'AllintheFamily' CEO'S CORNER
Family businesses are everywhere Many think of family businesses as being passed down from one generation to another, and that was often the case Today, most start-ups are indeed a family-affair with many family members pitching in
We especially love seeing our youngest military family members turning toward entrepreneurship, which is why The Rosie Network launched the Military Kidpreneur Camp last Summer. In this issue you'll meet some of our graduates and if you have an entrepreneurial kid in your home, you'll be happy to know that we are bringing back this very popular program this Summer!
Entrepreneurial families create economic and social impact in their communities These jobcreators need our support, so before you hit one of those 'big-box' stores, we hope you'll Think Small and Buy Military Family-Owned first
CEO & Founder
The Rosie Network
“Entrepreneurial behavior is driven by families, not just family businesses ”William B Gartner, Professor of Family Entrepreneurship
Kim Cross is a proud U.S. Navy Veteran and Happy Skin Formulator. Her military service as an Aviation Technician took her coast to coast and overseas, defending the country she loves. After Kim’s service, she was never completely satisfied being out of the military, so she began to follow her first passion, cosmetology. A trade she had been active in on and off since middle school.
Constant exposure to water and chemicals made a skin condition Kim had developed while in the Navy worsen; she finally came from behind the stylist chair after almost 20 years in the cosmetology industry. With her skin out of control, she began her journey to entrepreneurship when finding skincare products that did not agitate her already inflamed skin became almost impossible. Knowing the hardship of finding gentle skincare good for the skin and smells amazing, Kim used the grit and determination learned in the military to research and formulate her solution. Zhi Bath & Body was born from years of trial and error with formulas and testing. For almost 17 years, her goat milk skincare and soy candles have been helping people of all ages and skin types to love their skin…naturally.
Over the almost two decades since starting Zhi (pronounced chee), Kim has begun teaching future generations the art and science of formulating and crafting natural skincare products As a multi-passionate creative, she takes great pleasure in calming her soul through prayer and adult coloring books (the newest book she designed is coming Fall 2022 release). Kim has been featured in numerous magazines such as Fashion Gxd, Huami Magazine, and SwagHer Magazine.
In 2020, she was recognized by her local VA for her work collecting cold-weather gear for local homeless veterans and their families. She was a 2021 Finalist for the 5th Annual Veteran & Military Spouse Entrepreneur Awards most recently. She is also a published author known for writing on natural skincare, military news, and youth leadership.
Kim comes from a family of people who serve--in both the military and as ministers in the community. She is a mom to two teenage business owners and a military spouse to a Navy Seabee Veteran. When she isn’t working on a new private label product for a client or teaching a class on soapmaking, Kim loves to teach her boys the ins and outs of business outside of creating a new paracord braid or tee shirt design.
Kim’s boys, Chaz & Joshua, budding entrepreneurs themselves, attended The Rosie Network’s Kidpreneur Camp last summer to accelerate their businesses. We asked Kim to chat with the boys about themselves, their businesses, and the future.
C H A Z
R A D U A T E &
"It was a very educational camp. I learned things I didnt know but can really help with my business I like that the teachers were nice and taught business in a way that I could understand easily My mom says we are starting out with things in our business toolbox that she did not have when she began...I think that's awesome that we can teach her from what we learned in camp."
JOSH, KIDPRENEUR CAMP GRADUATE & OWNER OF BEE BRACELETS
"I thought it was a very helpful camp and the instructors made it so I understood what my mom already does a bit better I learned quite a bit form the instructors and the other kids too! How to market my bracelets and keychains effectively (and eaiser) is what I remember to be most helpful."KARENINA H. PHOTOGRAPHY
, K I D E P R E N E U R C A M P G
O W N E R O F C R O S S T ' SPhoto by: Karenina H Photography
"Service2CEO was a game-changer for my business. I was completely overwhelmed with all the working parts of starting a business and almost gave up on my dream. This program broke it down into small manageable chunks and provided me the hands-on assistance that I needed. I was able to convert what had once been a hobby into a full-time portable career with the mentorship and programming provided by The Rosie Network."
