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A Military Spouse Owned & Operated Company

Meet Josie

Branch: U.S Army Spouse

Products: Handmade Products | Graceful Leo Designs

I was born and raised outside of Kansas City, MO, and attended college at the University of Central Missouri, where I graduated in 2018 with a degree in Graphic Technologies (print and design). That is also where I met my now husband, Derek, who was getting his undergrad degree and participating in the ROTC program. At that time, I was singing and performing with a country band and was looking for an acoustic guitar player, and as fate would have it, my husband plays guitar and that is how we got connected. We have been together ever since! After getting his undergrad and receiving his Army commission in 2016, Derek was then accepted for an educational delay to attend law school at the University of Kansas (Kansas being where my husband is from!). After 3 years of law school, applying for JAG, getting married in June of 2019, then stressing out waiting to hear from JAG, led us to being quarantined in a hotel room together while he attended JAG School. That of course brought us to our first PCS, during a pandemic may we add, and arriving to Fort Campbell in May of 2020! Whew – it was definitely an interesting start!
However, like so many others, I struggled to find a job and was getting really discouraged because I had this degree that I wasn’t using. So I took matters into my own hands and started my business Graceful Leo Designs in August of 2020 – yes, I am Leo! I create wooden earrings, tassel keychains, wall decor, as well as offer my design services. It honestly started out as a “let’s try this and see how it goes” and has continued to grow and I am so incredibly grateful for the support I have been given! All of my wooden pieces for my earrings are sourced from another Army spouse, so is a win-win! I have always loved working with my hands, being creative, and find so much joy in bringing an idea/vision to life. Being able to have my own business that I can then take anywhere the Army sends us is something that I am very appreciative and thankful for. I have grown to love the military community so quickly and couldn’t imagine life any other way!


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