BrewMaster Oct 2019

VCC – BrewMaster

 

This month, we are talking a slightly different approach to the BrewMaster. For this month, rather than do an article, we have decided to conduct interviews with a pair of wonderful new business women in town.

 

Jenna – Prairie and Luna

 

Tell us a bit about yourselves and your families (only disclose what is acceptable for Units, CoC etc)

My husband, Mike, and I met just over 10 years ago, at that time he was in the infantry in Shilo, MB. I had never met anyone in the military before, and so I didn’t even think about it (I was also 18 years old at the time lol). We were married 5 years later and are still happily married today :). In the past ten years as a military family we have experienced so much together, including 4 deployments, 1 posting, the birth of our first child (which unfortunately Mike was deployed for), I opened a new business, and many ups and downs. I love it though, especially now being in Petawawa where I have never felt more welcomed.

 

Has your outlook on military wives and their families changed since meeting your spouses?

YES. The military wives I have been lucky enough to meet are all the sweetest, and strongest women I have ever met. We quietly struggle through so much, but we go through a lot of the same things together which helps so much. When Mike was deployed during my pregnancy and I knew he was going to miss the birth, there were also FIVE other wives experiencing the exact same thing within the unit. At the time, I remember being mildly disappointed but mostly just fiercely determined to be strong for our family and lean on my new friends & family. Looking back however, I’m VERY sad that my husband missed the birth of our baby. Things have thankfully changed since then and the unit has new policies preventing that from happening in the future.

 

What has been the biggest struggle you’ve faced since opening your store, balancing outside careers and your military journey?

Well it has only been 2 months since we opened Prairie and Luna. Mike has been an unwavering source of support for me throughout the process of opening the business, but he recently deployed again so I am definitely feeling the pressure of working at the store, still working the odd shift as an RN at the hospital, being a mom, and looking after the house. It’s always a juggling act but at the end of the day I can usually Facetime my husband and our nightly chats really help.

 

What advice do you have for other military spouses who have dreams, aspirations and goals, who maybe feel like their spouses career comes first, so they don’t have the time or ability to pursue them?

That’s a hard one. We all have dreams and aspirations, I think it’s important for each person in a marriage to support each other equally. Opening a business is obviously a huge financial risk, and brought major changes to our families routine. But Mike knew that I had this dream that I had to follow. I’ve always been entrepreneurial, one time someone told me, “If you aren’t working towards your own dreams, you’re working towards someone else’s” and that really stuck with me. Whatever your goals are, if you are a military spouse you just have to look for opportunities wherever you are. Dreams and goals are constantly evolving, as long as you have a happy marriage I believe you can find happiness wherever you are.

 

What is the most common misconception you’ve faced from outsiders about your husbands, their careers or you military journey? And how do you combat that?

Honestly I don’t pay too much attention to what other people are saying, I’ve lived in military towns for my entire adult life and am surrounded by like-minded people. We get through this life together and I’m super grateful for that.

 

And Finally, What do you want the general public to know, or try to consider when it comes to the military and our veterans.

Just be kind to everyone! Whether you are in the military or not, we are all going through some kind of shit! Support your friends, your military friends may need more support. I’m not a military member so I can’t speak for them but I can only imagine what they have been through, and continue to go through. Trying to be as empathetic as possible to our members and veterans struggling with PTSD is so important.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quinn – Prairie and Luna

 

Tell us a bit about yourselves and your families (only disclose what is acceptable for Units, CoC etc)

My name is Quinn and I am co-founder of Prairie and Luna and a birth doula. My husband, Roman, has been with the CAF since his early twenties. We met in Petawawa, where he had just been posted and his career has kept him since. We did long distance while I finished university in Halifax and I moved here full time about 5 years ago. We have an orange tabby cat that we love like a baby.

 

Has your outlook on military wives and their families changed since meeting your spouses?

Yes, definitely. I had very little understanding of military life before I met Roman. I’m not from a military family and I had very little contact overall with the CAF, which I think is common for a lot of Canadians. My outlook on the lifestyle has changed over the years. I had a really hard time initially with not being able to plan very far ahead and never knowing when plans would change, but my perspective has shifted in the last couple years to the point where I’m a lot more able to accept the lifestyle for all of its twists and turns.

 

What has been the biggest struggle you’ve faced since opening your store, balancing outside careers and your military journey?

We’re very grateful to be working for ourselves at this point in our military and family lives. It’s really wonderful being able to make our own schedules and be flexible with each other when our families need us. Two military families in business together can be a challenge (a lot of coming and going!) but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Having a business partner who completely understands the lifestyle is crucial. We hold space for each other’s stress and frustrations, make sure we’re both taking days off, and understand that our priorities will shift week to week.

 

What advice do you have for other military spouses who have dreams, aspirations and goals, who maybe feel like their spouses career comes first, so they don’t have the time or ability to pursue them?

Sometimes, the reality is that our partner’s career takes precedent. Or, at least, make it very hard to plan your own dreams around. I struggled (and sometimes still do) with resentment around that, but seeing so many entrepreneurial military spouses in this area hustling so hard was really impactful for me. It gave me the confidence that others were figuring it out and we would too. My advice would be not to do it alone, because you’ll never be able to juggle all of the balls (and that’s okay!). A business partner or a team of mentors and peers is so crucial, especially ones that understand this lifestyle.

 

What is the most common misconception you’ve faced from outsiders about your husbands, their careers or you military journey? And how do you combat that?

I don’t talk very much, if at all, about my husband’s career to those outside the military. My civilian friends and family have a loose understanding of Roman’s job and what it entails for our family, but I don’t get into specifics. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but people in my life are typically happy to support me through deployments and life stresses without digging into the nitty gritty of my husband’s career.

 

And Finally,
What do you want the general public to know, or try to consider when it comes to the military and our veterans.

I think all citizens, but Canadians certainly, should have a working understanding of where and how their country’s military is being used in the global arena. I find there’s a real lack of awareness that the CAF is currently operational and committed to many regions of the world. It’s easy to ignore Canadian foreign policy because it doesn’t have as direct an impact on our daily lives as some other priorities, like healthcare and education. But I do think it is worthwhile to know what the CAF is up to, because at the end of the day they are working on our behalf and under our name. That way you are able to vote and organize, having discovered whether your values are or are not being represented and actioned through Canadian foreign policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *