The Official Part
Jess Sands is no stranger to the challenges of starting a business. A few years ago, she was a successful full-time graphic designer, with a portfolio including Disney, Caroline Gardner and Marks & Spencer. But when she met her future husband, a pilot in the RAF, everything changed. Moving house every two years meant that Jess had to give up the career that she loved. After a year struggling to get employment in a market that is often reluctant to hire military spouses due to their transitory nature, Jess decided to develop her own business Design Jessica. Since then she has gone from strength to strength.
Jess is passionate about helping other military spouses, partners and other-halves through the same difficult transition that she made. Her business specialises in designing brands for new companies within the armed forces community, and as a founder of the Forces Enterprise Network Business Community, she encourages others in similar situations to share their experiences and challenges, helping them to help themselves. Now she has a new project aiming to give a voice to those who are already achieving amazing things, and to inspire those who dream of doing the same.
The Milspo Business Network™ started as The InDependent Spouse® podcast – a series of fun, informative weekly podcasts which explores the world of running a business by chatting to inspiring military entrepreneurs. Aimed at enterprising milspo’s, each episode is full of useful tips and amusing anecdotes, many of which will be familiar to those trying to create their own successful businesses while living the ‘magnolia wall life’.
There are now three series of the podcast available with over 32 inspiring interviews. The podcast has now been downloaded over 6,000 times in over 23 countries, showcasing inspirational milspo’s to those posted throughout the world.
The Milspo Business Network™ launched shortly after in early 2019, and now has over 400 military spouse, partner and other-half members connecting, networking and building successful businesses whilst living the modern military life.
Hand in hand with the community The Milspo Business Network™ delivers monthly networking groups, online training from experts and a safe space that supports. The Milspo Business Network™ is for ALL military spouses, partners, other-halves in business and does not discriminate on gender, rank or location.
The InDependent Spouse CIC is a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant and has been recognised nationally by the Women In Defence Awards, #ialso F:Entrepreneur and the Naval, Army and RAF Families Federations as an advocate for military partners in business.
Jess is a passionate business owner who runs her business, Design Jessica, from her married quarter near Swindon. A qualified Graphic Designer and commercially minded Brand Designer, Jess works with inspiring entrepreneurs, bringing clarity and vision to every project she works on.
Realising that there would be many military postings, Jess purposely built her company so it could be transient. Recent moves have seen Jess run her company from Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire…and back to Oxfordshire…with a 5th move to London expected soon.
When Jess isn’t running her business, and creating podcasts you can find her singing in her local Military Wives Choir, walking her rescue dog Emma, or getting bashed on a hockey pitch. She’s married to a wonderful, but very ‘operational’ RAF Officer, and lives with her two rescue cats Freya and Odin, and of course Emma.