“I lived in Ohio, which for me, after moving around so much with the military as a child, I thought was a safe place to settle. I started working in the insurance industry as a producer when I was 18. I was doing well, so I started recruiting and hiring agents to work for me. A few years later, my company merged with another and by the time I turned 21, I co-owned an agency with 30 active agents. In the midst of my success there was a part of me that I felt was missing. I decided to take a soul searching trip to Florida where I met Matt. I briefly returned to Ohio to turn the insurance agency over and then returned to Florida to pursue happiness there.
“Meeting Matt and continuing our relationship meant following him to San Diego and eventually following him on to Guam. Although I just learned where Guam was on a map, when he officially got orders there, I was excited. Wherever you go, it doesn’t matter. There are opportunities everywhere and you just have to make the most of them. In Guam I joined a soccer league and got really involved in the running community. Shortly after arriving to Guam, Matt deployed. Coming home from dropping him off I found a single stem hydrangea in a vase on my doorstep with a card from my best friend (that I had known for a few months). I cried as I read the card knowing that I wasn’t alone when I dropped him off.
“During his second deployment, I realized there was a niche in Guam that needed to be filled. Going back to the handwritten card my best friend gave me, I was inspired with my next opportunity. I started talking to a few flower wholesalers on the island and along with my best friend we started a flower business together. I wanted to be able to serve our community and bridge the gap in distance between deployed spouses and family members who lived/served so far away. My handwriting is ok, but I wanted our customers to get a handwritten card and a beautiful arrangement to remind them that they are not alone either. I never knew I had a passion for flowers, but starting and running ‘Beach Buds’ was an incredible experience. Starting a business, you have to be patient, open minded and without a doubt there, will be a learning curve. You cannot be afraid to get off the beaten path and try something new. You have to be willing to take a chance! I’m so thankful I decided not to play it safe and stay in Ohio.”