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Monday, August 10, 2009

Cozy Chic "Momtrepreneur"


As a military spouse, finding a job you love can be challenging and sometimes a fruitless process, even for those with experience and education. As a former military officer, and now a mother of two, nobody knows this better than momtrepreneur, Jen Griswold. “I chose to get out of the military in order to stay at home with my children. However, after leaving the workforce, I have always had the urge to start a little something of my own,” says Griswold.

After relocating her household 6 times in the last 8 years, Griswold acquired a love and talent for decorating. Each time, she created beautiful spaces utilizing furnishings her family already owned, whether they were ideally suited for each home or not. After 5 moves, she decided to combine her experience in relocating, her love of interior design, and her Master’s degree in Education to start a business specializing in home staging, interior redesign, home d├ęcor and redesign education courses.
Though the seeds of the business idea were planted years ago, Griswold did not officially “take the plunge” until she and her husband received orders to Travis AFB. While looking for houses in foreclosure-laden Solano County in June of 2007, the couple was flabbergasted at the condition of houses they encountered. “We kept thinking, all it would take is a little staging and these homes would be so much more appealing,“ stated Griswold. Cozy Chic Design & Home Staging was born January of 2008 and has grown steadily ever since.
Between caring for two kids under the age of 3 and running a business, Griswold has her work cut out for her. Yet, she would not have it any other way. “I work two days a week for five hours a day in client’s homes and the rest of the week I spend with my kids.” Phone calls, emails, orders and other office work are slipped in during naptimes, preschool, and mostly after the kids go to bed. Additionally, shortly after starting up, Griswold partnered with longtime decorator and Vacaville resident, Janet Davison. They share the workload which allows for a larger quantity of clientele. Davison also has experience as a military spouse and shares Griswold’s love for decorating and hard work. For the pair, partnering together made the office work much more manageable, decorating a lot more fun, and allowed family to remain a top priority. Griswold hopes her kids will learn by watching her entrepreneurial pursuits. “I think it is important for my kids to see that their mom has a creative outlet in which she has goals and works hard to achieve them. It is a wonderful lesson in both dedication and what it takes to achieve personal fulfillment.”
Though Cozy Chic Design now serves a wide variety of homes and businesses in Yolo and Solano Counties, the owners are still working towards a vision that would also focus on military families and spouses. Griswold and Davison’s long term goal for the company is to franchise into smaller units at military locations around the country in order to provide decorating services to military families and to provide career opportunities to the many talented and educated military spouses who would like part-time employment. They will begin testing the idea when Griswold moves on to their next Air Force base in a few years.

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