteran-owned businesses.”
Visit Spouse-ly on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the marketplace’s new features. If you are a military-affiliated entrepreneur interested in featuring your products or services, get started at www.spouse-ly.com.