Small Business Spotlight: Cynthia Lily

In May we celebrated National Military Appreciation Month, and we are continuing to highlight Milspouse run businesses because we believe so much in lifting each other up throughout the craziness of this military life!  We previously interviewed Simply Schulze and Divas and Dudes Design. If you are looking for a military spouse run business to support, looking for gift ideas or thinking about starting a business of your own, read their stories and tips, and keep reading below for another amazing milspouse run business!

Today we are featuring Cynthia Lily, a Milspouse of many talents who has a wide array of crafts you will love (seriously, look at these custom Yeti cups!!). It seems like there is no type of craft Cynthia can’t do – look at all the variety in her pictures below. And keep reading for her advice on how to make it as a Milspouse entrepreneur.


(picture courtesy of Cynthia Lily)

When did you start your business?

Well I first started making things to sell back in 2010 when it was big to have purses made out of your husbands old uniforms. But in 2012 we got orders for recruiting in NJ. There wasn’t a huge market for hand made material things so I decided to take a break from always trying to promote and have constant business. I decided to enjoy my kids and do some crafting and sales if they came along. Then in 2015 we got orders to the middle east UAE.  With that I still didn’t have an area of people that would be interested in most  hand made crafts. Then in August of 2017 we moved to Camp Pendleton. We had an empty house and no decor. I started to make things and friends asked if I could make them some items. That’s when I decided I would start business again. But I decided that there were so many people pushing their businesses that I wanted to stand behind my quality. With that all I asked for was for people to spread the word of my items if they felt my quality of work was worth it. So far it has worked out really well for me!

What made you start your own business?

Truth I never meant to. It all just happened. I love to craft and a lot of people like the items that I make.

You have such wonderful variety of signs, clothing, drinkware, and more! How did you decide what you’d make?

When it comes to my items, I do a lot of my request items. So I display photos of items that I have made and also photos of things that I am crafting on and I make things by request.

Favorite piece that you have worked on?

My favorite piece I have to say is my family tree piece. This was an idea that I truly made come to life. I knew that a 7ft tall and 9ft wife vinyl tree would not be the easiest but I have to say it was fun. Allot of learning and patience went into it, but in the end I was in love!


(picture courtesy of Cynthia Lily)

Favorite motivational quote?

Believe in yourself, have faith in your abilities, without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own power you cannot be successful or happy.

Favorite thing to do?

Well if we are asking favorite things to do in a day that is the volunteer work that I get involved in. I work food pantries to help out the local organizations that are here to help families that need it. I love to know that I am helping them help. I also got involved with my husbands unit and work beside our FRO. I try to help out younger spouses that are new to the military and answer and help guide them in any questions and help they need.

Favorite place to live?

When it comes to my favorite place to live I have to say Abu Dhabi, UAE. That has been our best duty so far!

Where are you originally from?

I am from Middletown, NJ but I was born in NY.

Favorite place you have PCS’d to?

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Favorite thing to do at your current duty station?

I have joined the wives Kickball team and I can say that has been my favorite thing that I have done here!


(picture courtesy of Cynthia Lily)

Best perk of military life for you?

Traveling! To me it doesn’t matter if we are moving state to state or country to country it’s always a new place and a new adventure.

Favorite adventure you have been on thanks to the military?

Moving to the Middle East and seeing how amazing it truly could be!

How do people contact you for orders?

Most contact me through Facebook (personal page – Cynthia Lily). (You can also email Cynthia at

How often do you change your stock/options?

I always have crafting supplies so I normally can make anything with in 24 hours! (Cynthia also let us know that she can do rush orders and rush shipping!)


(picture courtesy of Cynthia Lily)

Do you have a favorite app?

When is comes to apps on my phone I am always on Pinterest!

Number one tip to give to fellow military spouses who want to start their own business?

Follow your heart and never give up. There will always be negative people, don’t let them get you to give in. Also you don’t make all your money right away so don’t give up too early!

Do you give military discount? Large group discount (if so, how much)?

I can’t say that I give a discount but I do what I do because I like doing it so I never charge to much. I always charge enough to cover the supplies and just a little for my time. Most of my clients are military and I know money doesn’t grow on trees for us. Also most items are for kids or a military member so I just feel it is never nice to price gouge!

(pictures courtesy of Cynthia Lily)

MilMomAdventures thanks Cynthia for her time, and for allowing us to share her work here with you! If you like what you see, check out her Facebook page, or send her an email! We love supporting our fellow MilMoms!


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