More than 1 million veterans have gone on to open their own businesses, according to the Small Business Administration. With Small Business Saturday approaching, Reserve & National Guard Magazine has compiled a list of 10 veteran-owned businesses to consider supporting.
The Skirted Soldier Tea Company
Air Force veteran Rhonda Smith founded The Skirted Soldier Tea Company, which specializes in hand-blended, loose teas, in March 2018. Since its inception in Blue Knob, Pennsylvania, the company has expanded to 25 states and now sells its products online.
Alpha Coffee Company
Alpha Coffee Company brings Army reservist Carl Churchill’s family together in an entrepreneurial adventure. While its brick-and-mortar stores are located in Utah, coffee – in bean and K-cup form – are available online, along with branded coffee mugs and apparel.
Combat Flip Flops
Army Rangers Donald Lee and Matthew Griffin and serial entrepreneur Andy Sewrey co-founded Combat Flip Flops, selling footwear and other apparel, in January 2012. Within three days, 4,000 pairs of flip flops had been sold. The company now outsources shoe production to Colombia, and sells accessories made by women in Afghanistan and jewelry from Laos. Combat Flip Flops also partners with Afghanistan for Education to help send girls in the country to school.
Just Lovely Lipstick
Army veteran Tanya Bryant founded Just Lovely Lipstick following the death of her mother in 2014, the company becoming part of her grieving process. Made with natural oils, she shifted her business model during the COVID-19 pandemic to add lip conditioner to her wares.
Alaska guardsman Amy Slinker founded WILCO SUPPLY in 2005, creating accessories that comply with military regulations. She offers black bags from a range of brands in addition to travel bags, backpacks, wallets and other accessories.
“We carry brands owned by veterans, made by veterans and made with upcycled military materials,” Slinker previously told Reserve & National Guard Magazine.
Navy reservist Theresa Adair founded Unscripted Roasters, where a portion of each purchase goes toward fellow female veterans, as well as “STEM initiatives for underrepresented individuals,” according to the company website. Female-owned and managed farms play a key role in the business.
Combat Corps Fitness
An active-lifestyle brand, Combat Corps Fitness offers apparel for men and women, gym accessories and several personalized nutrition and fitness programs. Combat Corps Fitness also hosts a charity boot camp every summer.
The Jewelry Republic
Created to tell military stories through jewelry, the Jewelry Republic offers rings, beads and cufflinks for men and necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets for women. In addition to being run by veterans, the company also partners with the Rosie Network and Racing for Heroes.
Ziv Products sells natural hair care products that feature essential oils and vitamins. From beard oil and balm to EVOO-infused body butter, this veteran-owned company offers items for men and women alike.
Based in Houston, Alaska, Patriot BBQ is owned and operated by Air Force veteran Dustin Heger and his wife, Shanie. Started in 2020, the company offers barbecue rubs and sauces. Their products have placed in local barbecue competitions in the Houston, Alaska, area.Read comments