Jarneec is an author, she published her first book in honor of her brother who passed away a few years ago from a blood disease. Her book, Peto with the C-Shaped Blood has deep personal meaning behind it as well as an objective to raise awareness and bring some hope. She is also a military spouse. Her husband serves in the United States Air Force and they are currently stationed in Anderson AFB in Yigo, Guam.
When did you start your business & what made you decide this career path?
Our business started November 2020. I always loved writing but I have dyslexia. It can be really hard sometimes especially with spelling but I had a story that I wrote a little over a year and a half prior to starting our business. The story was about my brother who had Sickle Cell Anemia. After writing and drawing the cover of the story it stayed on my shelf. In June of 2020 I was sitting on my chair and God clear as day said, “It can’t do anything sitting on the shelf” (insert tears). At that moment I realized I can either let this story stay in a pretty box on a shelf or I could release it. I never had a plan to start a business. I just wanted to start something and actually finish it. The closer I got to my goal the more I realized I was doing something outside of myself. Peto’s story was not just about my brother but it was about me and everyone around me. It was about the person who struggles with another illness or even the person who doesn’t have an illness, but still needs encouragement. Understanding that we are Peto’s journey changed my perspective of why I cannot give up.
Where have you lived and what has been your favorite base so far?
My husband and I spent the past eight years at Langley Air Force base. We have been in Guam a little less than a month. I miss Langley and the connections that I had there. However, I can see how close of a community the base here in Guam is. I am super excited to see what is in store.
What is the biggest challenge of being a military spouse and pursuing your career?
Navigating being a military wife and running a business has been really hard. Because my business is primarily in the states, I have to wake up really early to do Virtual Readings, make phone calls, and send emails. It is also difficult when your husband is scheduled to leave a lot and you have to make sure you stay on top of everything that normally you both share.
What are your other hobbies?
I have a lot of hobbies. I love doing volunteer work for Non-Profits across the globe. Whether that is communicating in a different language, writing, teaching someone how to drive, and something simple such as taking refugees kids to school or medical appointments. I also love to sing, I used to sing on my worship team at church, paint, play the guitar…. so many things.
What are some benefits of being a military spouse as a business owner?
I have the assurance that we will receive a paycheck (eventually) but honestly it is the people I get to meet because of the military. People of different backgrounds, faiths, religion, and opinions. I love growing and learning from others and the military allows me to know people right in my backyard.
If you could, what advice would you give yourself when you first started your business?
Remember your why is just as important as your who. I realize people have different reasons to start a business. Mine is different from most. I want to spread awareness about Sickle Cell Anemia. My brother died from the blood disease three years ago and his life made an imprint on my heart. Because his journey was done with strength. We want to show people they are not alone.
Any future plans or dreams for your business?
We are currently working on a campaign for Sickle Cell Awareness Day which is Saturday, June 19, 2021. It is called Peto’s Journey Across America. We are partnering with different people, organizations, churches, etc to purchase 1,000 copies of “Peto, the boy with the C-Shaped blood” and giving them to hospitals across all 50 states. We are super excited about it and the hospitals we have connected with are also thrilled. In the not too distant future, we are planning on creating dolls, shirts, an animation series, and other books. Our slogan is, ” Remember, even though Peto’s blood cells were shaped like a C, it was his heart that changed the world”.
Photo credit: Asmond Photography