Gaby Juergens – CEO and founder of Homefront Girl, a lovely person and such a powerful story.
Founder and CEO of “Homefront Girl”, an organization that has donated over $100,000 to military charities, Gaby Juergens sat down with Big League Politics to discuss her involvement with military families. Juergens has created close to 2,000 designs with inspirational quotes on merchandise like coffee mugs, pillows, candles, and the newly announced clothing line that are meant to encourage and show support for family members of the military. She seeks to inspire those who have relatives in the military that, “we are the other Half of the Brave.”
Homefront Girl has been licensed with partnerships like Hallmark, Walmart, and Yankee Candle. Perhaps the most popular item available on the website is their Signature Teddy Bears which were donated to military children at the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Juergens has hopes that the same will be accomplished this year.
Homefront Girl donates to charities like “Operation Homefront” and “United Through Reading” which seek to encourage military families as they deal with the emotional rollercoaster of having a family member deployed. Her uplifting merchandise has not only significantly helped other charities, it also has proved to be a memorial for family members of fallen heroes. Gaby Juergens has worked tirelessly to ensure that deployed and fallen men and women of the military are given the acknowledgement and respect that they deserve.
Learn more about Homefront Girl at homefrontgirl.com
WARNING — AI Transcriptions Below May Cause Grammatically Correct People Serious Stress and Lack of Sleep!
Nathaniel Schooler 0:23
Gaby Juergens is the creator and founder of Homefront girl, an international inspirational brand, shining the spotlight in fashion and retail on the families that stand behind the men and women who serve their nation in uniform. A daughter of a veteran raised in military life and a former military spouse of 28 years, she created a brand inspired by her front row seat to bravery, sacrifice, and service. And she’s a very inspirational lady. So let’s dig into this interesting interview.
Well, hey, Gaby, it’s lovely to speak to you again.
Gaby Juergens 1:03
Oh, it’s lovely to be here. Thank you for having me, Nathaniel!
Nathaniel Schooler 1:05
My pleasure. I’m really quite excited to hear your story, actually, because you’ve got a really inspiring story from from what I gather, and you’ve kind of fought really hard to launch your brand. Launch your clothing brand. And, how did that happen? What sort of drove you to where you have ended up?
Gaby Juergens 1:29
Well, when I started Homefront girl, real quick, I have a military family background. And I was married into military raise my son in the military life. So for me, they always say is to writers. Write, which, you know, this was what I knew. And I had attended a licensing show. And I didn’t see this mega demographic that I had grown up and represented in retail. And so I just decided to look more into it. And then I fast forward – started to build up the collection of artwork, and soon got an agent, a licensing agent. And licensing in a nutshell is where an artist creates art. And then it licenses that to a manufacturer who then places that on their products. And so that’s who my my agents represent me on on that and getting me contracts and getting my products. So I’ve done things with the Yankee Candle Company, which I was very gratified. Actually, when the collection came out, we had a lot of, I had a lot of emails and followers from the UK, who loved the collection.
Unfortunately, it was not carried in the UK or Canada, it was only carried here in the US. But now it’s available on eBay, and apparently at really astronomical prices. But I was glad that so many took to it to the collection. And so I have licensed to a lot of major companies that are gift companies. And along the way, I developed a variety of different collections from Homefront baby to Homefront kids; a line that identifies really to the twee market and the teen market.
And essentially, Homefront girl was a way for me to kind of put out something so that within the military community. In military families they would find something that they could identify with and represented their lifestyle and their story in retail, which hadn’t been done before.
So definitely one of the challenges. And I had mentioned to you I call myself the accidental entrepreneur, because I really felt I did is I had no idea what I was doing. So if I could do it, anybody, I thought you could do this. But so it’s been a sort of a learning curve. As far as, because what happened to me is tapped into a market that no one had actually ever really looked at. And that place is for any entrepreneur, when you’re starting a business, a challenge to be able to go to market and say:- “Well, this is a collection that is geared towards, you know, this market here.”
And if it hasn’t been done before, and they’ve never looked at that market, there’s a challenge there because there’s no actual numbers behind it.
So the manufacturer is going to take a look and wonder:- “Okay, well, you know, what are the numbers here? And what is the feedback and everything?”
