Name: Abi Ray, MS MFT
Company: Legacy Magazine, founded in 2017
Military Affiliation: Army Spouse
Home: Fort Bragg, NC
For our first interview of the new #EmpoweredWomenEmpower series, we met with with Abi Ray, MS MFT of Legacy Magazine! Abi is the founder of Legacy Magazine, a new publication that celebrates life with service member families, couples, and spouses through personal narrative, creative expression, and professional development.
First, tell us a little bit about yourself and your company, Legacy Magazine.
I am a wife, mother, and counselor that feels called to equip others in their personal, professional, and relational lives. Equally valuing intellect and creativity and have always desired a way in which I could combine these two passions into one project. So after much prayer and contemplation a few friends and I launched Legacy Magazine - a print publication that celebrates life with service member families, couples, and spouses! Our desire is to engage the greater military community in a fresh and exciting way that offers content that is both aesthetically appealing and full of depth.How has being a military spouse affected your journey and your business?
In the past I used to think of all the ways it could hinder my profession or passions, but now I look at it as something that is rather exciting. This community has provided me with a home team of sorts - friends and colleagues that help ground me amidst the uncertainty of entrepreneurism and military life. Over the past few years there has been such momentum building within the spouse and veteran owned business arena, that I now find it rather energizing.
What were some of the big challenges you faced along the way?
Even with the positive energy, it hasn’t come without a unique set of challenges and distractions, but surrounding myself with like-minded individuals has proved beneficial in navigating those challenges.Were you nervous about starting your own business or did it come naturally?
The start of the publication has been slow and steady. It’s something I’ve thought about for around two years now. I always felt called to write, I just wasn’t sure what that would look like until a few years back. My hopes for this project is that it offers quality over quantity, so taking the past two years to explore ways to make that a reality has proven to be beneficial. Along the way, it has also allowed me the time to work alongside some other brands that I really believe in!
How do you balance family life and your business?
We’re all about seasons in our home and making sure our priorities are straight. If my husband is required to be away for an extended amount of time, this means I put a little less time into my projects to make sure our daughter adjusts to his absence smoothly. And when my husband is home he’s really good about taking our little one out for fun adventures, so I can get a few more hours in with my work. We also try to unplug on the weekends so we can focus on each other and our communities.
Do you ever get stuck creatively? What do you do when that happens?
Absolutely! This is usually a sign that I’m feeling burnt out. I think we are often tempted to bulldoze through these moments, but I’ve found that my best work gets done when I can take a few moments away from a project. I also love listening to podcasts and music during those times.
As we all know, starting a business takes a lot of time and dedication. What drives you to keep going? What inspires you about the work that you do?
I love the collaborative nature of a publication. It provides endless opportunity to connect with and feature individuals and organizations that are doing great things in the world. And that’s super motivating and inspiring.What are some pieces of advice you can share with other women entrepreneurs?
Choose connection over comparison and find your home-team, if you haven’t already! They are out there!
What is on the horizon for you or your brand?
We are in the very beginning stages of launching the publication, so I imagine this season will be laced with both excitement and a few learning experiences!