In our latest installment of “Sub Spouse Small Business” – meet Angie Halliwell, a sub spouse and owner of The Vintage Sailor Design Co. Based in Kings Bay, Georgia, Angie creates reclaimed, farmhouse and military-inspired décor. From custom ornaments and leather key chains to name plaques and signs, her work combines submarine style and farmhouse chic. Read more below !
Name: Angie Halliwell
Hometown: Kings Bay, Ga
Current Duty Station: Naval Submarine Station Kings Bay
Q: Tell us about your business.
The Vintage Sailor Design Co. is an online home décor business. Founded in 2013 while stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. We specialize in reclaimed, farmhouse and military inspired décor. All products are handmade in house and/or locally sourced within the U.S.A.
Q: What made you choose this type of business?
Being a stay at home mom, college student, and a young Navy wife, I needed something that allowed me to be flexible with my time. I have always been a creative person, and the craft of wood working really allowed for me to escape the daily stressors that this lifestyle entails.
Q: What motivated you to start your business?
As a submarine spouse, I found the options of décor choices for this community were relatively nonexistent, much less affordable. Every time we would get to a new duty station I wanted anything command related I could get my hands on. Spouses tend to swell with pride, and having the ability to display that within our homes can often make a bad day a little better. I just knew I could come up with something simple, customizable, and fitting for most interior design styles. That’s when I realized the need for décor and gifts that reflected the love we had for our loved one’s services in the military.
Q: How do you manage the work/life balance as a submarine spouse?
Learning how to balance work and home life as a submarine spouse has been trial and error. Being your own boss definitely allows for that flexibility to divide your time in moments of spontaneity. However, I find that trying to maintain a schedule has worked best for me. Trying to juggle every ball at once can be emotionally draining, for this reason SELF CARE is so important. Always make time for yourself, and squeeze in something daily that is good for your soul. Allow yourself some grace.
Q: Any advice for fellow submarine spouses who want to start their own business?
“You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.”
Navigating this life as a spouse has definitely aided in my abilities to adapt and overcome. I realized the timing may never be perfect. It was ok to follow my dreams while also supporting my husbands. Owning a business is very similar to deployments. Lots of challenges and emotions, but the rewards at the end are so worth it. There is a plethora of resources out there to help throughout the stages of your business journey. My two favorites have been SBA.gov and AMSE.co (Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs).
Q: Favorite thing(s) to do in your current duty station?
I may be slightly biased as I was raised in Kings Bay, Georgia as a child. The town itself is small, but filled with so much history. I love walking along the marshy banks in Downtown St. Mary’s, browsing the local shops, or touring the historic buildings, such as Orange Hall. Cumberland Island is also another favorite of mine! It’s a 17-mile white sand barrier island only accessible by ferry. There you can see old historic buildings, and watch the wild horses. If you are more of the city type, Jacksonville, Florida is a short 30 minute trip south on I95.
Q: Where can we support and learn more about your business?