And that was challenging. And then the other challenge was that they would look at the demographic, which when I say that I’m talking about military families, the veterans, caregivers, first responders. So it’s a very large market. I mean, it’s just astronomical. And it’s an evergreen market, because we will always have men and women and families who serve our nation, and so will you in the UK.
So it was a challenge to get them to see us as more than just a niche market. It’s the patriotic Fourth of July or it’s the Veterans Day. It isn’t it’s every day. And so, but it’s not a challenge, it couldn’t be overcome. And I was I’ve been very grateful and that so many first responders families have taken to the brand. Because when I had to come up with the tag-line for Homefront girl, and my agent asked me well, who is the Homefront Girl. And when I came up with that name is trust me, I was like:- “Really? What am I going to call this?”
Because I had to come up with a name. My agent was insisting. So I came up with and I said:- “Hey, how’s that? Do you like that one?”
And they said:- “Yeah.”
I said:- “Great. Great. Okay. And then I felt okay, let’s move on. Now, where do we go? Now? This idea of branding me?” Because they felt that I didn’t just have a collection. I had a story behind it, because I’ve lived a life. And so then it of course, the next question was what but who is the Home Front Girl? I was like, “Oh, darn, you have more questions. Let me get back to you.”
So I sat down, and I actually just wrote it out really quickly. And I thought, you know, in a simple message, I mean, I’ve tailored it down. But essentially, it’s on the trademark, but it’s anyone that’s ever loved someone serving in the military, or first responders, and share that hero with the world. And its really sharing your hero with the world is what it’s come down to.
And I think at its essence, everyone can identify with that. Because whether it’s a hero that goes into a burning building, or someone that is deploying, or someone that is going out as a police officer to do his duty in the morning, and you say goodbye. That person is giving them themselves to their community. And that person that stays home and loves that person is sharing someone that means everything to them. I’ve said this before military, men and women who are active and have served never call themselves heroes, I at least have never found one. But the families have, you know, really do consider them their heroes, their loved ones, and they recognize the service.
But what I wanted to do with Homefront girl is also reflect on that there’s service rendered on both sides of what I’ve come to call the brave. Because military families also serve. I was a witness to that my entire life, I had a front row seat to see the bravery of our children, the bravery of our moms and families and friends. And I wanted to give to you designs and that I created a feminine voice, which I didn’t see coming up through the ranks, you know, I saw a lot of the regimental and everything else, but it’s very masculine.
It didn’t really speak to the, to the inspirational quality of the life that because it is a lifestyle, and I. So that’s how I developed really moving forward, what I wanted to put out is to kind of cement the bonds within the military community, but also to expose to the civilian community of really what this lifestyle and the people that live it, what they’re about and what they’re like. And if I did it through some of the designs and some of the sayings and some of the inspirational words, then that’s how it came across. And of course, it ballooned, you know, into I have a leggin line, which is really very popular right now. I created about 65 camos, and their trendy camos, not your grandpa’s camos.
And travel bags, I’ve got a line of beautiful platform heels for anyone out there who loves their heels coming out this summer, as well as a really incredible line of kicks. Well here in the US we call them kicks. So it’s basically, you know, sneakers, Converse type of Sketcher like type of shoes, but they will be all in camos. So and I’m really excited about that line. Because it’s, the camels are fun. And I’ve enjoyed doing it. I you know, like I said, I’m self taught, but I come at it from a perspective of loving fashion and colour. And so to me, it’s it goes hand in hand as a creative and so that, in a nutshell is a little bit of Homefront girl, but one thing that I would add that, you know, I think I mentioned this to you before is the boundaries of where this line goes, goes towards anyone in any country who has a loved one who serves and I was very proud to have been a part of some of the military assignments when I was a spouse, with the British and the Canadian Army.
And and I you know, it was, it was an interesting for me, and it’s something that I’ve pulled from to realize, you know, the differences in how our lives are for family in Great Britain, who is serving, whose loved one is serving, and not only just the support unit of what life is like for them, comparing it to what it is for the US and Canada. And, you know, there’s so many similarities, but also I learned a lot from just talking to them and learning about their experiences. And then a few short years ago, you in Britain, there was a music a group that came out with an amazing song. I think it was at Christmas because I know in Great Britain you guys have at Christmas time there’s like a contest with the song of Am I am I saying this? Right?