IT'S ALL FUN & GAMES WITH THE MITCHELL FAMILY
U R N I N G L A
N D F U N I N
Anthony, the oldest, helped build the BamzBall prototype and all the kids helped with brainstorming the gameplay, play testing, and being in the video. It went from throwing balls to defend the goal to throwing beanbags to ultimately blocking the goal with your hands. After playtesting was set and the gameplay figured out, they made a pitch video of the game so April could present the game to potential companies to manufacture and sell the game BamzBall was licensed to the company B4 Adventure based in Denver, CO, and will be available to purchase this June.
How It All Started
A G A M E O N R E T A I L S H E L V E S fter hearing laughter and heering, April Mitchell alked out of her house's ont door to explore what all e commotion was. She saw alls flying everywhere by e basketball hoop and her ds and neighborhood kids ustling while playing some game. Confused at what they were doing, she asked loudly with a bit of a laugh, "What in the world are you guys doing?" The kids responded by sharing with her the game they were playing and how to play- something they just made up to have some extra fun and change up their regular basketball shooting. After talking more about the game with the kids later, they thought it'd be fun to somehow take what they were playing and make it so other families could play no matter where they were! They had done this a few times before-making a game to companies what the kids or s playing that they This was when the mzBall was born! It ed from the original make it more ble and playable since then.
April started inventing products in the housewares industry. She had licensed two products, one of which has been available for retail for the past three years called Right Height adjustable over the hook and is manufactured and sold by Richards Homewares based out of Oregon. The Mitchell children saw an idea of their Mom's go from a sketch, then CADs, then a prototype, and then a licensed product on the market for sale.
April says it was important to her that her family be part of the process so they too knew they could do anything with an idea and hard work. Her husband Tony and the kids all played a vital role in helping with the Right Height hook. The children soon all had inventors' notebooks and would come up with ideas that they often discussed as a family. April, a certified Elementary School teacher, designed games to play with her students when she taught and with her kids to help them learn different concepts. Creating was a part of life she learned from her Father and her Grandfather. The Mitchell family soon had a fire lit for creating and turned their fun games into concepts to present to companies for licensing. Their first couple of games did not get licensed and make it to the market, but they have since licensed two toys and 4 games, and April is pitching a dozen more to companies all the time BamzBall, along with one indoor/outdoor toy and one preschooler game(both names to be released at a later date) will be out for retail this Summer
The kids use their talents to help an idea go from concept to presentation-ready with a pitch video Sometimes it may be their art skills or construction skills needed; sometimes, it may be their brainstorming, play testing, prototyping, or videoing that is necessary All four kids, Anthony, Alexander (Zander), Abraham, and Annabelle, have all helped prototype a few concepts and are often play-testers in the videos. Their ideas, brainstorming, and feedback are critical parts of working together. Abraham has taken one of his toy ideas and has seen it through the process, with April guiding him. April is currently pitching his toy for him to land him a licensing deal. Both Abraham and Annabelle have participated in The Chicago Toy and Game Fair Young Inventors Challenge.If your child may be interested in participating checkout this site for more information: https://www.chitag.com.
Take a peek into a day in the life of budding artist Stella Young, and how she improves her craft
The Mitchell Family continues to work on new toy and game ideas together. They enjoy exploring the areas they live and are always up for some fun! April also works with other inventors on concepts, and her TEAM is always needed to help in some way, whether it be a drawing, prototype, playtesting, or video help They have signed 9 licensing deals across the housewares, party, toy, and game industry to date Look out for more licensing deals soon and more products hitting the retail shelves soon from The Mitchells aka 4A's Creations, LLC (yes, the 4 A's are the four children, all with names starting with the letter A)!
