Got a business idea? Your time on maternity leave might be the perfect chance to get the ball rolling! Army wife Rebecca Stokes-Whittaker tells us more…

THREE years ago, Rebecca never dreamed that she would be a stay-at-home mum running her own business that could easily fit alongside her soldier’s career.

But when her new baby came along before a posting to Headley Court, she decided to use her time on maternity leave to get the cogs turning again.

“I was all set to go back to work, but after moving it proved hard,” she told Army&You.

“So I decided to use my skills instead and start planning my own business.”

The result of Rebecca’s endeavours was Bespoke Stokes, an engraving business which is now flourishing.

She added: “I am so pleased that I [started the business], as I can now take [it] with me, whatever the future holds for me and my little family.

“With a little bit of imagination you can be successful in any area you choose and potentially find a satisfying career path which fits perfectly with Army life.”

Balancing baby and business

  • Settle on your business idea – something that fits your skills, experience, goals and most of all passion!
  • Know your customer – who is your product/service for?
  • Check out the competition – think of creative ways to make your business stand out
  • Manage your time – be realistic about what you can achieve with a new baby
  • Create your brand – name, logos and marketing materials
  • Research business regulations, tax and finances
  • Don’t forget to ask permission from Defence Infrastructure Organisation if you’re planning to run your business from your quarter
  • Find out more information at,,, and

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