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From Marching Orders to Bridal Orders



We learned a lot from our last veteran business owner feature. We also knew there was still more to learn about what made veteran business owners so successful.

Enter Joseph Simmons. Joseph and his wife Gina are the owners of Belltown Bride and Barone Crystal in Seattle, WA. He is an active-duty army veteran who served for five years. His service includes two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Joseph and his wife Gina when he returned from Iraq in November of 2008

He fell in love with Seattle while stationed there and has since made it his home. When the opportunity to buy a local business presented itself, he jumped at the chance. His love of entrepreneurship and the fearlessness the military taught him motivated his decision.

Joseph and Gina the day they closed on the purchase of Belltown Bride
Joseph and Gina the day they closed on the purchase of Belltown Bride

What is your business most known for?

Joseph: Customer Service. I hire people from all different backgrounds; that includes veterans. It makes my staff excellent at making real connections with our clients.

Do you offer a military discount? If so, why?

Joseph: Yes! Those serving or who have served in the military deserve recognition.

How does your military affiliation influence the way you connect to current customers? With other local businesses?

Joseph: When you have been through extraordinary circumstances, it makes everything else seem easy. I am known for my zen-like calm. It is pretty hard to shake me. It makes me want to be friends with and support all the other businesses in my community. We can all play nice in the sand box.

What impact has the military had on how you run or operate your business?

Joseph: The military taught me to be organized and hyper detail oriented. When you are helping a bride or families plan for such a special occasion it comes in handy.

What three tips do you have for other business owners?

Joseph: Organization is key. Have a positive management style. Customer Service is essential to a successful business.  

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