Katie’s passion to create started as a hobby and now turned into her own business. Love and Lettering by Katie is a small shop that includes unique signs, door hangers, ornaments, and vinyl stickers. Katie is a military spouse, her husband is in the Air Force. They are currently located at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, South Dakota.
What made you decide this career path? Sometimes in life, plan A doesn’t always work all the time. I’ve been a Registered Nurse since 2008, but after our latest move to South Dakota in June of 2020, I hung up my scrubs for the time being to take on a different role at home: homeschool teacher for my two beautiful boys. I had started hand lettering as a hobby just to try for fun almost a year prior, but I really fell in love with it. This quickly turned into wanting to just immerse myself into all things art. I had been toying with the idea of turning my hobby into a business, and I finally decided I should just take that leap of faith and jump right in once we got settled at our new duty station and I had adjusted to my new role at home with homeschooling. It’s been especially helpful for our family since I’ve been able to stay at home with my boys, but I can also do something I love.
Where have you lived and what has been your favorite base so far? We’ve been stationed at Vandenberg AFB in Lompoc, CA, Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, MT, Barksdale AFB in Bossier City, AZ, Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ, Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL, and now Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, SD. It’s hard to pick a favorite because I made great connections with both active duty spouses as well as civilian friends. Every base has given me wonderful memories with our family and friends so I can’t pick which one I loved the most.
What is the biggest challenge of being a military spouse and pursuing your career? The uncertainty of where we will be next, what the requirements are for each state, and building up a network again after each and every move.
What are your other hobbies? I love to read, hike, binge watch shows with my husband, spend time with my family and our chocolate lab, and to exercise. I love teaching spin class on base three classes/week and connecting with other military spouses and active duty members while working on our fitness goals.
What are some benefits of being a military spouse as a business owner? I think we learn how to be resilient and determined quickly when you are thrust into military life. This has helped me so much with nursing jobs, but now it’s helping me with my business. As I mentioned before, plan A doesn’t always happen like we pictured, but having been a seasoned military spouse for over 12 years, I am resilient and determined to just put one foot in front of the other and work on plan B-Z if necessary.
If you could, what advice would you give yourself when you first started your business? Dream big and just go for it. It might seem scary at first, but it’s so worth it when you make your first sale. And it will continue to be exciting every single sale afterward!
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Photo credits: Jessica Jones Photography (headshot)
and Nessa Nicole Photography