BamzBall will be on sale this June at www.b4adventure.com
Changing the narrative of what beautiful is
MEET PATRICIA AND LILY, THE TWIN TECH GENIUSES BEHIND OPERATION SYT LAUNCH
When I tell people that I work with my sister, most are fascinated by the idea It's not something they see themselves doing, and I get it I'm not sure I could've seen this coming either, but we are 12 years later, still going strong We've learned a lot about how to navigate the ups and downs of working with family.
First, make sure you have a shared vision. What do you want out of this business? If one of you wants to stay small and the other dreams of Google-level success, you'll find yourself unable to agree on even fundamental decisions. My sister and I have similar passions and visions for our company. When I suggested that we focus our energies on growing our passion project, Syt Launch (SytLaunch.com), this year, she was 100% on board. A new course, a podcast, and a mentoring program are a lot to manage on top of our web design clients, and if we disagreed on shifting our focus to our military clients, it would be more difficult trying to manage everything
Two, boundaries and clear communication are key Maybe you're in a season of life where you have more time than money to invest. That's perfectly fine, as long as you communicate that to your partner and make sure things are still in place to keep the business running smoothly. Set boundaries as needed and remember that work issues shouldn't be made personal and vice versa.
Finally, use all your available resources. One of the advantages of working with a partner is that you can leverage what you do best. But sometimes, there will still be a gap in knowledge. Find the gap, then figure out what resources you'll need to fix it. Also, when there are only two of you, ties are bound to happen, so consider finding an impartial third party for when you need another pair of eyes on a specific situation
Working with a partner always comes with challenges, even more so when your partner is family. Sometimes it feels like the lines are too blurred between work and home. But with clear boundaries and constant communication, you might find that your built-in business partner is just what you need.
"Holding Down the Fort podcast started with the simple desire to get the pulse of the military community and the lives of career military families today. Having been born into a military family household to becoming a Gold Star family member, I realized that I had a unique experience of the military community compared to my US VetWealth colleagues Most of my coworkers were veterans and had been in the service as bachelors with no kids. One of the most significant issues we encountered in offering financial advice to the military community was when military couples have to decided to keep or opt-out of the Survivor Benefit Plan
Over the years our show has pivoted and redefined its purpose throughout its five seasons
Today, the show focuses on sustaining a fulfilling and purposeful military life through conversation and community building We converse with special guests from the military community and for the military community to share knowledge, resources, and relevant stories on how we can best "hold down the fort" for ourselves and our loved ones. In 2020, I was selected as the winner of The Rosie Networks' National Veteran and Military Spouse Entrepreneur Awards Media Professional of the Year. Since winning the award, we've collected three more award nominations I've been offered many speaking engagements including two keynote speeches in 2021 I have shared my story in multiple media outlets, and been interviewed on many podcast shows
Finally, thanks to all of the stories and conversations on our show, I've gained the confidence to work with my colleagues at US VetWealth (the 2018 Best Entrepreneur Start-Up Company Awardee) to be the spokesperson of our sister show, "The Spouse Benefit Plan, " which focuses on helping career military families make the most critical decision before the transition: to keep or opt-out of the Survivor Benefit Plan If this is what an award has done for me in one year, you best believe it will do great things for you! I'm excited to see where you will go from here. To my fellow finalists that didn't win an award this time around: don't fret. The Rosie Network's got your back so long as you continue to hustle and stay plugged into this fantastic community
For many veterans and military spouses, starting a business makes more sense than pursuing a traditional day job. Veterans and military spouses can rely on their experience, adaptability, and resiliency to drive their financial stability and self-sufficiency through small business ownership
The Rosie Network, in partnership with Mission Hire Me and its production and business start-up expertise to veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs to attract investors through a well-crafted, highly professional branding video..
The videos are tailor-made in partnership with the business owner, a Service2CEO program graduate, with the goal of accelerating growth, strength, and financial success.
Together we can support those that served us, their families, communities, and our nation's economy by accelerating veteran and military spouse-owned businesses.
