We had the good fortune of connecting with Bethany McVay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bethany, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
For many years, I had convinced myself that my career was on the back-burner due to my husband’s military career. We moved 6 times in 5 years and while my background and education are in human resourcing an opportunity presented itself. I came to the realization that I could use my skills and capabilities to forge a new path. I had been designing t-shirts and miscellaneous items for squadrons we had been part of for years. After a friend asked me to design apparel for her, I received positive feedback and support from our community. I decided to go for it and designed with Flare was born.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Designed with Flare became a channel for me to create custom designs that represent a niche and small community that is a huge part of my life. I aspire to extend my aesthetic to customers of all backgrounds. I work with the customer to create an elevated, personalized and unique design they are proud to display. I’m most proud that during a pandemic, as a stay at home mom, I embraced a business opportunity that required me to find time to work during nap times and after bedtime, and keep up with the daily tasks already on my plate. It not only became a success, but truly a thriving business. The biggest challenges were adjusting from my work never being a priority to becoming a constant in our lives; and discovering a confidence that I am capable of being a stay at home mom, a military spouse and business owner. The biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way is that my self-limiting beliefs is my only barrier to success. In the past I have been told that I am aggressive, which I viewed as a character flaw. In reality, I’m tenacious and determined and had not channeled it in the right direction. My brand is a result of a woman lost in the life of being a mom and spouse who was able to make room for herself.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without the support of many influential people. Of course, first there is my husband, Mike. He glows with pride for me, and likely annoys anyone who will listen to brag about what I’ve done! Austin and Jessica Boyd own a local print shop called Alive Print Shop. They took a chance hiring me to help out with social media shortly after we moved to town. It was during this time that I learned about the printing process which led to me feeling confident in creating custom apparel. They opened a door for me I didn’t know was there. Next, I’d say my kids because not only do they allow me to work from home, they motivate me to be an example of hard work and an example of learning to adapt and thrive in any environment. Finally, the military spouse community, specifically the fighter pilot spouses that have supported me by purchasing my designs and cheering me on to keep them coming. There are a few in particular in this community that have really lifted me up and shown me what it really means for women to support women.
Joe Dirkin Cassidy Jade Simpson