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Navy veteran leverages DIY skills to start business

An AR Workshop franchise was the perfect fit

Jasmine Schmidt welcomes guests to her DIY workshop. Photo provided by AR Workshop

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Navy veteran, and now military spouse, Jasmine Schmidt, is the owner of AR Workshop in Gig Harbor. An AR Workshop is a boutique Do-It-Yourself (DIY) studio where they have all the materials you need to create custom home décor.

"I discovered my passion for DIY when my husband was deployed," said Schmidt. "I would put my young children to bed for the evening and would dive into a DIY project as a form of self-care. It is very challenging to be a military spouse with young children and a deployed spouse. I needed that space of my own to recharge my battery each day. I started making things for gifts for family members and it evolved into a small business from home when members of my community would request for me to make personalized wood signs for them."

Schmidt's love for everything DIY, and the positive feedback from her friends and family, ultimately led her to start her own business. "I began this process with the idea of opening my own studio, and in fact, was in the process of doing so when I came across AR Workshop for the first time. I instantly fell in love with the brand. They had already done everything that I had dreamed of. After doing my research, and reaching out to the team at AR, I knew it was the right choice for my family," she said.

Schmidt's experience as a sailor in the Navy gave her skills, a work ethic and confidence that she uses today as a business owner.

"I joined the Navy as a 19-year-old young adult, leaving everything that I had ever known to pursue a life outside of Ohio," explained Schmidt. "As an ABE, an Aviation Boatswain's Mate, which is the Green Shirt on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, we worked extremely long hours in less than optimal working conditions. When I reported to my work center for the first time, I realized that I was the only female in a group of more than 40 males. The job that I had chosen had not been done by a lot of females at that point. This experience was a testament to me that it's okay to do something outside of my comfort zone. It's okay to take chances and follow my dreams. Owning and operating a startup business, I learn lessons every single day on how I can be and do better. It's not always pretty, but I'm doing it, all day every day. I had to take that leap of faith to begin the journey of following my dreams."  

Schmidt's business offers a wide variety of personalized and charming gifts that can be used for many military gift-giving requirements like welcome and farewell gifts. "We welcome you to join us for a workshop to make your very own gift.  If you don't have time to come in, let us know and we can make it for you," she said.

In the spirit of giving back, Schmidt offers military discounts off registration -- by appointment only.

AR Workshop, 3208 Tarabochia St, Gig Harbor, 253.844.3041,

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