Day to day, members of the reselling community complete roughly the same tasks – they list items, fulfill orders, and work to make their businesses the best they can be. However, there are those with a distinct determination, motivation and discipline that set them apart from the rest.
They are the military veterans of the reselling community. And there are no two people better to represent this incredible group than Mike Redding and Heather Hooks.
In honor of Veterans Day, we chatted with Heather and Mike about their time in the military, biggest learnings from their service, and advice for other veterans looking to start their own reselling businesses. Read on to learn their stories.
Can you describe your role and experiences during your time with the military?
MIKE: After graduating high school a year early at the age of 17, I took my passion for the water and joined the Navy. In August 1990, I went to basic training in Great Lakes, Illinois and quickly realized the world was much different than the small mountain town I grew up in. It was hot, humid and not everyone was friendly like home!
In November, I finished training and transferred to a 604′ amphibious assault ship in the Mediterranean Sea as a Boatswain’s Mate. My main duties were general Maintenance and Seamanship as well as specialized duties including onboard firefighter, general quarters ammunition handler, and one of three Master Helmsmen to steer the ship during restricted maneuvering situations. Two months later, we were called to the Middle East for Operation Sharp Edge, Desert Storm and Desert Shield. This deployment lasted until mid 1992, after which I was honorably discharged from active duty with four medals and seven ribbons.
HEATHER: I was a diesel mechanic in the Army Reserves from 1998-2004 and thankfully only served during peacetime. I participated in keeping all of our vehicles in good working and serviceable condition. I worked on semis, hummers, and duce & halves (2 1/2 ton trucks).
While in the military, I received training to defend my country and was qualified as a sharpshooter on the M16 and also was certified as our unit’s 50 caliber rifle user. I also was certified as a lightweight mechanic, although I usually worked on heavier machinery, like the Hemtt Wrecker (a military hauling vehicle). Anyone who completes Basic level training is equipped to defend our country with combat skills and training.
What is your favorite memory of your service?
HEATHER: My favorite memory of my service time was every 2 week annual training. Being in the military gives you a camaraderie that you can’t find anywhere else. I loved all my “big” brothers in the motor pool, as I was the only female mechanic. They were always there for me!
What is the most important life lesson you learned from your time in the military?
MIKE: The most important things I learned while serving were integrity, honor, dedication, and attention to detail. These are skills and traits that I have carried with me throughout the rest of my career. I use them every day, and I attribute them to some of the greatest accomplishments and successes of my life.
What would you say to military veterans looking to start their own business, reselling or otherwise?
MIKE: Anyone who has served their country in the Armed Forces has learned to perform in many different situations. Take these skills, drive, and ambition and apply them to your current situation. They are part of the basic fundamentals for success and are continuously used to make this the greatest country in the world.
HEATHER: You already have the mental fortitude to handle the ups and downs. So go for it, and work hard!
To shop Heather’s business, check out Hooked On Pickin’s website, Amazon store (P&H Warehouse), Poshmark shop (@paulhooks), eBay store (hookedonpickin), Mercari store (HookedonPickin) or Facebook page (@Hookedonpickin).