Nathaniel Schooler 11:28
You mean the like the Eurovision Song Contest? The European one?
Gaby Juergens 11:32
No, no, this one was military spouses.
Nathaniel Schooler 11:35
Oh, I think I remember that. Yeah, yeah, we have that.
Gaby Juergens 11:39
Yeah. Yeah. It was an extraordinary, you know, the way they came out. And the song was just so gripping and lovely. And you know, looking at the spouses singing for their loved ones and, and how proud proud they are. And it was very similar to the military spouse choir that performed on I can’t even remember, but it was one of those musical shows. But they performed all over the country. I have a friend who’s actually a part of the choir. And they come from all sir, all of all the branches of service. So Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines.
I’m sure it’s probably the same for the choir that’s there in Britain. But I did love it. I mean, and to me, I always look at that there’s that bond of shared experiences that these women and these families share. And it’s it’s, I think that’s in a nutshell, what I really tried to get at.
And so along the way, I have created a UK line for Homefront girl. And it’s just right now, it’s just a few things, and it is available at homefrontgirl.com. That’s my website. But, you know, I think that what I wanted to do was also be able, because I do hear from, I have quite a few followers from the UK. And they also love so much of what they see. But of course, they would love to see the union jack behind it. Because that’s the representative representation. And so then I’ve so I’ve translated a lot of that, which isn’t difficult.
One of my most popular designs was imagine a world without heroes. And it’s a simple saying, but it’s one that struck a nerve, very much so in a good way with so many people. Because it’s a reminder, regardless of what country your loved one is serving in the service, they answer a call to serve. And we need to always remember that it’s not an easy call. Nobody wants to go. But yet they do. And the United States has an all volunteer force. I’m not quite sure if it is in Britain, you can maybe you know.
Yes, it’s all now it is. National Service stopped like many years ago,
Which is right. So like us when we had the draft. So yeah, when you think about it is, you know, they’re going into raising their hand and they’re saying, you know, send me. And so I always reflect on the fact that that’s something to really be extraordinarily and awe of in so many ways. Because it’s not an easy thing to leave your family and to go off. And it’s not an easy thing to sit at home and wait.
Nathaniel Schooler 14:44
But it’s not just that you’re actually they’re actually uprooting a lot of the time the whole family and moving them all over the world. I mean, it’s a it’s a very tough life, I’m sure for especially for the kids and the wives, it must be very, very hard.
Gaby Juergens 14:57
Yeah, no, yeah, it’s hard on the kids, because you are always the new kid. Yeah, you know, in the US every two or three years is the move, you make, you know, some less, you know, time and place. And then for the mothers or the wives or the spouses, both male and female, it’s a you got to start over and having a career. There’s only a few portable career options. When you’re dealing with this kind of transition constantly going and moving. So you do give up quite a bit. So it’s a, like I said, services being rendered on both sides. And, I’m, you know, really happy that the collections that I’ve created up have been able to touch people in that way, and also that I’ve been able to tie some of the collections to military charities that so you know, mean a lot to me.
Nathaniel Schooler 15:49
I think that’s really important. I think sharing, you know, charitable efforts, let’s say, is really important these days, because there are so many people that just need help, you know, and it’s like, if you just share maybe a word with someone, you might help them and stop them from committing suicide. But if you are, you know, giving money towards charities, then those charities can really change a lot of lives.
Gaby Juergens 16:18
Absolutely one, the limited edition collection I did for Yankee Candle. That was for the purchase of every candle that you bought from Yankee, and it was carried at all 500 stores here in the United States and online. A portion went back to up homes for our troops, which builds adaptive mortgage free homes, to triple amputees.
Nathaniel Schooler 16:41
Gaby Juergens 16:42
And so that makes a world of difference to someone that has literally given all in many ways, their life is forever transformed. And so their family military caregivers are another one that I don’t you know, it’s a, it’s extra ordinary, to suddenly find yourself in that role. But yeah, but the resources are important for them to be for their because being a caregiver is is difficult at best.
