We recently launched our “Entrepreneur Spotlight” series to highlight amazing military spouses who have started their own companies. Today, we continue this series with Sommer Meredith, owner of “Personally Anchored.”
Update: Sommer just launched her awesome new website! Check it out here.
Sommer started her own business earlier this year making personalized gifts including vinyl monogramming, rustic home decor, holiday decor, and wooden signs. In just a few short months, her business has skyrocketed with local orders from her new duty station. She’s recently expanded by offering nationwide shipping. I have had the pleasure of being stationed twice with Sommer and it has been so amazing to watch her launch her own business. Keep reading to learn how you can enter to win an awesome personalized gift from Personally Anchored!
Here is my interview with Sommer Meredith, owner of Personally Anchored:
Kayla: Tell us about yourself.
Sommer: I am an outgoing Navy spouse! I love meeting new people and helping friends and family out. We have lots of friends with little ones so any time I have free time I love getting to meet up over coffee or lunch and get some quality time with some sweet mommas and enjoy those moments. California is also known for its farmers markets. I also love crafting, refinishing furniture pieces and yardsaling (Who doesn’t love a great deal). We are currently living in Carmel, CA and I absolutely love everything about being here. Most importantly my husband is home every night and we finally get to enjoy the little things in life like dinner every night. After 5 years of marriage my husband and I are currently in the process of trying to adopt through a Fost/Adopt agency here locally and couldn’t be more excited. We’re hoping 2015 is the best year yet!
Kayla: Why did you start your business? Tell us how you came up with your idea.
I started my business because I already loved crafting, making unique gifts for friends and family, and I was looking for something that could travel with us as we moved. I had a friend that introduced me to what her machine could do and through blogs, you tube, Google (it’s everybody’s friend) and Pinterest. I realized I could really have something here. So I started really small and just did items for friends and here and there until I worked through some kinks. So with a lot of faith I finally decided to start on Facebook and started making items for military spouses. Quickly, through word of mouth my business started getting recognized. It’s still very small, but I am so thankful for the community around me and the military community because I have been able to do what I love and actually have a business that is profitable. I have always had customer service type positions and jobs (Store manager, hospitality and serving), so one thing that makes me even more excited is that despite the long hours sometimes I am thrilled at the end of the day when I see what all I have done. And it’s all worth it when I see how happy my clients are at pick-ups and deliveries! I truly feel blessed.
Kayla: How has military life impacted your business? Is it difficult to run with the constant moves?
I think our military ties have helped me and my business. My name is now known in this small town and I couldn’t have hoped for more. We haven’t moved since I started my business so I can’t answer that quite yet. But I am hoping that the transition will be smooth and easy.
Kayla: How do you get customers?
Sommer: Right now most of all my customers come from word of mouth, Facebook and Instagram. Social media is wonderful, and I am able to reach a wide audience.
Kayla: Did you need a lot of money to start your business?
Sommer: I didn’t have a lot of startup costs fortunately. And within 3 short months I had begun to make a profit. The biggest expense for my type of business is supplies and stock items so I have items already in stock when a client orders.
Kayla: Do you use social media for marketing?
Sommer: Yes, yes and yes. It’s free and gives me a wide client base. Plus it gives clients the forum to comment, upload photos and share their purchases.
Kayla: How do you juggle being a military spouse and businessperson?
Sommer: I feel like at times I don’t juggle it all as well as I feel like I should. But, there is no perfect model. Starting a business is difficult at times, it’s long hours, and there is no one to fault but yourself when things don’t go right. So I feel like I put unnecessary pressure on myself to go above and beyond. I never want to give my business or my clients less than 100%, but in turn that doesn’t leave much for my husband or my housework. Luckily when times get stressful my husband is to the rescue and helps me accomplish tasks during the busy times. It took some trial and error but we manage to make things work smoothly now that we have a system in place.
Kayla: What has been your biggest challenge?
Sommer: My biggest challenge at times is TIME. I need more hours in the day or the week.
Kayla: What has been your greatest reward?
Sommer: My greatest reward is seeing my husband proud of me and my business and how hard I work. My greatest business reward is seeing how happy my clients are when they pick up their gifts and items. This is why I am in this business.
Kayla: If you could tell another military spouse one thing about starting their own business, what would it be?
Sommer: I would tell them don’t let the constant moves discourage you. There will never be a “perfect” time. So go or it, give it your all, and don’t look back!
Kayla: Thank you, Sommer! We appreciate the great insight into your business. Best of luck continue to grow Personally Anchored! I can’t wait to order her new growth charts for Baby #2.
Sommer has graciously donated her time to give us an awesome giveaway! Click on the photo below for your chance to enter a Personalized Starbucks Cup and Monogrammed Ring Dish!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you would like to learn more about Personally Anchored, here are a few ways to connect with Sommer: http://www.PersonallyAnchored.com Personally Anchored Facebook: www.facebook.com/personallyanchored Instagram: @ PERSONALLYANCHORED PersonallyAnchored@gmail.com Phone: 423-364-1799 If you know an amazing military spouse entrepreneur, please let me know! We would love to interview them.