Have you heard of Spouse-ly? This new online marketplace for military family-owned and veteran-owned small businesses is giving small businesses an easily accessible platform. After launching in January 2020, the platform has grown from 30 vendors to now close to 250.
Spouse-ly is a one-stop-shop offering shops selling products like candles, subscription boxes and bath bombs. There are also even some services available such as photography, health coaching and yoga.
Monica Fullerton, the founder of Spouse-ly, is a military spouse, mother and works a full-time job. She understands firsthand the challenges of military life and balancing that life with everything else. She has a passion for supporting and uplifting her military community. Being a small business owner — in fact, she owns two shops herself, MoMo and M + M Kids — she understands the difficulties of building the small business and breaking out of the algorithms to share said business.
This holiday season will mark the first holiday season for Spouse-ly, and they hope that their platform will become a place where military families will shop first in order to support military community-run small businesses. They are building up to creating specific marketing for the holiday season and looking to partner with shops that will help promote Spouse-ly to be the go-to place to shop when looking to support military families and business owners.
“We plan to partner with vendors who would like to offer a discount,” said Fullerton.
They hope that in addition to an influx in business this holiday season, that 2021 will bring additional growth. They will continue to modify their website so it looks more like a marketplace, with buttons and tools to make it easier to shop. They will also continue to partner with groups like VirtForce and the Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs to get the word out.
“[We are] always thinking about and planning for growth,” Fullerton said.
The Spouse-ly community offers a one-stop-shop to support small businesses owned by active-duty military, veterans and their families. Here are just a few of the ones you can find when you visit their website.
Spouse-ly has 11 different product categories including America, apparel, art, books, crafts, entertainment, food and beverage, health and beauty, home, jewelry and accessories, kids and baby and miscellaneous. From art kits to bath bombs, from military-themed coffee to candles – there is something to appeal to everyone on your shopping list (and maybe even a little something for yourself).
Sea to Sea with Love has all your packaging needs covered with package sticker kits. Send a movie night care package to your college student or a little love box to your girlfriend going through a tough time. Whether you are sending a package to your loved one deployed overseas or to Grandma across the country, the creative and fun stickers add a fun and cohesive element to any care package.
The Messyish Masterpiece is an art haven. Watercolor mountainscapes, waterproof state stickers to mark your moves and travels and decorative surfboards are on offer in this gorgeous and colorful shop. Enjoy exploring this beautiful shop.
Wanderlust and Mayhem offers a bounty of beautiful and colorful children’s’ bubble shorts, bows and non-medical face masks. The gingham and seersucker are classic looks. The fabric used to make each product is sourced locally and $7 of each purchase goes towards families who are adopting. Each purchase not only supports small, but also supports the larger community!
Looking for a sweet treat? Look no further than Rose Macarons. The meringue-based sweet confection takes exquisite skill to make and they look beautiful. For $30, send a dozen of seasonally flavored macarons to a friend, relative, neighbor or even yourself! A sweet hand-written note and shipping included!
Sam and Sea Artistry has taken the colors of the sea and placed them into everyday objects. A custom Acacia serve tray, porcelain mug and serve board have all been given a touch of the sea with ink and resin in these handcrafted designs.
Olive Bridge Vinyl Co. showcases farmhouse style meet Rae Dunn in woodwork, vinyl and paper. The Friends picture display is the one that will surely appeal to Friends fans. Interchangeable seasonal spring signs and holder are perfect for the those with limited storage space. The birth details wood sign is a perfect memento to capture a new family member addition.
Holiday discount with Spouse-ly
Spouse-ly will be working with the shops to offer holiday deals and discounts, so keep an eye out on their website to find out more.
Military and veteran family business owner?
If you are a military-affiliated entrepreneur, Spouse-ly is the platform for you to showcase and share your business or service. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Fees for vendors to build online shops are minimal with a fee as low as $1.00 a month.