Britni Miltner is a problem solver. Milspouse Resource and specifically the OakTree Network is a response to the problem of military spouse business owners being able to connect with each other and for those who are looking at hiring a service business.
OakTree Network provides platform to connect and hire military spouse service business owners
Britni founded the Milspouse Resource and OakTree Network because she wanted to provide a place for military spouses to be able to connect and hire each other for local service needs. It can be a challenge for military spouse service providers to build a client base because we move so often. Britni says: “It’s difficult to have a service business and rebuild a client base after each PCS. Through OakTree, I aim to promote & support entrepreneurship & encourage camaraderie in our community. Our military spouse network is inspiring – which is why I created OakTree network to help enhance those amazing Talents!”
MilSpouse Resource’s new sister site, OakTree Network, is a website and android app created exclusively for military spouses to connect with other local spouses. Milspouses can share location specific service talents, and support & inspire each other. The founder of OakTree Network saw a need and has established a for profit business to meet that need.
OakTree Network Founder Bio
Britni graduated from Auburn University in 2004 with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Family Business. Taking a job in the apartment industry right out of college due to personal connections and the need for steady income, Britni began following in her mother’s footsteps in Atlanta. When her then fiancée left for flight school, she went with him, leaving her job. About 2 years later in 2008, Britni was called back to work remotely for the company she left in Atlanta, where she still works remotely today. In 2015, she won Corporate Office Associate of the Year, and she doesn’t even work in a corporate office!
Britni has been a Navy spouse since 2007 and is a self-proclaimed “Expert Googler” and seasoned Networker. Britni is active in several groups within the military spouse community, and over the years has served as spouse club president, treasurer, social chair, and a member of the events committees.
Powered by the underemployment and unemployment issues in the military spouse community, MilSpouse Resource was created in November 2015. The site’s motto is “Let’s Support and Inspire Each Other” and is aimed to share remote work and entrepreneurial ideas, as well as providing other helpful information to military spouses. Britni realizes that her true calling is to combat the unemployment issues in the military spouse community, and provide a way to allow milspouses to Support and Inspire Each Other.
Tell us about you? What attracted you to social entrepreneurship?
Britni: I’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit – I graduated from Auburn University in 2004 with a Business Admin degree and focused on Entrepreneurship and Family Business. I’m a social person, and love learning about people and listening to their stories. Helping others connect and thrive makes my heart happy, so when I noticed the talent, strength, and giving sprit in our military spouse community, I wanted to come up with something to connect military spouses to really provide that community support. OakTree was created out of a network that was already existing, it just needed a little assistance.
My husband is in the Navy. He and I got married (in a planned wedding!) at the Bellagio in Las Vegas in 2007, and I have been working in “corporate America” since 2006. I’m a mom to an almost 3-year-old daughter, and we have a cranky, loveable chihuahua-yorkie.
In no particular order I love wine, craft beer, ghost stories, karaoke, reading, musicals, enjoying nice views on patios, cheese plates, 80s movies, good music, spin class, and hot yoga.
Have you had a mentor or influential person in your life who encouraged you?
Britni: I look up to many amazing military spouses – there are so many influential folks! Kayla Roof, Moni Jefferson, Megan Hall, Erica McMannes, Liza Rodewald, Verenice Castillo, Leslie O’Bryant, Channel Milbourne, and the entire In-Dependent, the Rosie Company, and Legacy Magazine Teams are definitely a quick list of spouses I look up to. I’m a member of several amazing milspouse groups on Facebook and am inspired daily by what I see happening in these groups.
If one of our readers is developing a social enterprise what one piece of advice would you give them?
Britni: Start supporting others and find out what you can do to help them. Ask them questions about their challenges and learn from them. Participate in volunteer and networking activities (online and in person). Get familiar with others so that they know and trust you. Try new things, and make mistakes. Save money, and research, research, research. Hire the right people to do what you can’t do (or aren’t willing to do).
What has been your greatest success?
Britni: Much of it has been timing for me – I started slow, learned, networked, and got comfortable. The more comfortable I became with myself, my growing reputation and my business, the easier connections started to become. I observed for a while and jumped in with both feet when I needed to. I asked for help and had to have my hand held for a while, which was probably the smartest thing I have done – ask for help. My network has also been a great contributor to my success.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Britni: Time. Since I work full time, am a wife and mom, and I run a blog and a new business, I’m a little strapped for time. I am learning how to balance all of these responsibilities as well as making time to take care of myself. Sometimes I fall short, and sometimes I make it happen. I’m a work in progress!
How can people support your work?
Britni: Join OakTree Network, list all of your location specific service talents (I assure you – someone out there is going to need you water their plants or pet sit their guinea pig), and share, share share with your milspouse network! Military kids can list their service talents under a parent’s profile to earn some money and learn about entrepreneurship. All military spouses, past and present can join. Active duty and veterans can join, too!
Why an Oak Tree?
The Oak Tree is the official tree of the United States, and it symbolizes strength and endurance. It represents a military spouse as an individual: An oak tree is strong, durable, and stable, just like a military spouse.
An oak tree also represents the military spouse network: There are more than 60 species of oaks growing in the United States. Like the variety found in oak trees, the military spouse network is diverse, large, and strong, with many branches.
We already belong to a network. OakTree is simply the marketplace that brings us together and truly allows us to support and inspire each other.
￼Connect with ￼OakTree Network Facebook and OakTree Network Instagram
Thank you Britni and OakTree Network!
Britni walks the walk. She is a corporate employee, self-taught blogger, new business owner, mom, wife, wanna be yogi, and a volunteer Mentor for Military Spouse Advocacy Network’s New Military Spouse Support Program.
Her advice to start by finding mentors and other business owners and organizations to help and serve with is brilliant! Do your research!
Why don’t you share one of these tweets or share this interview on social media!
Takeaway #1: “ Try new things, and make mistakes. Save money, and research, research, research. Hire the right people to do what you can’t do (or aren’t willing to do).” –@MilResource
Takeaway #2: “The more comfortable I became with myself, my growing reputation and my business, the easier connections started to become.” – @MilResource
Takeaway #3: “Start by finding mentors and other business owners and organizations to help and serve with is brilliant! Do your research!” – @ambrabe
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Friday Feature: Social Impact Entrepreneurs is an ongoing series of interviews where we feature a for profit business owner making a difference in their community.