MilSpouse Spotlight: Stephanie Murray
Tell us about yourself and your business:
I’m Stephanie! I’m the wife of a Marine Corps veteran and mama to two rambunctious boys. I’m the owner of Fiddlestix Candy Co. and a Sapphire Ambassador for the network marketing company, Plexus.
With Fiddlestix Candy Co. I make handcrafted lollipops perfect for gifting or adding a unique touch to any celebration.
Why did you start your business?
I started Fiddlestix Candy Co. because I love to make people smile!
After growing my Plexus business to a point that financially sustained my family and allowed me to be home with my disabled Veteran I found myself desperate to feed my creative side.
I was actually a bit depressed and needing to reconnect with who I truly am. I started going to therapy which I HIGHLY recommend for everyone, but especially military spouses! My therapist helped me realize I needed to spend some time playing and creating in the kitchen.
While I was looking for new things to create I stumbled upon lollipops and quickly became obsessed. When I started sharing them with other people and seeing how a simple lollipop makes people’s eyes light up I was hooked and Fiddlestix Candy Co. was born.
You are a rockstar! How did you become one of the top jewels in Plexus?
Let me first say I LOVE NETWORK MARKETING! There are so many companies out there these days providing top notch products and wonderful business opportunities. The industry as a whole has my heart.
I grew my team to the top of the company in 11 months but the “secret” is I had been building genuine relationships for YEARS prior. I’ve always loved helping people and suggesting products I love. So when I found Plexus products it was natural to share them and people already knew that I was honest and valued my opinion.
When I realized my hubby needed me home I decided to buckle down and work really hard to leave my job. It took sacrifice and doing things I didn’t always want to do but it was all worth it.
I just passed my 5 year anniversary with Plexus and have had 4 years of a consistent 6-figure income. That consistent income is (1) from the unique compensation plan that Plexus offers that’s different than any other in the industry and (2) from the combination of relationships and good ole’ hard work. Period.
How do you feel being a military spouse helped you become an entrepreneur?
Flexibility! I think one of the biggest personal assets you can have as a military spouse is being flexible and being able to adapt and overcome. You basically have no choice but to embrace those things when you’re a military spouse. Haha!
Those strengths translate perfectly to entrepreneurship. Almost every day as an entrepreneur there’s a problem to solve and the faster you can creatively solve those problems the better your business will be.
How do you find people to buy your products?
Fiddlestix- I started out going to small local craft shows to test the market and see if anyone was even interested in what I wanted to sell. I then moved to slightly larger markets and then onto social media and an commerce website.
As for Plexus I do some in person networking and the rest is word of mouth!
What challenges did you face that you did not anticipate?
Like I said, every day seems like there’s a new challenge to face! One challenge I did NOT expect was the logistical side to shipping a product myself. With Plexus that is taken care of by someone else. With Fiddlestix we’re still working out all of the kinks.
One challenge I DID expect but still have to consciously face every day is mindset. Running a business, especially one that is such a true reflection of myself, means that I’m faced daily with the potential to worry and doubt. I make a serious effort every single day to remain in a positive mindset.
How do you juggle running a business and taking care of your family?
I ask for, and expect, HELP! My hubby has learned how to cook more and more. My boys are expected to do some chores and help when asked. I delegate as much as possible and tell the perfectionist inside me to “shut it” because done is better than perfect!
I also lean on several other professionals for business tasks and projects. Nothing is ever done alone!
Best thing you’ve learned so far:
Be you. Not them.
If you had one do-over what would it be?
Going to therapy much much sooner!
What would you tell a military spouse starting out?
Be willing to do the things that scare you!
Worried that no one will like your stuff? Get out there and offer it. Scared to hire someone that will help you do it faster or better? Do it! Just face the scary things. They’re the things that move you forward.
Rapid Response Questions:
A military spouse is: the strongest person I know.
Transition: is rough. Talk to someone!
Military life is: a bittersweet experience that I’m so honored to have had.
Best tool that I use daily is: the Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt
I couldn’t live without: coffee. Or my phone!
The biggest need for a military spouse is: connection.
I wish I would have: asked for help sooner.
Favorite quote or book: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart