Shopping with a purpose. This is how you can shape businesses and the economy. It may seem small, but putting your money where you think it is important does make a difference. When it comes to small businesses, it supports real people and families. It provides the continued ability to support their family. Supporting these veteran and military family-affiliated businesses do exactly that – support the military and veteran community. For some, this is a relaxing hobby, and for others, it is a way to share their talents with the world. When searching for a gift this holiday season for family, friends, or maybe even yourself, check out these businesses.
Heritage Candles LLC: Military spouse-owned business sharing her unique hand-poured, dye-free soy candles. If you are a fan of Disney, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Outlander, and pretty much any fandom you can imagine, she probably has made a scented candle for it. She even offers monthly subscription boxes for a fun surprise every month from your favorite fandom!
Milso Box: Monthly subscription box with varied themes. Each box showcases other military and veteran small businesses, so one purchase supports multiple businesses, all while taking a moment to treat yourself. Past themes have included Tailgate Box, Oktoberfest, and Summer Fair. Themes change monthly. Military spouse-owned. Purchasing a subscription means giving the gift of self-care a moment of enjoyment each month!
Daddy Dolls: When family members are apart for a long period of time, it is nice to have a huggable doll with their image on it. The one or two-sided dolls can be personalized with a voice message in addition to the image of their loved one. It doesn’t have to just be of Daddy, you can make a doll of any family member by uploading the photos and selecting the doll size and pattern desired.
Jane and Cope: If you are looking for lightweight earrings that add a lot of pop of color and style, then look no further than Jane and Cope. The military spouse-owned business continues to stun with varied designs of leather statement earrings.
Grunt Style: The veteran-owned clothing company with a military twist. The shirts use clever imagery and slogans that other military and veteran members will appreciate. The company also employs veterans so every purchase supports multiple veterans! Their tag line of “you don’t have to be a veteran to wear Grunt Style, but you do have to love Freedom, Bacon, and Whiskey.”
Troopster: Navy veteran Chelsea created Troopster so that not one service member is forgotten. The care packages come in varied themes, appealing to the various tastes of the troops. Boxes can be chosen and sent to a specific person or sent to anyone who may not receive mail.
Alpha Coffee: Veteran-owned and operated business providing premium coffee, creamer, and cocoa. With names like Smooth Operator, Double Barrel Black, and Task Force Victory, there isn’t much not to like. The coffee is delicious and a great way to energize.
Bottle Breacher: The USA-made, hand-crafted .50 caliber bottle openers were created by a Navy Seal. Now, the company employs veterans in addition to selling this product as a nod to military life.
Countertop Chemistry: The veteran-owned business is in the business of educating through fun. The monthly STEM boxes provide science lessons for children ages 4-12 in fun and engaging ways. With 6-8 science experiments in each box allows for engaging time together without having to plan or shop for items for lessons.
Team Box Ops: The military spouse-owned company makes and sells moving box labels. If anyone knows moving efficiency, it’s a military spouse who has moved more often than they can count.
Smoked Bros: The veteran-owned and operated spice manufacturing company prides itself on making premium spice mixes with ethically sourced, quality ingredients. With the added bonus that every purchase supports the military, first responders, and underserved communities, a perfectly spiced entree never tasted so good.
Spouse-ly: The one-stop-shop website for veteran, military-affiliated, and fire responder-affiliated shops. From home goods to clothing to food to jewelry, Spouse-ly has it all. It is truly the ultimate shopping space where you can search multiple categories looking for anything you could possibly want to gift. A couple of the companies listed here are also found on Spouse-ly.
Small businesses are the business of doing what they love. For military and veteran families, these small businesses are often family affairs; each purchase supports and shows appreciation to the entire family. It provides a job to a military spouse, who, with frequent moves and lack of childcare, may not be able to continue a traditional job. A purchase supports a real person – you can see their picture on the website or social media sharing. They are in and of the community and share their talents with all. What will you purchase this holiday season? This year?