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March is Women’s History Month. BCB salutes the MANY women throughout history who have gotten us to this point today. But, throughout March 2021 we are celebrating and sharing MOMS who are making history RIGHT NOW. As we know, moms are basically super human, super heroes. We tackle so much at once, are the queens of multitasking and at the end of the day—we are almost always putting others’ best interests ahead of our own. So as we look to the future, we want you to meet some incredible women, all of who are making sure brighter days lie ahead for all.
Today we want you to meet Monica Fullerton, a military spouse who saw an opportunity to create a business to help support other military spouse and veteran owned businesses. Launching right before the pandemic, Spouse-ly, is a new online marketplace where you can shop a wide variety of handmade items, products, and services created by military spouse & veteran-owned businesses nationwide. Despite launching before the onset of COVID-19, Spouse-ly is thriving, so much so that Monica was able to quit her full-time job. Check out her inspirational story.
Name: Monica Fullerton
Kid(s) and Ages: Twins! Madelyn & Mason age 4.5 years old
Where do you live? Las Vegas, NV
As an Air Force spouse, I am all too familiar with the challenges of military life – one of them being the ability to maintain a stable job in the midst of many relocations and demanding requirements for my husband. Many military spouses and veterans pursue entrepreneurship, which has resulted in a community of talented creators, makers and business owners that NEED the support of consumers who wish to shop small.
In February 2020, I launched Spouse-ly, a new online marketplace where you can shop a wide variety of handmade items, products, and services created by military spouse & veteran-owned businesses nationwide. This online multi-vendor marketplace is the only place where consumers can shop exclusively military spouse and veteran owned businesses. I’ve been building this from the ground up as a solopreneur and couldn’t be more honored to be doing so for our talented community. Since launching, we’ve grown our community of vendors by 550% and represent hundreds of military families. What’s even more rewarding is that 90% of the business owners in our community are women. As a military spouse myself and twin mom I know firsthand how important it is to have a community that provides both flexibility and stability while doing something you truly love!
It’s so hard to pick just one, but I would have to say my mom. She has been a constant source of inspiration and motivation as she raised me to follow my dreams. She has always believed in me no matter what. I hope to raise my twins with the exact same message.
I am very passionate about helping women become financial contributors in their family, particularly when raising small children. I recognize that while I am in this very stage of life and we are faced with many personal and professional challenges, I must remain strong and vocal for my community of female founders. For all of the brave and strong women who have helped make history and pave the way for generations to come, all I can say is thank you.
Maintaining a job or a career as a working mother is a challenge that needs continuous and holistic focus from legislators, business leaders and communities. Collectively, we must work together to support women in the workplace by providing the flexibility and stability that is needed for working moms.
I just quit my full-time job to focus on growing my own company because I felt like I did not have the support of my employer as a working mom juggling many different roles throughout the pandemic. Women are fleeing the workforce because it’s hard to balance personal/professional obligations and need more flexibility. Working moms are some of the greatest employees a company can have. We are natural multi-taskers, skilled in many different areas, and determined to provide for our families the best we can. At Spouse-ly we believe in having a balance, doing something that you love, and helping spouses have extra-income generating opportunities no matter where the military life takes them.
Hands down: Oprah. From a very young age she inspired me to learn from others, share inspiring stories, and the power of communication. I received my degree in Multi-Media Journalism & Communications in hopes of one day being a TV host. Although that lifestyle would not fit with the military life and having to move around frequently, I pivoted from those dreams, which ultimately brought me to fulfilling the mission of supporting military spouses and veteran business owners.
I married my high school sweetheart and always told people from a young age that I was going to have twins, specifically a boy and girl. And sure enough however many years later- SURPRISE! We have fraternal twins and it has been the best gift I could ever ask for.
The juggle is real but as a determined and hard-working mom, butI have to say, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I always love a good challenge and if that means adding more to my plate to help others and make an impact that is going to benefit a large community, then I say bring it on! A good routine and structured day helps make everything possible.
Launching my company right before the pandemic was devastating as I didn’t think a new marketplace would survive when launched during tough times. Boy was I wrong! The pandemic confirmed just how much our platform was needed: a place for people to come together, learn from each other, and most importantly support one another by shopping small! Additionally, it has been so relieving to witness more corporate companies embrace remote work, which will greatly impact employment opportunities for talented military spouses.
I think at the moment we are seeing two sides of it. We are seeing a large group of women departing the workforce because they are trying to juggle everything with little flexibility. And then we are seeing the other side where more women are going the route of entrepreneurship to help to try and make their own flexibility and stability to navigate the new normal. Women are building the life that works best for them and there are big shifts that will come from this that will have long-lasting effects.
Motherhood is not perfect and we are always our own worst critics. Just keep in mind that you are doing an amazing job! Find your tribe that supports you and is there to lean on. Being a mom is the best gift we could ask for, but just remember you are still allowed to be you and do what makes you happy as well!
I am determined to make Spouse-ly a household name for our incredible community because when we shop small, we make a BIG impact in our local and national communities. Whether you are in the military community or not, together we are so much stronger. Stand up for what you believe in, find your inner creativity, and do something you love!
Last show you binged: Firefly Lane
Last book you read: The Handmaid’s Tale
Go-To Family Dinner: Tacos
Favorite Beverage: Sprite & Wine!
Favorite Take out: Pizza
Favorite Dessert: Anything with Banana
Summer or Winter? Summer
Dream Vacation: Bora Bora
#1 Beauty Product you can’t live without: Marc Jacobs Mascara
App you can’t live without on your phone: Instagram
Stay tuned as we feature Moms Making History RIGHT NOW every day in the month of March. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more. Do you know someone we should be talking to? Email us to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also meet more Moms We Love, right here.