Artisan spouses

These inspired women are perfecting their crafts and running their own businesses

By Missy Bouchat on November 15, 2018

This year, if you are looking for unique and handcrafted goods for holiday gifts, look no further than the spouse community at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. These artists and designers have turned their talents into profitable businesses, utilizing craft fairs, art galleries, and in today's tech savvy market, social media to market and sell. Even with the stress and hardships of being married to the military, these inspiring and talented military spouses are ready to take your holiday orders.

EHilburn Artisan Jewelry: Having grown up in an artistic family, it was no surprise that Erin Hilburn would take to crafting at an early age as she created beaded jewelry on a loom in elementary school. Since then, she has evolved as an artist through education and practice, and for the last six years has successfully run a jewelry business while balancing the life of a military spouse. When asked about difficulties she said, "my biggest struggle as a military spouse is making sure my business abides by state laws with each move. There can be quite a litany of permits required. In Alabama, I even had to have a cotton mill license because I fabricate!" Erin's love of the ocean and nature inspire her unique jewelry pieces that include beautiful sea glass pendants, earrings and rings. View her stunning collection by searching EHilburn at

BrittanyWanderlust: Inspired by her many hiking adventures in Washington, Brittany Cattanzaro has combined her two passions into a whimsical and contemporary online etsy shop. She has been passionate about art and crafting since she was a child, and briefly set up an etsy shop before shipping off to Italy. Being back in the U.S. and in such a beautiful part of the country has motivated her to set shop back up. She empathizes with other military spouses when she admitted, "My biggest struggle is constantly moving due to the military" but advised, "... do not give up. Continue creating and you will only get better." Browse through "Hike Washington" stickers with treescapes drawn into Sasquatch silhouettes, hand-painted wooden keychains, and prints of Brittany's original watercolor paintings. Shop Brittanywanderlust on

EmilyMayCrochet: Emily May Deadmond picked up crocheting about eight years ago while stationed at Camp Humphreys in Korea. She gained knowledge and inspiration from YouTube video tutorials, and when friends and family began to take notice of her work, she picked up a home business permit from ACS and began attending craft fairs on post. She uses social media to not only sell her items, but to seek out local and online crochet groups to find inspiration and learn from. Erin said, "The biggest struggle I've faced with trying to maintain this little gig, is the same struggle I think most spouses, especially stay-at-home moms, face every day; trying to find a good balance between taking care of our children, our home, our marriage and myself. Crochet absolutely falls into my self-care, as it is very relaxing and a great creative outlet. During ‘the busy season,' aka the lead up to Christmas, a lot of my housework falls to the back burner so I can keep up with my family and crochet." Check out her lovely collection of crocheted hats, scarves, blankets, headbands and other beautiful items on Facebook and Instagram.

Charms of thee South: Jenni Sabella grew up with power tools and glue guns, and is grateful to have realized her passion at a young age. Every piece she creates begins with picking through wood piles and ends in a beautiful hand-painted piece of art. When asked about taking customer orders she said, "I have painted hundreds of pieces for people all over the world and each one continues to be just as special as the first. The majority of my work is custom orders. Taking a clients idea from a thought to something they can cherish for years to come is one of the most rewarding things for me." Custom order your own rustic wood sign or check out her charming selection at

Grab your laptop and a mug of hot cocoa and get in the holiday spirit perusing these one-of-a-kind creations. Inspired to make your own? Take these ladies' advice to keep trying and don't give up, it will be worth it in the end.