And so they require also the resources to be supported, as they go through the transitions and adapting to a loved one that is either visible scars or invisible. And so they have their lives have been transformed and changed due to service for their nation. So and, you know, one of the things that I’d mentioned to you earlier is that, you know, as, as anything, one of the things that I heard back from a couple of Canadian wives, who had written to me in regards to some of the designs that they had seen and they wanted, of course, the, you know, the maple leaf and what they told me really was that they sometimes felt like they in within so many ways, were invisible.
Within really, the scope of things, you know, everyone is very proud and loves them and everything, but not a lot of people really look into that other side, you know, the fact that there’s a family that’s, that’s there, that’s also you know, missing a loved one. And that this was a way what they saw is much as it was, Homefront girl was, you know, I started here in America, and I started for our military men and women. But the inspirational quality of it was something that they felt gave them a voice in a way that they hadn’t seen in retail before. And really, that was one of the things that gave me the impetus to continue you because I felt that it was sort of a watershed moment for me when I realized how many people really gravitated to the designs of in particular, I am the other half of the brave, that was something military caregivers really took to that design. And I could totally understand it, because in a very short, sweet, succinct way, it was announcing that you know, what I’m serving too.
Nathaniel Schooler 19:27
Gaby Juergens 19:28
And here in the United States, you know, we’re known as the silent ranks. It’s for decades. And in many ways, I think that’s what I got from the contact that I had with these Canadian military wives. And I could certainly understand that and so, you know, I’ve put out a Canadian line and the UK line and, and I and also, I’m bilingual, and so I’ve also put out a line in in Spanish.
Nathaniel Schooler 19:58
Gaby Juergens 19:58
Ahh muy buen! Gracias
Espanol! Don’t make me test you now.
Nathaniel Schooler 20:10
Es necesario por practicar todo los dias
Gaby Juergens 20:17
Nathaniel Schooler 20:20
So no, I’m not gonna speak Spanish. Yeah. No, I’m a bit rusty. I mean, we could in theory, but. But yeah, I kind of need to practice a bit more. I was just practicing a couple of days back with with some Spanish people. Is it yesterday? Yeah. Yesterday, I was just talking to some people from Spain, actually.
Gaby Juergens 20:36
Yeah, do you speak any other languages?
Nathaniel Schooler 20:38
No. Well, I did eight years of French at school, but I haven’t I haven’t spoken French for a long time. I’m not against it. I think I need a French girlfriend.
Gaby Juergens 20:48
Well, there you go. Well, I know that yes. Well, we’ve talked I apparently will be passing out some numbers.
I mentioned to all of our listeners out there. actually have given him I’ve given this Nathainiel, the sort of moniker of Britain’s George Clooney.
Nathaniel Schooler 21:19
Hilarious, hilarious, actually quite brilliant.
I could look like someone else, right?
Gaby Juergens 21:26
Well, no, no, you can’t do too bad. Not too shabby for Nat. Oh, my God, I’m making you blush!
Nathaniel Schooler 21:37
I am blushing. Yeah, totally. But, so in terms of like, your entrepreneurial journey, right. Like when you started? You’ve been through all sorts of trials and tribulations?
Yeah. So you said you said about the market, like you’ve you’ve had to sort of, you know, understand the marketplace and this kind of stuff. So, you know, what other sort of challenges have you have you sort of been through I mean, obviously, cash flow is always a challenge, starting a business. But what else?
Gaby Juergens 22:10
I think, really, because I, the, when I started the studio, I had an agent, and I knew I had to go with a boutique agency, because this was something that nobody had ever looked at before. And this market, I mean, there’s always lots of stuff on Dazzle, and you know, you could go on any of these, you know, Etsy sites, and you’ll see something that, you know, someone’s making for, you know, with a military related in some way.
But what I was doing is a little different, I was looking at placing it in retail. And so what really was the greatest challenge, I think, for both my agents and for myself, and trying to keep it in a way a bit of a broad stroke of a broad stroke. So that not don’t make it so includes, you know, so much military, but more of an inspirational.
Nathaniel Schooler 23:11
Gaby Juergens 23:12
But without losing sight of the reason why it was started. It was really the educating the public, and I did a lot of appearances and met a lot of manufacturers. And you know, the studio was quite young, when it I kind of got interrupted with stage three breast cancer. And so I had to go and fight that for about 19 months. But at the same time, I travelled to Johns Hopkins, where I got my treatment, in Maryland, and I travelled with my iMac, Mr. Windows!
