Meet the Rosensteels — Kimsha and her husband, Shawn, who together with their children, have not only embraced the military way of life but also strive to incorporate life experiences gained through multiple moves into their family business.
Kimsha, a military spouse of nine years, was also a “military brat” growing up, and said she has always struggled with the thought of being labeled as a “dependent.”
“Even though I am a military spouse, I didn’t want to be a dependent — I didn’t want to be known as just the spouse of sergeant such and such,” she said. “I wanted to have my own identity.”
Shawn, a staff sergeant with 21 years of service, spends his days working as a small group leader for the Engineer Advanced Leader Course at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Noncommissioned Officer Academy. On his days off, though, he can be found working side-by-side with his family at their small business.
He also comes from a military family where his father spent 26 years in the Air Force before settling in a small coal-mining town in eastern Kentucky, where he worked in the mines following his military service. Shawn said he didn’t want to work the mines and found his escape in enlisting in the Army.
Kimsha said in addition to struggling to find her own identity, she also wanted to be her own boss. This is where her vision came in. After working to feed Soldiers for 15 years, she said it was time to venture out into the food industry.
“This is where I came in with the vision of let me go ahead and do what I know. I know cooking; I think I do that pretty well, so let me go ahead and try this business,” she said. “We hit the ground running and have been busy ever since. You have to do what you know, and if you’re good at what you know, keep doing it.”
Shawn agreed with her.
“She had this vision of what she wanted,” Shawn said. “She had been talking about it for years and I finally told her, ‘you have to take that leap. You just have to get out there and do it if not, you’re always going to wonder if you would have been successful.’”
He stressed how important it is for him to be supportive of her dreams.
“You got to be there for them, because they’ve been there for you for other things,” Shawn said. “It’s worth the late nights. I’ve got to support her and her vision.”
Kimsha said being successful has taken the entire family being in sync with one another.
“You’re a team with your spouse, and you have to remain a team, especially if you’re running a business,” she said. “You can’t do it by yourself — you have to lean on one another in order to make it work, especially in the military with the ups and downs and with deployments.”
She added, “It gets tiresome sometimes with a family, because we do have children and they have sports and other activities that we try to get together and do. But, I think we are at a point to where it’s part of our life now, we’re used to it.”
The couple agrees their military experiences have helped in prepping them for their business.
“The military life has helped me learn to deal with a lot of different individuals and to accept everyone no matter who you are or where you are,” Kimsha said. “If I didn’t have a military life, I don’t know what type of person I would be. It molded me, in a good way.”