Catching Up with Katie Genta

“I don’t know where I am going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring” – David Bowie 

Well …I do know, for certain, I will be trading in my palm tree views and poke diet for pasta and gelato as we venture from Oahu to Naples, Italy this Summer.   I don’t know what that means for my business.  

As military spouses, we are often told to find a career that is portable.  Unfortunately, there are some duty stations we are unable to work due to certain agreements put into place with the host countries.  

That agreement is called a Status of Forces Agreement or SOFA. It is a diplomatic arrangement between the United States and a foreign government detailing the rights and privileges of service members and their families assigned to that country. Each base has its own agreement.  So what works in Okinawa may not be the case in Italy. 

The SOFA affects so many aspects of operating a handmade business (or really any business).  Simple things like how much space will you have to work, how shipping works, and sourcing the supplies I need.  On some bases, one must get permission to operate at all!  Taken in total, these circumstances make it very hard to plan for what’s next with my business.   

So, the entrepreneur in me may have to adjust but I know the creative in me won’t stop.  The universe has a way of working itself out, so I am staying hopeful.  If my first plan doesn’t work, I’ll go with another or another.   

Our first overseas move was 9 years ago.   Like many others, I was scared.  I had no idea how I was going to work, or if I’d survive being a 17-hour flight from home with a 10-month-old not knowing the language.  I would have laughed if you told me I’d start making jewelry or pursue it as a business. Living overseas has taught me to stay positive, do the hard things, take risks, and get outside of my comfort zone.  Additionally, I’ve met amazing people from all over who taught me so much about myself and their cultures. All these things and experiences contribute to inspire me and my work.  

Is it hard?  Yes!  

Is it worth it?  Yes! 

The hard is what makes it great.. 

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