Sub Spouse Small Business: Homefront Heroes

Darla Vieyra has experienced over 20 years of deployments with her submariner. But it was her husband’s first deployment after having children that sparked her inspiration. Darla realized there was a lack of positive, encouraging deployment-based items for military families. So she launched Homefront Heroes, LLC! Her small business sells an original Deployment Journal and one-of-a-kind Deployment Milestone Boxes. What’s more, a portion of their sales go to the Gary Sinise Foundation to help families of our fallen heroes.

To learn more, read below:

Name: Darla Vieyra
Hometown: Medford, Oregon
Branch of Military: Navy Spouse (Submarine Service)
Current Duty Station: Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor, Washington

Q: Tell us about your business.

Our mission at Homefront Heroes, LLC is to recognize, support, and celebrate our military families at home – specifically while their loved ones are deployed.

Experiencing numerous deployments during my husband’s 22+ year Naval career, I know deployments can be hard … I also know there has been a lack of positive and encouraging deployment-based products available to our military families. Homefront Heroes, LLC was created to fill this void. We are proud to be an Active Duty military family-owned and operated business serving our fellow military and DOD families, and we proudly donate a portion of sales to the Gary Sinise Foundation to help families of our fallen heroes.

Q: What made you choose this type of business?

Although military families have always had a special place in my heart, owning a business dedicated to military families was actually very unexpected. My education and career background are in architecture and interior design, however, I realized after PCS’ing to Kitsap County from San Diego, that my career didn’t move easily. I started my own business that morphed into a blend of interior design, graphic design, and wedding/event planning services (which had always been a hobby), but when I was pregnant with my youngest, I made the decision to close my business to embrace being a stay-at-home mom.

Fast-forward to our first deployment after having children: I realized there was a lack of positive, encouraging deployment-based items available so I set out to create a deployment journal for my kids; my husband found my rough draft and encouraged me to pursue it … after all, if I was frustrated with the lack of options, other families might be as well. And that was the official start of Homefront Heroes, LLC.

Our goal is to be the “go-to” for positive, encouraging deployment-based goods for our fellow military families. In addition to our current offerings, I have quite a few more products already designed/curated that I am hoping to start offering in the near future, so follow us on social media to stay up to date!

Q: What motivated you to start your business?

My own Homefront Heroes … my two boys.

Before having children, it was easy to recap what I did during a deployment (work, maybe a visit home to see family & friends, etc.), but once we had a deployment with children, it became very difficult to fill our sailor in on everything. This lead to the creation of “My Deployment Journal, Military Child Edition.” And after a conversation with my oldest about getting fun stuff in the mail while daddy was gone, I had a light bulb moment and got busy designing and curating our one-of-a-kind deployment milestone boxes that cater to our military kids and the various stages of a deployment.

Q: How do you manage the work/life balance as a military spouse?

This is still a work-in-progress for me, but I will always make sure my family takes priority over my career. I left a wonderful position at an award-winning design firm in San Diego to be with my husband in the PNW; I’ve had to let go of my idea-of and pride-of having “the perfect career” as my work has evolved over the years. There has been a mix of easy and tough choices along the way, but I LOVE where it’s landed me with Homefront Heroes, LLC.

I’ve also accepted that each deployment and stage of life has different dynamics … plus now with a global pandemic, homeschooling my boys, a tough sea schedule, and an upcoming move, I’ve had to make sacrifices with my business (specifically, I stink at keeping up with social media). Maybe someday I’ll find that perfect, magical balance?!

Q: Any advice for fellow milspouses who want to start their own business?

Go for it. Trust in yourself. Do not wait for the “perfect time” … it doesn’t exist. Ideally, have something that will move easily if/when you PCS, but even if that’s not the case, go for it and embrace the adventure.

Q: Favorite thing(s) to do in your current duty station?

I hate to admit it, but I’ve become very boring since moving to Washington. A lot of people don’t let the crummy weather stop them from heading outdoors, but I’m on team ‘stay inside where it’s warm and dry.’ Plus, we’ve been here so long that the fun of being in a new area has definitely worn out.

But I do enjoy having an abundance of coffee shops nearby, driving along the water on a nice day, checking out local farmers markets and the multitude of festivals this area has, and simply being outside any time the sun is out. And our family still gets excited when we have the opportunity to ride a ferry and love searching for whales!

Q: Where can we support and learn more about your business?

Facebook: @HomefrontHeroesFamily
Instagram: @HomefrontHeroes_LLC

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