Specialist E4 Carrie Beavers, United States Army
Scars & Stripes Coffee
After serving on active duty in the U.S. Army for ten years in Darmstadt, Germany and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Carrie Beavers entered the reserves as a Combat Medic. These days, she helps her community in a similar way as an occupational health nurse at Caterpillar Inc. in Mapleton, IL.
In 2019, she saw an online a for Scars and Stripes Coffee, an e-commerce-based business that helps Veterans learn business skills and improve their lives by selling domestically-ground coffee and coffee-related products. Though she was enjoying her job as a nurse, Beavers was dealing with the financial and emotional challenges that many Veterans face and was looking for other ways to help herself and her fellow Veterans. With the help of Scars & Stripes, Beavers has not only improved her own situation but helped other Veterans avoid depression and suicide and find more productive paths forward.
What does your company do?
Scars and Stripes Coffee empowers Veterans to start their own e-commerce business. We use a familiar Military rank to reignite, team, mission, purpose and accountability, and integrate life coaching that will open doors for Veterans in the civilian world.
Only Veterans can sell our products and every product sold empowers a Veteran through commission or performance-based bonus. Once on a team, the Veteran is assigned a squad leader that is accountable for them from weekly phone calls to mentoring. The Veteran is now part of a huge network that will help them build their business and become
What promoted you to launch it?
Before I found the business, I was struggling with my PTSD, depression and anxiety. I was working on my mental health with counseling and medication which was only helping a little. As a member of various Veterans groups online. I found a place that I felt supported because of the unique bond Veterans have. I would see (sometimes multiple times a day) a Veteran commenting that they wanted to end their life. I would go on the groups to offer support and it really broke my heart to see and hear this everyday and wish that I could do more. When I signed up with Scars and Stripes Coffee, I was assigned a leadership team and, from the beginning, they were very supportive and very quickly I felt like I was part of a team again like I had in the military. It woke something up inside of me and I felt like I had a purpose that I haven’t felt since getting out of the military. I am very passionate about spreading Veteran suicide awareness and spreading our mission to other Veterans all over the world that they can join our team and stop Veteran suicide.
How has your military life educated and influenced your business life?
My military life influenced me to do my best and push myself farther than I thought I could go physically and mentally. My business has went a lot farther than I expected in the beginning. The military prepared me for management and leadership roles and how to work with and communicate with all types of people. I am a Squad Leader and have a team that I help to build their business. The military instilled core values that I bring into my business such as trust, respect, integrity, and discipline.
What do you hope to do with your business?
I am currently in a partnership with Mr. Checkout Distributors and the Independent Grocer Association. I am in a fast track program to get my products into independent grocery stores across the United States. My mission is to have my products in stores everywhere to reach my fellow Veterans who will see the product and learn about the mission, go to the website and join us. To spread Veteran suicide awareness so that America can see that we need their help now more than ever. I want people to know that this is much bigger than a cup of coffee. Buying a couple bags of coffee can save lives.
What is the most important thing you want people to know about Veterans?
People needs to know that our Veterans are struggling to stay alive everyday and we cannot stop this without their help. When we transition from the military, we do not anticipate the sense of loss we will feel or the lack of value. In the military, you may be in charge of super-expensive equipment (for example) and that’s your job that gives you purpose and makes you feel valuable. When you transition, its very hard to find a job that compares to the military. As Veterans feel their value and purpose decrease, they question why they are still alive. On top of that, we do not have our team, our mission, our brother and sisterhood. We define brotherhood and sisterhood by our actions. We are challenged daily and put in situations where the camaraderie builds itself and the men and women then build each other up. This binds the units together so they can function properly. It is the call to duty, and sharing the title of being an American and what that means, that also bonds us together.