Gabriela Bell has been part of the military community since birth. She gave up her career in order to support her active duty spouse, staying home to care for her four children. It was a year ago when Bell decided to turn her at-home job into a business.
“Military Spouses are a group of individuals who have an exceptionally high rate of unemployment and underemployment, yet have needs for flexibility and portability within their own work environment,” Bell told Technical.ly in an interview coinciding with Military Spouse Appreciation Day. “As my family has begun transitioning away from active duty military service, it has been important for me to reevaluate what I want to do professionally and ensure that my choices satisfy my desires to be professionally successful in my own right.”
Last year, Bell founded Organized Q, a virtual executive assistant service. She was eager to expand what she had done at home working as a virtual executive assistant into a professional service firm for small businesses and executives, regardless of location. She was recently inducted into WeWork’s Veterans in Residence powered by Bunker Labs program, an initiative that provides space, services, business mentorship and community to help veterans and military family members starting a business. Though her business can be ran from home, she now has an office at WeWork Universal North to collaborate with other veteran business owners and entrepreneurs.
“What started out of necessity for me and my desire to have a work-life balance has grown into a thriving business that allows me the flexibility to use [my] talents to help others grow their businesses,” she said.
Bell said the program has showed her efficient ways to scale her business and connected her with like-minded people. She is most thankful for WeWork’s global network, resources and willingness of everyone to help.
“One of my goals within the Veterans in Residence program is to utilize WeWork’s global network to recruit and retain new talent, and bring on new clients that I normally would not have had access to. There’s something powerful about being able to walk down a hallway at WeWork and interact face to face with business owners of companies small and large, and be able to introduce myself and my business to them. I am excited to see where this program takes Organized Q,” she said.
Before launching her company, Bell went through the Dog Tag Inc. Fellowship Program in the District, which is a five-month endeavor that provides service-disabled veterans, military spouses and caregivers the opportunity to earn a certificate in business administration with a focus on entrepreneurship from Georgetown University.
“This was a life-changing experience for me. I felt empowered to discover my own personal and professional fulfillment in the civilian world and helped me find my “why.” I found that I was eager and ready to follow my passion of launching my own business and had the skills to be successful,” Bell said.
Bell is running the business all on her own with several clients and said she is actively recruiting other military spouses to join her team.
“My biggest success story, thus far, is that my children are proud of me and happy that I can still be home for them!