Nathaniel Schooler 23:52
Gaby Juergens 23:55
And my two dogs, by the way, back before, from my home to, you know, to spending a lot of time in, in treatment. So I kept it going, at least I kept all my contracts going, I introduced the Teddy bear collection, at that same time that I was going through treatment.
Unfortunately, I made a few appearances, but wasn’t exactly, you know, it was a very aggressive treatment that I was going through. So it wasn’t always in the best shape. But so when I finished my treatment, I went forward, and I came back and I was grateful that I was done. And I’m two years out and now I’m good. I’m doing good.
Nathaniel Schooler 24:43
Gaby Juergens 24:44
And so now it’s you know, I’m very excited about some of the opportunities that are coming my way for not only Homefront girl for but also, for me, and in the sense of a lot of work that I’m doing to pass legislation to change a law that impacts military spouses here in America in a very negative way, in the event of a divorce. And so that’s something that I’ve taken on, it’s because it impacted me, and, yeah, it’s too late for me.
I just don’t want another spouse to ever go through what I went through. It’s just not right. So that’s one of the things that I’m very passionate about, that kind of goes hand in hand with the studio that I built with Homefront girl, and along the way also, you know, the opportunity to speak on what it’s like to be a woman entrepreneur, and taking the challenge of, especially as you’re older, to go out there and kind of find your second act.
Nathaniel Schooler 25:52
Gaby Juergens 25:54
And that’s really what I feel that I did is, you know, and I and I say this, I will be speaking at an event in October down in Charleston, South Carolina, to a large group of military spouses, and I was asked to speak, you know, and you know, the, the gist of it is that I was I’m self taught, you know, I had a choice, I could, you know, happily retire as a military spouse at the time. And you know, I don’t know, I have no idea what I would be doing, I drinking all the wine and Wisconsin and all the cheese in Wisconsin, I don’t know, that’s where I was.
But I chose I knew I needed to do something creative. And so I dug into what I had, which were I kept journals my whole life. And of all of the experiences that I had gone through witnessing so many things that just made an impression on me from memorial services, to just extraordinary lives that I met along the way of from all walks of life, that decide to serve. And so that was what I did my pen or my brush in to build a collection. And I’m always really blessed when I have the opportunity to go back in front of our veterans and just say thank you and pass out a bear, sit and talk to them.
And I think it’s it’s extraordinary opportunity to say thank you. And so when I talk on different Podcasts and different radio or TV, about my life, and what inspired building the studio and putting a spotlight on this community, it’s just, it’s not hard at all. And, and also if I inspire other women to pursue a decision to go on an entrepreneurial journey.
I’m all for it. You know, I’ve always had this mantra that girls compete with each other women empower one another. And I believe in women empowerment. So you know, that’s sort of been what? I’ve kind of had sort of my guiding compass, as I’ve gone through this, and it’s just just starting, you know!
Nathaniel Schooler 28:29
Gaby Juergens 28:29
Like Madonna, I want to rule the world.
Nathaniel Schooler 28:35
So, so, excuse me. So let me see what I was going to say. So how long have you been if you’ve been sort of doing doing this?
Gaby Juergens 28:46
Well, I, the trademark came through in 2013. Once I signed with an escrow, which is a very large international gift company, they put, they signed me with an exclusive contract for three years. And they put out about 250 SKUs. And I was very, they love the line, the minute they saw it. And that was 2013, I knew that I had to pursue the trademark because now it was going to be in major stores across the country. And it was being launched. And I knew that I needed to protect it.
So it was an expense. You know, I think that goes with again, talking about brands. And the expenses that come with that is the decision to go towards a trademark is a decision that once you are building a brand and you feel that that’s an important way of protecting your intellectual property. It is something to consider and move forward with. But it is expensive. I don’t know what it is in the UK.
Nathaniel Schooler 29:46
Oh, yeah, here. Yeah, getting trademark. Yeah, for sure.
Gaby Juergens 29:50
And it takes a long time. So I actually engaged to an attorney to actually help me through this process. But and I was very lucky that he actually had worked with the US Patent and Trademark Office. And so he had that sort of background as well. So I got so the trademark came, and then I made it into an LLC. And soon after we were taught we literally were talking 2014 when a lot of the collections were being launched by October of 2015. My marriage imploded. And within a space of five months, I was diagnosed with cancer.
