Yokota houses: more than a home

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael Washburn
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
For a dependent of a military member, having a working career can be a difficult task. Changing of a duty station typically means quitting one job only to have to start the process of finding employment all over again. If the member is overseas, a language barrier can further hinder the ability to find work.

But it doesn't have to be like this. A change of scenery can also lead to a change of work opportunities. Why not be the boss and open a home business?

"I've had my business for a few years," said Ludys Torres, owner of a home bakery business. "I worked in the hospital at one of our previous duty stations. I would make cupcakes for everyone and they kept telling me, 'why don't you start selling them and stop giving them away for free?'"

With more than 40 businesses at Yokota ranging from cleaning services, lawn care and photography to dog training, homemade jewelry and personalized cakes, opening up a home business is a popular career option.

Even though duty station changes will continue, it can be an opportunity to learn from past mistakes.

"Be prepared to go through the trouble of having to change duty stations," Torres said. "But that's also a good way of getting experience. Remembering what went wrong when first starting can help when someone gets to a new base. They're also going to have a portfolio of everything they've done."

The thought of starting a new business and sinking both time and money into something that could potentially fail can be worrisome. An advised way to test the waters is to partake in a craft fair.

"What's great about the arts and craft fairs is that you don't need to be a home business to participate in them, so it's a great place to start out," said Chelsea Gipson, graphic designer and craft maker. "Someone can see if people on base like their products and if they do, they can slowly build their business up."

Even though starting a home business in no guarantee of success, the chance for those to be their own boss, set their own hours and do what they love is worth it.

"Everyone looks at me weird when I tell people that I love to bake and that it calms me down," Torres said. "I love what I do, though. I work for myself and get to spend time with my kids. For anyone looking to start a business, do what you love and go for it."

To view the home business application package, click here.