• Rachel Lingenfelter

Brewing Up Good with Rhonda Smith


During the holiday season, thinking of ways to give back to others in need is on the mind. Whether it's a donation to a charity, a purchase at a local business, or dropping a few coins into a red bucket for the Red Cross. There are many people who give back in the world but a unique way of giving back is right here in our area and gives back with every single sale. The Skirted Soldier, owned and operated by Rhonda Smith, is a unique veteran-owned business that specializes in blended loose teas and reminds others to support veteran's organizations.


"Our mission, really, what started us," says Smith, "was my desire to give back to the veteran's community." Her veteran-owned operation started years after she has discharged herself. She had the idea of starting a business but wasn't sure what that all would look like. "Once discharged from service, we're sent home to be a civilian and have to learn how to carry on with the lessons we have learned. I really felt that it was a hard left turn," Smith says, recognizing her own difficulty once she left her position. "I felt very disconnected from the military structure, the fellow veterans, and the fellowship we had together." This wouldn't stop her pursuit of something more.


In March of 2018, all of Smith's plans fell together. A few weeks later, The Skirted Soldier had launched.


The Skirted Soldier's main mission is to give back and with each sale, 10% goes back to female veteran organizations or just to female veterans. Smith is also in partnership with the PA Farming Project and it allows them to choose female veterans who are within the category of agriculture business. Their first year of sales allowed them to donate $300 to Worth It Hollow, a horse farm that has equestrian therapy for veterans who have PTSD. The following year, they were able to triple their donation, and then some, to the next organization chosen, called Blue Dog Farms. Their donation of $1,000, helped with the sustainability of the business, purchase of new fencing, purchase of chickens, goats, etc. Smith says, "We project that our donation will be three-times that with the new year."


There are many things Smith says she learned from the military that applies directly to her business.

- Learn to adapt and improvise.

- Make it work.

- Positive attitude takes you a long way.

- Don't make excuses, just make it right.


We can learn a lot from the example Rhonda Smith has set in from her business, The Skirted Soldier. Giving back to others is so important and supporting others in their businesses is just as important. We hope you will check out Rhonda's full interview with Rob Z, where she talks more about her military experience, the teas that she has available, and more. Her story is inspiring to say the least. We want to thank Rhonda Smith for all that she does and we are proud to have her as a part of our First Frontier Forward family!


Be sure to check out The Skirted Soldier's website below!


Full Interview: https://www.facebook.com/101240588166481/videos/707336973304429

Website: https://www.skirtedsoldier.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skirtedsoldier

Instagram: @skirtedsoldier Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/skirtedsoldier/_created/

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