So stress will do things to you. So you know, everyone understand that. So anyway, so so as you could tell it was a lot has been done in the time that I’ve had it. And I’m excited about where it’s going and the opportunities that are presenting itself and the way that people are learning about it. I’m looking forward to being on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Nathaniel Schooler 31:03
Oh, yes. But I was you reminded me I was going to ask you about that. So Ellen is Ellen’s pretty huge here actually, as well. Like people know of Ellen, what’s her last name?
Gaby Juergens 31:14
Nathaniel Schooler 31:14
Yeah. People know of her here for some reason I keep having these Facebook competitions pop up from someone pretending to be Ellen.
Gaby Juergens 31:22
Really? Yes, definitely. Not her.
Nathaniel Schooler 31:25
I doubt it. You know, she her publicity guys are not gonna, like be doing some spammy Facebook giveaways. Are they?
Gaby Juergens 31:32
Yeah, I would definitely, like immediate Delete on that.
Nathaniel Schooler 31:35
I just deleted it yeah.
Gaby Juergens 31:36
And you know, and she, and I have to say, you know, my publicist is the one that, you know, contacted them, and everything is for the Memorial Day broadcast. And, you know Ellen is such a special person, I she’s a person that is exudes such optimism and caring and loving, and it’s such, and also her humour, and I’ve always believed, and trust me, laughter got me through cancer, and a lot of other situations is I you know, in the last couple of years, and I used to sit and watch Ellen, while I was at taking chemo for four hours.
And I would listen to her and that was like, my escape, to laugh and to cry at some of the stories. And so, you know, she’s one of those inspiring people that I you know, it, I hope it all comes through, and I get to go, and also speak about what, you know, because it is an overall day broadcast as a daughter of a veteran. And someone who raised someone in this life, my own experience, and what it means to me. And, and it’s something that I look forward to sharing with her audience. And, you know as I said, she is a person of such genuine heart. And that’s something that I don’t think, I don’t know, if she knows how much how many lives that she’s actually impacted. But I’m very, you know, very happy to and absolutely honoured to be able to join that broadcast.
So it’s a it’s pretty exciting. And so, yes, that’s, that’s great. And another thing is, I’m working closely with an ambassador, one of the ambassadors for Gary Sinise. Sinise Foundation, which I don’t know if you know of him in the UK. No. Okay. Well, did you ever watch the film Forrest Gump? Yeah. Okay, so the actor that played Lieutenant Dan?
Nathaniel Schooler 33:36
Gaby Juergens 33:37
That’s Gary Sinise. Oh, cool. Yes. And Gary Sinise, following September 11. became very involved. He comes from a military family as well. And became very involved in reach, reaching out and supporting our veterans. And it soon, sort of became this foundation. And he’s been recognized in our country, not only by our veterans, but the White House and so many other organizations for the kindness and the caring that he and his foundation have shown to the nation of what it truly means to support our troops.
And I always, I have one design that says support, it’s a verb. And I really believe that. It’s more than just saying thank you. It’s okay, get out there. And if you know someone who has a family member who’s deployed, ask them if they need help with their car, do they need to have oil change? Or do they need their grass cut or anything like that? Those are the actions, little things that will mean enormous to someone who has a loved one. So I’m really excited to attend the Memorial Day concert at Washington DC with Captain Leslie Smith, who’s an ambassador for the foundation, and it’s always held every year. It’s called the concert for America. And Gary will be there again, host again, along with Joe Metanga. Who is do you guys get Criminal Minds over there?
Nathaniel Schooler 35:11
I don’t think I watch it. No, not myself
Gaby Juergens 35:16
Well, I watch Broad Church you should watch Criminal Minds
Nathaniel Schooler 35:21
Gaby Juergens 35:22
Oh, dear Lord, who am I talking to?
Nathaniel Schooler 35:25
Try not to watch that much TV. I’m too busy.
Gaby Juergens 35:29
Oh my God.
Nathaniel Schooler 35:30
I’m into bit of NCIS though I’m not gonna lie I quite like that.
