Military-owned businesses featured on Small Business Saturday
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Owning a small business is no easy feat, but past and present military members and their spouses take on big challenges to share their passions in local stores.
Abby Rowan owns Heartfelt Embroidery and Gifts, and took her business from her husband’s last duty station in Texas to downtown Rapid City, and now helps support other military owned businesses in the town.
“I know firsthand how hard it is to own a small business and chase somebody around the country,” Rowan says. “So we just want to embrace that struggle and kind of shine a light on all of those people. All of those people that have been driven and persevere and work with their passions to make it happen.”
For military spouses, owning a small business can bring in some additional income, but also provide an opportunity for consistency and a creative outlet during difficult times.
Nathan Rowan, Abby’s husband, retired B1 pilot from the Air Force, is now a financial advisor and runs his own business too. He knows how crucial Abby’s business was to her happiness through all of the bumps in the road.
“To have a business that they can take with them from place to place and add to the family budget each month, and give them a chance to pursue something that they may really enjoy, I mean that’s important,” he says.
Upon retiring, many service members use the talents fostered by their time in the military to help them pursue their business dreams. Crystal Trevino, Owner of Crystal T. Photography, picked up her craft after her military service.
“When I retired, my husband bought me a nice camera, and I was like alright, I’m gonna do this,” she says.
Small business ownership comes with new challenges, but also provides a close community where support is prioritized and cherished.
“I love that the small businesses help each other out too. We build each other up, and so it really still feels like I’m in a big family like I felt like when I was in the military,” Trevino adds.
Rowan says buying local any time of the year allows shoppers to invest in something for themselves, and in their community.
“Invest in the families and invest in the community, and the military family as a whole,” she said.