In this week’s edition of “Military Spouse Small Business,” meet Kristin Royster! As owner of Set Sail by Kristin, she has taken her love of the nautical, beach life and turned it into beautiful jewerly and home decor. To learn more, read our Q&A below:
Name: Kristin Royster
Hometown: Orange County, CA (but I consider Hawaii home)
Branch of Military: Navy
Current Duty Station: Monterey, California
Q: Tell us about your business.
I make beachy, nautical jewelry and home decor under the name Set Sail by Kristin! Most of my items are made of resin or wood. Many of my items are inspired by my time in Hawaii. I have turned my photographs into greeting cards. I make earrings, bracelets, rings, and ring dishes. I also make home decor items such as coasters, ring dishes, photo display holders, sanitizer holders, and scrap wood paintings. I also love to read, so I combined my love of the ocean and reading to make beachy bookmarks.
Q: What made you choose this type of business?
I have always loved making jewelry and crafts for myself but I always made so many that I decided to start selling them instead.
Q: What motivated you to start your business?
I always loved the idea of owning my own store, but it took me a few years before I decided on a theme for my business that I wanted to stick with long-term. Ultimately, the turning point in deciding to make my business a full-time effort instead of a side hustle was when my now husband and I moved to San Diego from Hawaii. The forced new start in a new place gave me the opportunity to try something new, and resulted in the transition of my once online only business into one with items in several physical stores in San Diego.
Q: How do you manage the work/life balance as a military spouse?
The best thing about having an online shop/Etsy shop is that I can bring my business with me almost anywhere we move. Eventually, I would love my own brick and mortar store, but staying mostly online during this time gives me the opportunity to work from home while raising our kids, and saving up money to open up my dream shop when our family finds a permanent home.
Q: Any advice for fellow milspouses who want to start their own business?
I would recommend getting started now and start small! I always had big dreams and made too many of one thing before even knowing if it would be popular. I wasted a lot of time and products that way. It also helps to stay flexible; the pandemic, as well as our impending cross country (and then international) move has created a lot of challenges for my business, but I’m still finding ways to thrive and keep the business going in ways that work best for my family and me
Q: Favorite thing(s) to do in your current duty station?
The best thing to do in Monterey is going for a walk by the beach and seeing seals, otters, birds, and sometimes dolphins and whales! The beaches of Monterey have provided a lot of inspiration for my business.
Q: Where can we support and learn more about your business?