Gaby Juergens 35:35
Okay, well, and NCIS LA or New York had Gary Sinise. Right? Right. So I don’t know which one you’re watching. They’re just so many but Broad Church was great. I love but see again, I had mentioned to to Nathaniel I am a huge Anglophile. I love Great Britain. I love the UK. I love London. So but I also love BBC and all of your shows, I have acorn app on my, on my TV and I have a breadbox. Oh, gosh. I grew up with Hyacinth Bucket. I grew up
Nathaniel Schooler 36:15
Gaby Juergens 36:16
Nathaniel Schooler 36:18
Hyacinth Bucket hilarious.
Gaby Juergens 36:21
Yes. And also the Vicar of Dibley. And father Ted and Oh, yeah. Yeah, I remember I did mention to you. Oh, and by the way, the top one would be as Time Goes By, with Dame Judi Dench.
Nathaniel Schooler 36:37
Think I seem to remember that I would have been quite I was quite young when that was out. I did watch it!
Gaby Juergens 36:41
So was I! I watched the reruns? Thank you!
Nathaniel Schooler 36:48
So back to like your struggles? Right?
Gaby Juergens 36:52
Like, right now with you.
Nathaniel Schooler 36:53
With me no! So back to the struggles? Yeah.
Gaby Juergens 37:01
Nathaniel Schooler 37:03
Yeah. You know, it must have been really hard to like, you know, continue with a positive mindset. Yeah. But like you saying, like that laughter was was kind of your medicine. Yeah, when you were going through all of that, and I can appreciate that, I think, I think anyone that runs their own business or struggles in their career, or whatever, you know, has has been through that, and probably goes through it. I mean, the whole point is, we’re human. Yeah.
And, you know, no matter if you’re a veteran, or you’re a spouse, of a veteran, or army wife, you know, whatever, even if you’re a normal person that has nothing to do with the Army, or the Navy or whatever, you we all go through mental health. I mean, that’s, in essence, what we’re talking about staying happy, no matter where they are, right. And, like, that’s just a massive thing. You know, nowadays, and, I mean, there’s so much more aware, surrounded now, which is, which is really, really good. And I think sometimes it’s just someone reaching out to you, and being nice to you could change your whole mood for the whole day, which will then help you to become more positive moving forward. Right?
Gaby Juergens 38:15
Absolutely. I mean, I agree 100%. With that, it’s, it really is. Because as you and I talked to me, I have a home studio, you have a homes, you have you have your own studio, at home, and it’s so hard to get away from it. So you have to make an effort of being able to sort of have some balance in your life and mental health does come into it, try to find things that you know, especially if you’re creative, you really need to step away and do something else that is outside, you know, that’s a little different.
Whether it’s writing, which I enjoy, tremendously, and voice-over work, which I’m sort of getting into, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed, that I might be able to make a great announcement, by the end of the week, I will be very, very happy. But it’s finding something else so that you, you sort of don’t feel overwhelmed by the business that you are trying to build. Whether it says it’s you know, its beginning or it’s at its zenith, and it’s just, you know, doing extraordinarily well.
I think the pressures are always going to be there, whether you’re starting it mid-point, or it’s a success. And, you know, I think as much as the success of any business, you’re always trying to stay and keep it successful. So there’s always going to be that pressure to continue to keep it going and keep it successful and keep it evolving and growing. Because I think any, especially brands, they need to be able to evolve. And I think there’s certainly many brands out there that can be pointed to as you know, how they’ve really evolved from what they started at, to where they’re at today.
I know here where I’m at, there’s the Alex and Annie brand, which is a jewellery line, right. And she’s a she’s actually a local girl from here in the US and where I live. And, you know, it’s extraordinarily successful.
A brand that she started in her garage. And she has been able to evolve the brand into other areas and done a lot of work with other brands. So there’s been that sort of creative connection and with working with other creatives; which again, it expands from where she started to have a whole new demographic, perhaps, that she’s appealing to and I think that’s all part of as you’re going and growing a brand and getting moving forward is you’re looking for ways that not only enhance what you’re doing the message that you’re trying to get out the look everything, but also that the brand is getting known in other areas that perhaps don’t exactly fit it, but do work well.
So, you know, I had a jewellery line with a very amazing jeweller out of New York. And, you know, I look forward to doing other things along those ways and working with perhaps some celebrities. They all love our men and women who serve and you know, it’s about the soldier not about the war, or
Nathaniel Schooler 41:58
That’s the problem, isn’t it? We need to be more pro peace, you know.
