#ShopMilitary - How to support the movement

***Update: since this post was written, Shop Military has truly taken flight! Visit the movement and learn more at www.ShopMilitary.org.***

It all began with a simple act. Mrs. Karen Pence spoke on her initiative to support military spouses at Fort Carson, CO. Walking the walk during her speech and in an interview on national television, Mrs. Pence wore a Hope Design Ltd. brooch. This jewelry was pivotal; it was handcrafted by a military spouse - me. I responded by doing the traditional thing that military spouses do - I wrote a thank you note and #ShopMilitary was born.


The idea is simple - military spouse and veteran business owners share what their businesses are and how America can best support them on their own social media channels with #ShopMilitary.


Military spouse and veteran business owners - need a creative push? Here are some suggestions.

America will search #ShopMilitary and support military spouse and veteran-owned businesses. A like, comment, purchase, or referral - all are appreciated!

Now, why shop military spouse and veteran-owned businesses and hire military spouses? According to the US Chamber of Commerce:

  • "Unemployment and underemployment continue to be significant challenges for most military spouses. Many are in part-time or seasonal positions when they would prefer full time or permanent work.

  • "Military spouses with degrees face the greatest challenges in nearly every measurable employment category. They face the highest rates of unemployment and the most difficulty finding meaningful work.

  • "Moves between duty stations play havoc on careers. Not only do most military spouses have to quit jobs because of a move, but they also face long periods of unemployment after the move.

  • "Like most American families, military families want and need two incomes – something that is much harder for military families to achieve.

  • "The lack of employment opportunities creates stress and influences a family's decision to stay in or leave the military – factors that ultimately hurt military readiness, retention, and recruiting."

Why am I doing this? Because I believe in military spouses; I know my tribe to be incredibly hard-working, selfless, and morally sound. I know the cloth we military spouses are cut from because I live this life. I have lived in 8 different houses in 11 years and, even though we just unboxed our possessions in June, we are already slated to move again in May. I raise my children without the aid of family nearby; I have even been known to approach strangers at the Commissary (the grocery store on post), striking up a conversation in an attempt to find the highly coveted emergency contacts that I so desperately need to enroll my children in yet another new school. I know the stressors that are unique to the military life because this is my world.

And these military spouse businesses? They are our chance to contribute and shine in harmony with our service members' careers.

Yes, this is my real life. Just 2 weeks ago at a Spouses' Club's sign up vendor event, this happened.

I am not a political activist, marketing guru, or a million dollar company. I married the man of my dreams, who happens to wear a uniform. I wake up every day trying to do my best to raise my children and bring happiness to this world.

Your support would mean the world to me.

Lauren Hope

Owner | Designer | Artisan

Hope Design Ltd.Ⓡ