1) Marine Corps Community Services, which basically runs nearly all of the retail business on base, from the Exchange to the gym - They want to make sure you aren't going to compete directly with them. For example, an independent personal trainer who is not contracted by MCCS can work with individuals on base... just not in the gym.
2) Base housing - They need to make sure I am not a danger to myself, others or the government's property.
3) My spouse - He is what the military calls "my sponsor," or the reason I am overseas. I laughed at this. I have to get my husband's approval. How 1890's. But, he was deployed and I had power of attorney, so problem solved. I approved me. I was courteous enough to inform him of what I was doing via Skype, however. I do try to communicate effectively with my spouse. The whole asking thing is the problem. But I digress...
So, my little gift business had to be approved by lawyers and high-ranking officials in the Iwakuni community. I had to include photos of what I sell with my application, so, being the marketer that I am, I made sure the photos were big, colorful and really showed off my work. I put my contact information on the front of each page of photos. Who knows? Maybe one of those legal aids needs a gift for his Mom.
The application approval process did take a week longer than average, from what other "business owners" have said, but Tenaciously Remembered was approved last Friday and this letter proves it:
I am hereby authorized. Yes, the letter is a bit wrinkled for a legal document, but it was very windy that day and my letter almost got away from me. This is not something I want to have to chase down the main street of base. But I would. It's that important to have. Apparently, life on the base is boring for some people. They make it their life's mission while they are here to find every business that is not approved by MCCS. They then turn the owner in to the legal office so the owner can be reprimanded for having an illegal business. The illegal business owner may then be banned from ever having a business on any American base in the world. Yes, I think these rules should be followed because someone always tries to take advantage and ruin it for everyone. However, the self-designated business police are annoying, whoever they might be. These tattletales are kind of like hall monitors. Or your little brother. I just don't need an MP showing up at my door and confiscating my scraproom because I sold a baby album to my neighbor. I would probably end up in the brig screaming for my paper trimmer and ribbon. So the letter is an important document to me, even in its wrinkled state.
So, now that I have time to create, I need to fund my creative hobby... so I'm selling albums and other memory items in earnest now. I have started a blog to show them off, Tenaciously Remembered. There is also a link to it on the right of this post over there. There is a craft sale coming up in November here on base, and I have already received a few holiday orders. This is a good thing because I need to buy some more ATG gun adhesive so I can stick some cardstock together and relieve some stress. Wish me luck...