Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Weinert, Owner of Counting Our Heroes Home, located in Chetek, WI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Counting Our Heroes Home, which is a monthly deployment countdown box for military kids with a deployed parent. This box is for military families that are going through a deployment or separation from a parent and is a support/care package for the family to provide much-needed resources during that difficult time.
Tell us about yourself
I am a school counselor, a mom of 6, and a military spouse whose husband has been in the Wisconsin Army National Guard for the past 17 years. In 2019, my husband deployed to Afghanistan for a 13-month deployment. During that time, I wanted to find ways to support my kids. I was introduced to the concept of subscription boxes and knew that some existed for me but none for the kids that were on the home front. Then the pandemic hit, and I knew that I had to do something for those families that were separated and felt isolated and alone.
I started working full-time on the business in June 2020 and sent my first box in August 2020. Even though it is not my full-time job anymore, I love sending these care packages to the most deserving kids and families in the United States Military. My family was in that position at one point, and I know how much this would have meant to us, so it makes it worth it to be able to support families in that way.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think having the ability to build connections with the families that are subscribers. I've had subscribers for 18 months when their servicemember was on an unaccompanied tour. I have also had subscribers that have come back for multiple tours already in our two short years. It means that the feelings that we reach are appreciative of the service that we provide for families.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is knowing that subscribers will eventually leave. It is bittersweet because I am so excited for them to have their homecomings, but I also know that this means that I will not have subscribers forever. A business will ebb and flow, as does the military climate/what the current state of our union is.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Set realistic expectations. When I first started, I aimed really high and ended up with an overflow of inventory. That is something that I am still trying to recover from. If I had set my expectations lower or more realistic, I think that it would have set me up for success.
- Don't be afraid to hire out. I think if you have an area of your business that isn't your specialty (mine is marketing), don't be afraid to ask for help or find someone who can help review or support your current work in that area.
- Have a passion for it. As long as you have a passion for the area in which you have your business, you will have a passion for continuing. I continue to do this because even if I only have five subscribers, I believe those five subscribers can be positively impacted, and that is totally worth it to me.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.