TOGETHER OUR MISSION IS THEIR SUCCESS
Meet Donnell Johns Jr., son of Retired Command Sergeant Major Donnell E. Johns Sr., and Mrs. Tanda L. Johns, Founders of Veterans Growing America.
A recent graduate of Hampton University with a BS in Biology, Donnell Jr is the founder of 3rd Conscience, LLC, a spiritual streetwear brand created to bridge the gap between spirituality and fashion.
The 3rd Conscience, LLC, was created for those who believe the mind has limitless power and that life is all about perception and energy. The saying, "life is what you make it," rings true, for it is your perception and perspective of different events and situations that affect the path you take when dealing with them. This brand is about making the most of the time you have here on earth, being present within every moment, turning positive thoughts into positive actions, and leaving a lasting impact on the world. We as humans are given such a short amount of time and often limited resources to make do and become successful. We spend our lives searching for a purpose, love, and happiness, but some never find it. We all try to be good and know right from wrong, often ignoring the devils on our shoulders.
However, you decide what to do at the end of the day; you are the creator of your path, YOU are the writer of your own story, and the only time to take action.... is now. You are not your mind; you are not your body; you are not your thoughts; you are not the angel nor the devil on your shoulder... you are the one aware and in control of them all. Mind What
Ways to Support The Rosie Network Why Support The Rosie Network
The Rosie Network has led the way for more than a decade by building and strengthening military families through entrepreneurship - the American Dream - but there's much more work to be done.
Together, we can do it with your support.
Month of the Military Child
A salute to our military kid
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Money Matters for Children & TeensBy Colleen Salchow
Currently, only 44% of Americans have $1,000 saved for an emergency, the highest percentage since 2014. (https://cnb.cx/3JAfwMX) Recent studies show that families are talking about finances more frequently. In 2021, 47% of families reported talking about finances together once weekly. That statistic has increased significantly from 34% of families discussing money in 2017. (https://bit.ly/3xlxNel)
Since families were together during an uncertain time, conversations were taking place regarding what changes need to be made. Americans were reminded of how to appreciate what we once took for granted. Life can have unexpected events, but modeling how to overcome those emergencies is a valuable learning opportunity. Here are ways to discuss money with children of any age. Preschool and Elementary Money Lessons Show them the money!!! In 2022, many of us will use debit or credit cards to make purchases. At this age, kids are still learning the concept of exchanging currency for goods or services. Explain why you are making your purchases. Emphasize that money is earned. Middle School Money Lessons Preteens can start to earn money outside of the home. They can also track their money with a budget. The budget is a visual tracker that shows how users interact with money.
Are they natural spenders, givers, or savers? Once we identify how the individual naturally interact with money, areas that are not a strength can be addressed. Young Adult Money Lessons Young adults will continue to need guidance regarding finances. Discuss these three C’s; classes, cooking, and cars. Are they finding value in the courses you are taking after high school? What meals can they cook to avoid ordering take-out? How are they saving money for preventative vehicle maintenance? If you want to work one-on-one with financial coaching, go to my website, www.salchowcoaching.com, to schedule a free consultation.
