Editor’s Note: MilSpouse Entrepreneur Spotlight is a monthly Q&A designed to celebrate the successes and acknowledge the challenges of a milspouse entrepreneur. In the past, we have highlighted Chelsea Hickey of Sparkle Social, Amy Schofield of Schofield Strategies, and Breanna Ramey Daughtridge of Untamed Rose. This month, NextGen MilSpouse features Jeanette Price of Peachy Keen Perfume.
Your Name: Jeanette Price
Military Branch Affiliation: Navy
Years as a Military Spouse: 1.5
Business Name: Peachy Keen Perfume
Year Established: 2014
Tell us about your business:
Peachy Keen Perfume is an uplifting artisan perfume brand that is handcrafted in sunny southern California. Our motto, “Perfume with a heart” is a nod to the inviting heart notes in our fragrances and the charities we support–a portion of profits are donated to education programs.
Before I was a milspouse, I lived and studied in France and Morocco. I ultimately moved to Morocco where I taught for two years. While living there I did a lot of wandering in the souks and found stalls that sold some of the finest oils in the world. I was able to get hands-on experience with blending perfume, but I never thought I would pursue perfume professionally.
Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No. As a teacher I’ve always wanted to make a positive impact on the world however owning my own business never seemed to a part of that. But now I see that I can have both– I have designed Peachy Keen Perfume to be a social entrepreneurial endeavor, and what is oftentimes missing from when businesses donate money is knowing what are the greatest needs. From teaching I have seen many of society’s problems arise in how they impact young people, and those issues are what I am targeting. Peachy Keen Perfume is the only perfume brand that gives back a flat percentage of its profits to charity, and I think as it grows so will our social impact.
What motivated you to start your own business?
Honestly? Rejection! After moving to San Diego, I applied to over 100 teaching jobs, had nearly a dozen interviews, and taught sample lessons. The applicant pool was highly competitive, and after so many rejections I eventually settled with the substitute teaching I had found. I had a lot of time for thinking, and while trying out some new fragrance oils the thought of going into business popped into my mind.
What is the best part of being an entrepreneur?
I decided to go into business out of wanting to take some positive control back on what seemed like a situation I had very little control over– which I think so many military spouses can relate to. Controlling my own schedule, moderating who I work with, and developing my next fragrance is very rewarding for me.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an entrepreneur? Time management. Particularly when the business may take away from family time. I enjoy having my brand highlighted in market events, however I just cannot do multiple weekends in a row away from home. It’s not guilt or obligation, it’s about having my priorities straight.
Do you find that being an entrepreneur fits well with your role as a military spouse (or does it even factor in)?
I think the role of a military spouse is highly individualized– for me it’s mainly about supporting the love of my life, who happens to be a service member. Being an entrepreneur has a lot of risk– the amount of time and money invested can cause added stress. Yet like most Americans, I get a significant amount of satisfaction from my career, and growing my own business is a positive outlet for that. Developing and growing a business is deeply satisfying, and I think military spouses can identify with wanting to see the fruits of their hard work.
How do you blend working from home and your family relationships?
It takes even more communicating! I think it’s important when working from home to communicate when you can and cannot help on certain days. For example, being able to communicate that you can’t run an errand because you have a new client whose order you need to quickly fulfill. It requires flexibility for everyone involved, and communicating can often highlight the growth you’re having in your business. Also, I think working from home entails longer hours than when you physically go to a job. Your work is all around you.
Biggest lesson learned so far as an entrepreneur? Network. Meeting people has never been a problem for me, however as a military spouse I don’t have my usual network of resources around as I would if I were back home. Networking has helped me find the resources my business needs and support fellow military spouse-owned businesses.
Best piece of advice for a budding entrepreneur:
Fake it 'til you make it. Peachy Keen Perfume has always been a luxury perfume brand, but it certainly didn’t pop into stores overnight. It took a lot of confidence –walking the walk– to grow my business. Now I have retailers and customer reviews to give myself the credibility of a perfume brand, but before that I had nothing but my own confidence and a product that I knew was amazing. I just had to be confident enough to put it into someone’s hands and say “You’ve got to try this.”