Gaby Juergens 42:02
Absolutely well, and also understand that it’s not the soldier, it’s you know, and I say this about Memorial Day, too. And I when I did a podcast was, you know, it’s a day not to reflect on why the war was fought. But to reflect on those that went.
Nathaniel Schooler 42:18
Gaby Juergens 42:20
Because that’s not the day to, it’s not a day to argue why any of that thought and least of all with those who actually went. And so, you know, I think always looking for opportunities. When you were starting any kind of business, my biggest advice to anyone who is listening, who has ideas and wants to push forward and is just to really write down certain goals that you’d like and to see you achieve and take it step by step, but don’t overwhelm yourself with too many. I mean, it really does take baby steps to get you to where you’re going but always affirm to yourself that everything is a learning curve.
Nobody wakes up one day and is you know Bethany Frankel, who is a big entrepreneur on this side of the of the ocean. And, you know, I admire her tremendously for what she’s built. But she started selling muffins, you know, and so it was a definite way of how she got to where she is, and the enormous success that she has today and the name brand that she has today. But it all starts with little things, and they may seem little, but just just, you know, keep faith with what your initial goal is. And, of course, adjust it as you go along. I had to in many ways as I started Homefront Girl, because I thought I could use all these IP properties that were a part of my life my entire life. And I soon discovered that I couldn’t do that. Because they belong to the services. So I couldn’t use them.
So I rebranded in my head, how I was going to approach it. And I did, and so there’s always going to be some obstacle, but it’s only an obstacle, if you don’t look at it and say, okay, it, I can either go around it, I can go over it, I you know, there’s always going to be a way that you can adjust and still keep true to what you are trying to achieve as much as possible. But don’t let it be a stumbling block to the goals that you set for yourself. And again, to any woman out there listening and the great UK. Go for it, you know? Absolutely.
There’s nothing to stop you other than your own fears. And I’m here to tell you that if I had done that, and I had left my fears and doubts about doing any of this, I would still be wearing a cheese-head in Wisconsin and probably watching the housewives. But, and I wouldn’t be here today. So I always just say, just keep, keep working hard and don’t lose sight of your goals and never think that it’s too late to start again. Because it isn’t.
Nathaniel Schooler 45:28
Yeah, well, I think that applies to anyone. It’s not just women.
Gaby Juergens 45:32
Absolutely. It does apply to anyone.
Nathaniel Schooler 45:34
Yeah. And you just got to get on with it. And you really, you know, just, I mean, I was listening to like Mike Tobin, one of the episodes with him. And he’s just like, you know, the destination doesn’t change. But the route might change, like, you might need to get an Uber. Or you might be Ubered along the way. And if you are, then you need to find another way around it, don’t you?
Gaby Juergens 45:56
Absolutely. That’s brilliant. I forgot who said that. I’m making huge Tobin fan. I think he’s pretty awesome. I’ve watched I have one episode. I have to watch it. You’ve done with him. So yeah, but he’s pretty brilliant. Yes, absolutely. And that’s a very good quote.
Nathaniel Schooler 46:14
Yeah, very much so. So how do people how do people find you, Gaby, if they want to check out your stuff?
Gaby Jeurgens 46:23
Okay. Well, you can go to www.homefrontgirl.com and any manufacturers in the UK interested in Homefront Baby UK and Homefront Girl UK, you can contact me at email@example.com and my licensing agent is Firefly brand management. Cynthia Matters is president and with love to see Home Front Baby in the UK, as well as Home Front Girls. So that would be lovely. And yeah, absolutely. I’m very much interested because I know that this is really is an international brand. And it’s an inspirational brand.
Gaby Juergens 47:06
And so many ways from the greeting card line to the wellies I have which are amazing to you know, as I said the summer collection will include you know, swimwear, and the travel bags are amazing. And those are currently also available on fancy.com which is an international sort of a platform. So I can be found there but absolutely reach out and thanks so much for having me on.
Nathaniel Schooler 47:39
Gaby Juergens 47:41
Pleasure. It’s been a lot of fun. I was really nice to Nathaniel
Nathaniel Schooler 47:47
You could have killed me out there.
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