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Real Spouse Employment: Crafting Entrepreneur

LaToya Moore-Broyles

If your kids want all the accessories for their American Girl, Barbie, Calico Critters or Monster High dolls, you may already be one of the 400,000 subscribers to the My Froggy Stuff YouTube Channel.

Instead of buying all those doll accessories, Air Force wife LaToya Moore-Broyles has made a business out of teaching viewers to make those things from recycled items.

Think breakfast breads for Barbie made out of cornstarch dough. Made-to-fit eyeglasses from plastic packaging. A real school binder fashioned from a cereal box, paperclips and printable pages from the My Froggy Stuff website.

Everything LaToya makes looks amazingly real, and her step-by-step tutorial videos are easy to follow. No wonder My Froggy Stuff is now a partner with YouTube and the world’s largest doll crafting channel.

We met LaToya at the 2013 USO Gala when her husband, Staff Sgt. Christopher D. Broyles, won the Airman of the Year award. LaToya agreed to share some inspiration from her business.

How did you get your business started?

Well, I played dolls with my daughter every day. Being a stay-at-home mom married to an E-5, we could not afford all the dolls and accessories that came with them. So I started making them. After a while, I decided to upload some of my crafts on YouTube, and from that point people really took interest. That was about five years ago.

What do you like best about your work?

I love the opportunity to share my work with the world. We have viewers all over the world. Our channel is a very interactive channel, in that the viewer watches a craft, does the craft and then shares their version of it on one of our social media sites, then we put their craft on one of our videos. The viewers make this experience worthwhile.

Did you go to college? If so, do you use your degree?

I went to the University of Georgia and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Terry College of Business at UGA. I would have to say I do not use my degree. I majored in accounting. However, the hard work through those years definitely helps me a lot today.  

How has being married to a servicemember impacted your own career?  

My husband is an explosive ordnance disposal technician, so to say the least, his work -- whether overseas or stateside -- keeps him very busy. During his last deployment, I ran headfirst into this business as a way to stay very busy so as to not worry about what he may have been going through in Afghanistan. In doing so, the business really took off.

How has your servicemember supported your career?

My husband recently transferred to the Air National Guard to finish out his military enlistment. He works for My Froggy Stuff full time as our senior graphic design & video editor. He has been very supportive from the beginning and continues to do so.

What was your biggest career mistake?

We must learn from our mistakes. Being a military spouse and having any sort of career can be all but impossible. However, one must have a plan, and we must realize we can't do it alone.  

What is a strength you use on the job every day?

Patience ... lots of patience. You don't get nearly 400,000 subscribers and over 200,000,000 channel views over night.

What is the best compliment you ever received?

We receive many fantastic compliments. There isn't a best one. Hhowever, the best types are the ones in which a mother, father or parental figure in their life watch our videos and begin crafting as a way to spend time together.  

What was the hardest lesson you had to learn?

I would say after being a military brat, then a military spouse, I have been in a supportive role my whole life. But now I am the CEO. That comes with a ton of responsibility. I had to get used to being the boss.

What keeps you working?

My family. This has become a family business, and I am blessed to be a part of it.

We have fantastic growth, our viewers love that we created a place for crafters and doll lovers to get together and express their love and creativeness. 

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Contributor

Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs at Military.com and a military sociologist.  Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan??

Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times.  Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom.  

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