Magdalana and her mom, Deanna, work the process from idea, to design, through ordering, production, marketing, and delivery. They have used this process to allow Magdalana’s ideas to inspire others to overcome adversity, celebrate their freedom, focus on kindness, and love their local community Of course, it’s also cool to look really great and rock an inspiring Tshirt
In Magdalana’s spare time, she can be found playing soccer, running cross country, and hanging out with her friends. Magdalana is the daughter of Lt Col Vernon Williams, USMC (Ret)
Follow San Antonio Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve @sawearheart
With COVID-19, Magdalana had a desire to live for something greater and serve others. She began by creating cards, writing letters, making bracelets for the assisted living residents in San Antonio, TX These acts of kindness gave Magdalana the idea of starting a small business where she creates and sells inspiring t-shirts to encourage others to take a more active role in their community. Magdalana gives 100 percent of the profit back to a local or military related charityMagdalana Williams, age 13, is the founder of San Antonio Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
What started as a hobby has quickly become a business for Caleb, the son of a USN Veteran and US Army Special Forces Operator It all began during a PCS; while Caleb was hand surfing out the car window, he got to thinking… wouldn't it be cool if we could make a toy surfboard to surf out the car window? The family was in the midst of a move, so Caleb's mom thought the timing was not the best, but his dad was intrigued, so they started talking about Caleb's idea. Seeing Caleb's excitement about this idea and his determination to make this happen, Caleb's parents ordered a 3D printer. After some time tinkering with the surfboard design, Caleb asked about his parent's thoughts on selling the toys To help keep Caleb's business idea moving forward, his dad enlisted the help of an engineer to assist with the Auto CAD Program After numerous different sizing and weight adjustments, Caleb began to print the boards with the 3D printer and hand drill the holes individually to tie the leash on After trying several types of cord for the leash, he found one that could be tied onto the wrist while held out the window.
Making the boards, one by one, was taking quite some time; it was a family effort just printing the boards; we were constantly re-starting the printers when we heard them stop We decided to purchase additional 3D printers to help the production rate Caleb was busy night and day, constantly taking the boards off and starting the machines again While Caleb was in charge of production, his parents worked on the business, licensing the name and design
Once Caleb, had two hundred boards printed, we headed to the local surf shop, Mavericks, to see if there was any interest in selling the boards. The store owner was impressed with Caleb's idea and design but thought his display could use a little work So, we went back home and worked on the presentation using the suggestions of the surf shop owner It wasn't too long before we were back at Maverick's with a new display, and Maverick's became the first surf shop to sell Airwaves Surfboards.
The boards were such a hit that Caleb's mom decided to reach out to Ron Jon's Surf Shop, the most famous surf shop in the world, to see if they might be interested in the boards They were skeptical but interested but needed to see a sample. A week after we sent the sample, we got that call that they wanted to carry the boards in their stores! We soon realized that 3D printers would not work well enough to meet the demands for the number of boards Ron Jon's requested; we quickly adapted the design to a mold, and the boards are now made via injection molding
It's been over a year since this business venture began; it's still a family effort to get the boards produced and out the door. Caleb's parents are proud of him for his hard work and determination for his growing business. The family hopes to get Air Waves Surf Boards in more stores this year. If you are in Ron Jon's Surf Shops, be sure to look for the boards or shop at wwwairwaveboardssurf
MOTHER & DAUGHTER BUSINESS GIVES BACKByCyndiLeslie
Like many Americans, the pandemic changed my life; it was a turning point My active duty husband worked countless hours while I was quarantined and homeschooled our children. Our daily life was busy inside the four walls of our home, but my daughter Layla and I felt compelled to help others. We are a creative pair, passionate about giving back to our community. We gathered materials and stayed up day and nigh to hand-craft face masks. We stitched over four dozen masks and gave them to military members The experiences of creating and giving back to our community during this time grew our desire to start our own business and give back to the community.
In 2021, I graduated from the Rosie Network's Sevice2CEO program and Layla from The Rosie Networks Kidpreneur Camp. The knowledge and skills we gained during these programs launched us into successful business ownership. Today, we are the proud owners of CLES BeYoutifully Uncommon LLC. Our mission is to raise awareness of mental health and self-empowerment. We want to help people of all ages become the best version of themselves
Together we will continue to make this possible so we can help impact many lives. Learn more at www.beyoutifullyuncommon.com Shop at www.etsy.com/shop/beyoutifullyuncommon
With your purchase of any of these items, the military affiliated distributors will give a percentage of the proceeds back to our cause.
Rosie T-Shirt Collection Print Post
https://shop.printpost. com/collections/ the-rosie-networkcollection-1
Kasandrinos Olive Oil Kasandrinos
Rosie The Riveter Charm Nomades Collection
https://www.nomades collection.com/products/ rosie-we-can