Spouse-ly is an online marketplace where you can shop a wide variety of handmade products and services created by businesses owned by military and veteran spouses. It is kind of like Etsy meets Angie’s List, but with a focus on shopping small and making a big impact.
Monica Fullerton started her own small business on Etsy after college. It was the perfect fit for her because she was a military spouse, which meant she had to move around a lot.
“So the military lifestyle consists of usually moving around every two to three years, and a lot of cross country moves, including some international moves as well,” said Fullerton. “I was so inspired by the amount of military spouses and veterans that turn to entrepreneurship, to be able to provide both flexibility and stability.”
After managing her small business for a while, Fullerton realized a lot of other military families were doing the same thing as her, but there wasn’t something exclusive to support them. That’s when she had the idea for Spouse-ly.
Creating a Platform for Military Families
Fullerton quickly realized that military spouses would get more support if a community was created around entrepreneurship. She wanted to create a one of a kind platform where everyone could come together and support these businesses as a way of giving back to those who give.
“Through my own experiences of running a small business, I kind of knew what was needed and what the community would be looking for in terms of a platform. And I just got it turned from an idea into reality all within probably less than a year,” says Fullerton.
Monica Fullerton launched Spouse-ly a little over a year ago, and has continued to grow every day. It went from only 30 vendors to now almost 300 vendors, and more are coming on a daily basis.
A Tight-Knit Community
Fullerton credits the growth of Spouse-ly to the military community. “Word of mouth has been huge for us, and that’s because of the community aspect,” says Fullerton. “And that is really our superpower, the military and veteran community has one insane superpower and its support, whether it’s with life, or whether it’s with businesses, and we’re just able to all come together, find ways to support one another.”
Fullerton created the website all on her own, and hasn’t really had the money to properly advertise the site. But the site continues to grow because of the passion of the entrepreneurs, and what the website represents.
“With the pandemic, people are a little bit more conscious on how they’re spending their money and really wanting that dollar to go a lot further and in the pockets of you know, someone that’s making an impact,” says Fullerton.
Future of Spouse-ly
“I am determined to make Spouse-ly a household name,” says Fullerton. “And the reason I am determined for that is because I know the more that people that know that there’s a platform for military spouses out there- it’s a circle effect, the more we grow, the more our vendors grow.”
She wants to help the entrepreneurs on her website grow and give the opportunity for more military spouses to begin their own small business. Right now Spouse-ly sells a variety of products, including crafts, home goods, art and jewelry. It also has a service side where you can find photography, real estate agents, business coaches and other things like that. They plan to expand to first responders and their families in the future.
You can find amazing products and more at Spouse-ly.