Thank you for popping over to learn more about Native or Not! I am so happy you are here!
My name is Ana Lewis and it is an absolute privilege to be a military spouse. I’ve been a part of this amazing community for nine years and have relocated six times to include overseas and coast to coast duty stations. With every move comes a certain amount of excitement and adventure, but also several challenges. Two of those challenges are connecting with our new communities and finding employment. As a result of my experience as a military spouse, I have created a project called Native or Not that connects local businesses to newcomers and natives of the community. Until we know someone who is from our new town it is very challenging to integrate and connect with the local businesses that we are excited to support.
The local businesses featured in Native or Not are those that offer an ongoing military discount and a one-time newcomers/natives discount. The grand vision of Native or Not is to be a “one-stop shop” for not just military families, but anyone new to town. In addition, natives to a community who need a little nudge to break out of their routine and try a new local business will benefit from the one-time discount.
Newcomers and natives will be able to easily connect with the local businesses who are ready to welcome them with open arms and a discount.
With the frequent moves that a military family experiences having a resource that will connect us to our community upon arrival will help create a stronger and more immediate connection to the local businesses who deserve our time and money.
One of the inspirations for Native or Not is my grandmother, Barbara Hopkins. We called her Happy and the joy and kindness she radiated was undeniably contagious.
Happy celebrated the majority of life’s milestones with her husband, Ralph, in “Big Sky Country” – the beautiful state of Montana. Happy treasured her hometown and shared her passion for it with the new residents by giving them a welcome basket with goods and coupons from the local businesses.
I think of Happy and her ability to bring peace and comfort to someone who was new to her small town. It is my vision with Native or Not to offer the same service to communities across the country via the magic that is the internet.
Thank you for visiting the site and welcome home! We know you’ll find something you’ll love whether you’re Native or Not.