A Military Wife Shows Her Style
This soldier’s wife turned her passion for fashion into a business that emphasizes patriotism – and helping others
As anyone who’s watched Project Runway knows, good designers can make trendy clothes out of even the unlikeliest materials. Roxanne Reed has done exactly that with her military-themed line, Jane Wayne Gear. Roxanne, 36, is married to her high school sweetheart, a Marine, and has been an “active duty girlfriend/fiancee/wife” for 14 years. She wouldn’t have it any other way, saying, “There is no one more proud than military spouses, in peace or war time.” But Roxanne, who graduated from Old Dominion University after studying marketing and psychology, wanted to start a business of her own. So she launched All Fired Up in 2001. The company is now comprised of two brands, Jane Wayne Gear, which includes trendy military-themed clothing and handbags, and All Fired Up Candle Company. “I blended what I learned in college with my hobbies, which are fashion and funky style,” says Roxanne, the mother of a 12-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. “Everything we make is designed around American pride.” She hopes a major retailer will soon carry her designs. In the meantime, you can find her combat-themed styles on military bases and online at janewaynesgear.com.
Where did you get your idea for Jane Wayne Gear?
It came out of a tradition in the military where we do our husband’s job for a day. You shoot guns, get dirty and eat MRE’s [prepackaged rations]. I had my husband’s Kevlar vest and helmet on. I saw all of this amazing pocketing and cool lines popping up out of the guy gear. We use traditional pocketing styles and features that are symbolic of the military, but we’ve converted them into a feminine fashion style.
What products are customer favorites?
Definitely our handbags.
Tell me the story behind the Deployment Blues candle.
It was during one of my girlfriend’s husband’s first deployment, I believe for Iraq. She would always wear a little dab of her husband’s perfume because she loved to feel like he was in the house. I [learned how] to put it in a candle, and I made it for her. We called it deployment blues, because you get the blues when your husband is deployed. She was so excited, and all the other spouses found out and started ordering it. It has become one of our most popular products. The scent that we choose changes every season, whatever is the popular [men’s] scent or close to it.