MONI, WHY DON'T YOU START BY TELLING US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF!
Hi! I am a mother, Puerto Rican, an Air Force spouse, entrepreneur, and overall life lover. I was born in Connecticut, but grew up as a military kid so we moved a lot. I have three amazing kids that keep me sipping on coffee and wine, and a husband that makes life easy. I met my husband at 16, and we've been together ever since. We celebrate 19 years of marriage in September.
I’ve been an Air Force spouse for 15 years, and we're currently on our third deployment and seventh PCS. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2006 and have volunteered and started numerous organizations to continue my craft. I love spending time with my kids and Papi Chulo — my husband. I am addicted to spin, travel, nachos, kisses from my kids, late night dances with my husband, and I enjoy a good Netflix binge.
YOU RUN TWO BUSINESSES. TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT EACH.
Yes! I am a woman of many hats. I started my virtual public relations business in 2015. After many frustrating interviews and disappointments, I decided to advocate for and invest in myself. One morning in the fall of 2015, I logged onto my computer and created an LLC. I had started my own business! What that meant, I didn’t know. But what I did know was that I had the power to create the career I wanted.
My journey began by helping small business entrepreneurs with strategy and social media, and it has grown from there. As a PR strategist, I collaborate with clients to build their brand while reaching their audience in a way that is earned and trusted. I support my clients by creating PR strategies that help them launch their products or services to their dream clients.
This past May, I added app creator to my title by creating the MilCam app. It is the first and only military app that offers themed filters that are unique to our lifestyle. My team creates filters for companies in the military community who are hosting events, workshops, or conferences. When the app is utilized by attendees, it not only encourages social sharing but also provides brand awareness.
WE LOVE THE VALUES YOU HAVE OUTLINED IN THE MILSPOUSE CREATIVE COMMUNITY. WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?
As the founder of the MilSpouse Creative, my goal is to empower spouses and support them on their paths. As an entrepreneur, a whole new world had opened up to me that I had no idea existed. While there are several groups on Facebook supporting and inspiring members with helpful resources, tips, and motivation, few spoke to me. I was a milspouse entrepreneur and wanted to create a community where we spouses were doing what other small businesses were doing.
Members of those groups were hiring each other for work, making referrals, and bartering services. That is what I wanted to see more of in the military spouse community. I thought, “why are we not connecting, collaborating, and cultivating more? Why give someone else a job instead of a fellow spouse?” Our values stem from the desire to be connected to each other, collaborate with new audiences, and cultivate in ways that are unique and diverse by creating relationships that can last a lifetime.
DO AREAS OF YOUR PERSONAL, PROFESSIONAL, AND RELATIONAL LIFE OVERLAP? IF SO, IN WHAT WAY?
Yes, all the time. I am not going to lie and say it does not, or that it’s easy to find balance. The truth is that it's hard to put my phone down and not check the email, pick up an after-hours client call, or sit at dinner wondering if that contract was signed. When you work for yourself, there is a tendency to always be on. Since I’m a creative at heart, wheels are always turning, whether it’s for myself, the community, or clients.
When I first started my PR agency, I worked from sun up to sun down, and it caused a lot of parts of my relationship and household to struggle. Since then, I had to learn to create boundaries. That means that I have to turn my business hat off at a certain time and turn my mommy hat on instead. I realized that I have to separate the two. I need to be present in my kid's lives because they are growing up quickly. I also want to make sure that I invest in my self-care and my relationship with my spouse. Having healthy boundaries allows me to thrive in each area of my life.