Several guardsmen and reservists have balanced their service with owning small businesses over the years. Reserve & National Guard Magazine compiled a list of six to consider supporting in 2022.
San Dieguito Candles
Owned by National Guardsman Christina Batiz, San Dieguito Candles sells candles with scents inspired by various locations in San Diego, California. All scents are created with “a special coconut and apricot blend of wax,” according to the company’s website. Coasters, incense holders and other items made from cement also are available.
Jessica Harris, who serves in the Washington Army National Guard, has all the treats covered for those four-legged companions. K9 Salute sells natural dog treats, with proceeds benefitting working K9s. Dogs killed in the line of duty also are honored on select items. Funds are directed to help veterans obtain service dogs and to secure vests and medical equipment for police department K9s.
American Heroes Coffee
American Heroes Coffee sells both bagged and K-Cup products, in addition to apparel and drinkware. National Guardsman Jeff Cercy started the company as a way to increase awareness of what veterans and first responders grapple with on a daily basis. American Heroes also has private-label partnerships with the Travis Manion Foundation, Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation, and Allen J Lynch Medal of Honor Veterans Foundation.
Battle Brothers Shaving Co.
Battle Brothers Shaving Co. offers “high-quality men’s groom products” ranging from shaving brushes to beard oil. Andrew Weis, who served in the National Guard, started Battle Brothers as a direct result of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan where he bonded with his fellow service members trying to find the perfect shave. Gift cards also are available.
Steel Crazy Iron Art
Brian Hogle and retired Army reservist Ed Hogle opened Steel Crazy Iron Art in 2004, taking their construction industry skills to the art world. The duo creates 9/11 memorial products, badges, custom signage and more. In their military specific line, customers can choose from dog tags, coat racks, medallions and wall hangings.
AIRCORPCAMO sells tactical clothing and gear out of South Carolina. Offerings in the shop owned by a retired Air Force reservist include new military and military-style apparel – from tactical pants to clothing accessories), as well as outdoor gear. The store also offers to sell items from individuals on consignment.