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Helping military spouses start their own business

Kimberlee Cavin and Maddison Bailey prepare for the Small Business Collective held Aug. 27, 2022 at Pine and Moss. Photo Credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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Kimberlee Cavin, the owner of DuPont small business Pine and Moss, remembers the struggles to establish a business as a military spouse. Each month she hosts a Small Business Collective which supports small businesses without store fronts.

"Prior to opening Pine and Moss, I was just another military spouse trying to find my place in the world while supporting my husband's career. After finding some initial success, I knew I wanted to share the space I had with other spouses to do the same," said Cavin.

"I reached out to four friends who were makers and artists to sell their items at Pine and Moss, and it took off. After that, (I received) multiple requests from others to sell their items in store, but there was no way I could take all of them. Additionally, I didn't want to take a commission from people chasing a dream. So instead, I used my location as a means for them to sell their products free of charge. It was actually a win-win, as we mutually benefited from increased foot traffic for all of our products," she said.

The success of one business really hits home for Cavin. Maddison Bailey is an employee at Pine and Moss and her husband Paden Bailey is an airman.

"The two started Doppio's Coffee after talking to other small business owners at our collective," said Cavin. "My advice to all military spouses who want their own business, but think they have to wait until their spouse retires or leaves the military, is to not wait, but scale it to a version that works for this lifestyle."

Maddison Bailey is one entrepreneur that has seen the results of the collectives.

"My husband and I both agree that Pine and Moss Vendor Collectives have been essential to the startup of our small business. Not to mention the kind of culture Pine and Moss inhabits, the community and support. It's allowed us multiple opportunities to put our foot in the door and expand our presence. Kimberlee is one of the most supportive and loving people in our lives. She's truly invested in the success of other people and their goals, business related or not," Bailey explained.

Like most small businesses, Pine and Moss does not have an advertising budget and relies on the power of social media. "We post throughout the month and our vendors do the same. It's a win-win because our network is broadened. It really helps to promote the new businesses with not as many followers," Cavin said.

As part of the collective Pine and Moss offers promotions and specials.

"The promotion and specials vary per event," noted Calvin. "During Easter we have an Easter Egg hunt, that's probably my favorite. Another favorite is our random alarm giveaway. We set our phone alarm at random times during the day and whichever customer is checking out during or after the alarm receives a gift. Thanks to our large companies we buy from, we receive free items and samples I like to regift to our customers."

PINE AND MOSS, open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday; 1100 Station Dr., Suite 141, DuPont, 253.302.5071,

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