We are bringing a new series to the blog space called (Shop) Adventures in the Military Community and Adventures of the Kiosk Lady. This is another opportunity for us to share with each other and the world an insider's view of the challenges and successes of living the military life. First up is:
S.C. Geraci here. I've got bad news and good news. The bad news is that there are a lot of people out there that aren't aware of the Homefront Team. The good news is that they actually do want to know about our team.
If you've seen any of my earlier blog postings you know I'm new to the military. Fort Rucker, AL is my first installation. When I got here I had trouble finding other artists and crafters like me. It's been almost a year now that I've lived here and I now know eight. (I just met #8 today) I accomplished this by finding the Homefront Team on the Etsy sight. Through the team I found some local friends. Through these friends, as well as some other social outlets, I met more. Now that I am more comfortable here, every time I meet people I tell them about what I do and what our team does. Everyone is always very excited about the news and enthusiastic about supporting.
Because of this I've started to feel motivated to make every attempt I can to spread the word of buying handmade online and supporting a military family. The most recent step I've taken is an announcement at an F.R.G. W.I.N.D. meeting. In the Army, FRG stands for Family Readiness Group. It is an organization designed to enhance communication between the army and families. WIND is the acronym for the meeting. They have meetings once a month where many topics are discussed. At the end of the meeting there is a "bulletin board." I was on today's bulletin board. I stood up for two minutes and described the homefront team and brats. Also, each attendee was given our flyer. I was a bit nervous to do all of this, as there are many important people at these meetings. But everyone welcomed my information. My guess is that it was actually "news" to everyone. A couple of people even came to me after the meeting for more information.
I am writing this because I REALLY want to encourage our members to do the same thing at their installation. The military family wants to support us and wants us to be successful. I urge you to locate the WIND leader at your own installation. If you have trouble contact me. Maybe my leader can find your leader. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you are nervous to speak in front of other people here is exactly what I said. Copy it, insert your name, and read it right off the paper. I did:
Hi, my name is Sarah Geraci. I am here to share with you a unique opportunity to buy handmade online from military spouses. The website is called Etsy. Some of you may already be familiar. When you go to www.etsy.com you can shop specifically by vendor and/or teams of vendors. There is a team on the site that is comprised of spouses of uniformed service members. It is called the Home Front Team. There is also a team called Brats, children of uniformed service members. A lot of times the two teams work in conjunction. The benefits of shopping this way are two-fold. Not only do you support an artisan, but you also support a military family as well. Since the website and military are global, you can search products from artists and crafters living all over the world. It’s quite amazing what some of these spouses are doing. Items range from clothing, to bath & beauty, to baked goods & candy, even handmade board games. Shopping like this is a great way to feel part of a community. In the military we are always moving, but Etsy and The Home Front Team allow you to “shop local” even though we are spread out all over the world. These spouses really appreciate your enthusiasm for their work as well as the contribution their families. In addition to the shopping you are welcome to become a supporting member of the Home Front community at www.homefrontartistryteam.
Download our flyer and have the meeting leader print your copies. I did. They even made our page part of the power point presentation.I hope this will be the start of all of us doing more to ensure our success. To anyone else doing things of this nature, please email Robin, or me, and let us know so it can be shared on the blog.
Thank you Sarah for passing on this information. If you are interested in offering information on how to promote shops to the military community, please contact us via the Contact tab at the top of the blog.