Our Chat with Stephanie Curnow of 27 West Boutique

EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURS: Our Chat with Stephanie Curnow of 27 West Boutique

Entrepreneurship is hard enough without the added challenge of living a military life, but Stephanie Curnow is not only doing both, but is on a mission to support fellow military spouses along the way. Her mission at her business, 27 West, is two fold. 

First, she strives to provide quality clothing at affordable prices with excellent customer service.  And second, to provide employment opportunities for military spouses. The current military spouse unemployment rate is 34%, which is 8.5 times the national average.  Her goal at 27 West is to grow a company where military spouses can have a career with advancement opportunities as they support their spouse in their military career.

In November of 2020, Stephanie opened her first store front. She has employed military spouses and hosted over 20 other veteran and military spouse-owned businesses in the stores. In April 2023, she expanded to a second location in Puyallup, Washington in Sunrise Village. 

I am always inspired by fellow military spouses who, like myself, have not only grabbed hold of the dream of entrepreneurship, but have turned that dream into a mission that helps military families. It is evident that Stephanie has poured her heart into both. Say hello to my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Stephanie Curnow!

Give us the scoop on your business - what do you do and how did you come up with the idea for your business?

I own 27 West Boutique, a women's clothing and accessories store located in DuPont and Puyallup, WA, just outside of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. I established the business seven years ago when, like many military spouses, I found myself unemployed.

My goal was to create a space where women could feel confident and empowered, while also providing employment opportunities for fellow military spouses. Building a vibrant community within the military spouse community has been a cornerstone of our mission, fostering connections and support among women from all walks of life.

Additionally, I'm passionate about empowering other military spouse entrepreneurs, offering mentorship and resources to help them succeed in their own ventures. Since its inception, 27 West has expanded to include two retail locations!

What has surprised you most about running your own business?

One of the most surprising aspects of running my own business has been the constant learning curve. No matter how much you prepare or plan, there are always unexpected challenges and opportunities that arise.

From navigating the intricacies of inventory management to mastering marketing strategies, each day presents new lessons and insights. Additionally, the profound impact of building a community around my business has been surprising in the most wonderful way. Seeing how our store has become a gathering place for women to connect, support each other, and share their stories has been incredibly rewarding and unexpected.

Overall, the journey of entrepreneurship has been full of surprises, both exhilarating and challenging, but it's taught me to embrace flexibility, resilience, and the power of connection.


One of my biggest challenges as an entrepreneur has been navigating my most recent Permanent Change of Station (PCS). As an active duty military spouse, I always knew a PCS was on the horizon, but the uncertainty of when it would happen posed a significant challenge.

However, I approached this challenge proactively by building my business with the understanding that relocation was inevitable. I established Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and cultivated a reliable team that I could trust to maintain operations in my absence.

By prioritizing organization, clear communication, and empowering my team, I was able to ensure a smooth transition during the PCS and sustain the momentum of my business despite the move across the country to Maryland.

What is your best advice for someone who dreams of starting their own business?

My best advice for someone who dreams of starting their own business is simple: Just do it! The hardest part is taking that initial step. It's easy to get caught up in overthinking or waiting for the perfect moment, but the truth is, there's never a perfect time to start,, especially being a military spouse.

Start small, take calculated risks, and be prepared to learn along the way. Embrace the journey, including the inevitable challenges and setbacks, as opportunities for growth and refinement. Remember, every successful entrepreneur started somewhere, and the most important thing is to begin.

So, believe in your vision, trust your instincts, and take that first leap of faith into entrepreneurship.

How do you tackle those days when being an entrepreneur feels extra hard and you just want to quit?

When entrepreneurship feels particularly challenging and the thought of quitting crosses my mind, I've made it a priority to seek support from other business owners who truly understand the journey. Connecting with fellow entrepreneurs who have faced similar struggles provides a sense of solidarity and perspective.

Whether through networking events, mentorship programs, or online communities, surrounding myself with like-minded individuals who can offer advice, encouragement, and empathy has been invaluable. Additionally, I remind myself of the passion and purpose that initially inspired me to start my business.

Reconnecting with my why and focusing on the long-term vision helps rekindle motivation and resilience during tough times. Lastly, I allow myself to take breaks, recharge, and practice self-care to maintain a healthy mindset and perspective. By leaning on my support system, reaffirming my purpose, and prioritizing self-care, I'm able to navigate through the toughest days of entrepreneurship and emerge stronger on the other side.

Stephanie's 5 Quick favorites for fellow entrepreneurs

Fave Empowering Gal to Follow on Social


Fave App, Program, or Tool


Fave Free Resource or Learning Tool

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) They offer FREE courses and networking opportunities for Military and their families

Fave Business Book

I am more of a podcast girl

Fave Quote

"Smells like potential"

- Ted Lasso






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