In our latest installment of “Sub Spouse Small Business,” we’re thrilled to introduce you to Jenny Wade, a Groton-based submarine spouse and entrepreneur. As owner of “All The Pretty Tees,” Jenny’s mission is to empower women to feel happy, confident and special with beautiful t-shirt designs. Read on to learn more!
Name: Jenny Wade
Hometown: Stonington, CT
Current Duty Station: Groton, CT
Q: Tell us about your business.
I started a small business, All The Pretty Tees, to make inspiring t-shirts for women. The shirts are for moms, wives, sisters, friends, boss babes, small business owners, teachers, warriors, survivors, any strong woman! All The Pretty Tee’s mission is to make every woman who wears one of our tees feel happy, confident, and special. Eventually, I want our brand to be about more than just t-shirts. I’d like to build a community of women who all support each other in every way including motherhood and womanhood. I am currently taking custom shirt orders as well!
Q: What made you choose this type of business?
It started as a “little idea” in the back of my mind. I had purchased a shirt myself that said “happy mama” on it when I was going through a very difficult time earlier this year. I had just had my first baby and then COVID-19 hit. I had been dealing with a traumatic event that happened to one of my family members. I was trying to stay strong for my son. As silly as it sounds, the “happy mama” shirt actually made me feel happy, like a good mom, and positive when I wore it, despite everything I was going through. Long story short, I wanted other women to feel this way. I wanted to share the feeling of confidence and happiness from wearing one of our tees.
Q: What motivated you to start your business?
What motivated me to start my business was my son and being able to help provide for him. I also want him to know you can do anything you set your mind to. After my maternity leave, I decided not to return to my healthcare job due to COVID-19. We were also up for orders and unsure of where we would be going. So I knew I had to somehow make income from home. Making shirts was the perfect solution!
Q: How do you manage the work/life balance as a submarine spouse?
What I’ve come to learn as a military spouse is that some things are just out of our control and we need to be flexible and go with the flow. I’ve had to put my career in healthcare on hold because my family was unsure of where we’d be stationed next. But, because of this, I was able to create All The Pretty Tees which is awesome! Now I’m able to work from home and be my own boss which gives some certainty and stability. Thankfully, my husband has been on shore duty since we’ve been married. He’s been able to help care for the baby while I work on my business. He’ll be on a sub next year though, so things will be different and I’ll have to learn to adapt.
Q: Any advice for fellow submarine spouses who want to start their own business?
A fellow sub spouse gave me this advice when I was unsure about my business and it stuck with me – “You miss 100% of the chances you DON’T take”. What’s the worst that could happen? It doesn’t work out? That’s okay! At least you tried! What if it does work out and you create something wonderful and exciting?! I say, go for it 🙂
Q: Favorite thing(s) to do in your current duty station?
Connecticut is such a beautiful place. My number one favorite thing to do would be go to the beach. The Rhode Island beaches are not far at all. We also really like Harkness Park. It’s great for picnics, there are incredible gardens, and there’s a beach there as well (psst it’s also stroller-friendly, click here). Our favorite restaurant is Jealous Monk in Mystic. It’s casual, has a fun atmosphere, firepits, and an awesome beer selection! It’s also family friendly.
Q: Where can we support and learn more about your business?
You can support my business by placing an order with my Etsy shop. You can also place an order by sending a message on Instagram (@AllThePrettyTees) or Facebook (@AllThePrettyTees). I’m happy to make a custom design for you… just let me know what you have in mind!