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Veteran owned business and Veteran's Day

Boutique Tana Kaya is a veteran owned business that also employs a veteran. I served in the US Army and Lorie, our employee, served in the US Air Force. One thing we agree on is that the US military experience has enriched our lives and given us the courage to persevere through life's challenges.

Being a scientist, I have a need to see numbers to grasp a concept. The U.S. Census Bureau reports there are 2.5 million veteran owned business that employ over 5 million people with an annual payroll of $195 billion. Only 5.2% of retail business are veteran owned and of that only 15% are women. Pennsylvania is in the top 5 for veteran owned business at over 97,000.

Every Veteran's Day I reflect on what the military has contributed to my life. The person I am today is a consequence of my military training. Although I was not in any sort of conflict, I have no doubt I would stand and fight to protect my American values and my family.

I must admit reporting for my first day of duty was the scariest day of my life. Drill Sergeants are much more frightening in real life than on TV. I never would let them see me cry, but at night when the lights went out I cried, for the first two weeks. By the time I graduated from Basic Training I was 125 lbs, muscle-toned to the tune of 100 pushups, and not afraid of anything. I learned that when I think I can not take one more step I can march 5 more miles!

Fast forward to today, I teach full time at a college, am in graduate school and have a women's boutique with my husband. I am not afraid of hard work, I can't remember the last day my husband and I truly took off from every form of work.

My military-learned values are embedded in every aspect of my life including the boutique. We strive to bring the best to you. American made, Fair trade imports and Canadian lines are just some of the quality items you can find in our store


This Veteran's Day remember to give back to the veterans who made the commitment to uphold our values at whatever cost. Think of what they gave up: a warm bed, home cooking, being with their loved ones every day. Instead of being cuddled up on the sofa shopping online, take the time to give back to those who sacrificed for your comfort. As a veteran, to other veterans: be proud and remember the strength you have inside!