In this week’s installment of “Sub Spouse Small Business,” please meet Melissa Walter, a Washington-based submarine spouse and owner of Traveling Creations. From duty station to duty station, Melissa shares her passion for unique, custom-tailored, and good quality home-decor. Read on to learn more!
Name: Melissa Walter
Hometown: Moweaqua, Illinois
Current duty station: Bangor, Washington
Q: Tell us about your business.
Traveling Creations was created about three years ago when I was living in Guam. All signs and décor are made by hand. I cut, sand, stain, and paint everything myself. My best sellers are my custom design signs. I take my client’s vision and bring it to life!
Q: What made you choose this type of business?
I choose this type of business because while living in Guam I was tired of not finding home décor that I liked and that was of good quality, so I decided to start making it myself. Soon after I started making things for myself I was being asked to make things for friends and family.
Q: What motivated you to start your business?
What motivated me to start my own business was actually my friends and family who encouraged me. I was asked to sell at a holiday bazaar during the spring and from there my business has taken off. If it wasn’t for them giving me the encouragement to keep going I don’t know where I would be at today.
Q: How do you manage the work/life balance as a submarine spouse?
I’m currently a stay at home mom to two kids, a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son…(with COVID I guess you could say I’ve been their teacher as well). I am also a full-time student at Olympic College and will be transferring to Pearson in the fall where I’ll be working towards my Bachelors in Dental Hygiene.
My husband is currently on his third sea tour in a row so I’m used to wrangling the kids, the house, my business, and school by myself. Thankfully I run my business out of my garage and office so once I put the kids to bed it’s straight to work for me. I hope to be able to continue broadening my business with every move that we make!
Q: Any advice for fellow submarine spouses who want to start their own business?
Follow your heart and do what makes you happy! Have patience and remember to be kind to yourself and to others. I have found my passion and love being able to create something for your home that you will love.
Q: Where can we support and learn more about your business?
“As a customer, I can personally vouch for the beautiful work that Melissa produces. I wanted something to hang on our wall that would always remind us of our favorite duty station, Guam! Now I have a sleek-looking “Hafa Adai” sign to look at each time we open our door!”
Whether you are looking for a sign to hang in your entryway, painted blocks to dress up your shelves, and much more, Traveling Creations has you covered! Each piece you order can truly be customized to fit the colors/theme in your home. They also make excellent parting gifts as we all (so often) have to say goodbye to dear friends as we PCS to our next duty station.
Do you want to nominate yourself or someone for our Sub Spouse Small Business profiles? Email us at TheSubmergedLife@Gmail.com.