Progress

Connections 2017

Goldsboro News Argus - Progress Edition

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53 Airmen leaving the mili- tary often do so to pursue goals in the civilian world. Owning one's own business is often among those goals. For some former Seymour Johnson airmen who have set down roots in Goldsboro while they practice their trade, the decision to chase their dreams has proven a good one. Take Goldsboro Brew Works, for instance. Two friends and former airmen are turning what was once a dream into a successful busi- ness. Zak Fein and Carson Clark served together in the Air Force for six years, beginning in 2009 and ending in 2015. The duo had joined the Air Force within around a month of each other, Clark said, and they knew of each other through most of their training and eventual assignment to Seymour Johnson. Their shared love of brewing was what brought them together. "We were at the same bases and training out in Texas; we were at a lot of the same places, and then we ended up in the same unit," Clark said, gesturing to the inside of the store. "We started brewing beer together for fun on the weekends, which eventually grew into this." Fein knew going in to the Air Force that he planned to do six years in the service and get out, using the military as a springboard to better employment in the future. It wasn't until around 2014 that the idea of "better employment" crystallized into Goldsboro Brew Works. "Everybody who brews beer and gets seri- ous about, every single one thinks they're going to own a brewery some day," Fein said. "Everybody does. So that was our original intention. We're going to open a brewery, and we're going to go be Mother Earth later on." Mother Earth is a larger Kinston-based craft beer brewery, with multiple original beers available across the state. One night, while brewing beer and drink- ing it in Fein's garage, the two began to con- sider the large financial bur- den it would take to create a brewery. They decided to start smaller, and the idea for a Goldsboro Brew Works was born. Tamara Gambrell's story is a little bit different. She started out in the service, then separated while her husband stayed in. Transitioning from an active duty airman to a mili- tary dependent is a transition unto itself. But when Mrs. Gambrell left the Air Force in 2012, she also left behind a job she had been completely dedicated to for eight years. Not long after, her husband –– still an active-duty airman –– was reas- signed to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base from Germany. Mrs. Gambrell lost the Army job she'd left the Air Force for and soon found herself in Goldsboro, trying to figure out what to do next. "I lived and breathed the Air Force," she said. "I didn't really know anything else." In between caring for her three daughters, Eternity, 10, Forever, 4, and Destiny, 2, Mrs. Gambrell decided she needed a way to put her talents to use. So why not start a busi- ness? "At first I wanted to do a scrapbook busi- ness," she said. "But really, I can do almost anything you can think of." And so, FDE Designs was born. Named using the first letters of each of her daugh- ter's names, Mrs. Gambrell's small design boutique focuses on creating diaper cakes, multi-tiered displays made of packaged dia- pers that are generally presented as gifts at baby showers. Mrs. Gambrell has always enjoyed being Airmen in business help grow Wayne County' s economy Customers enjoy a few beers at Goldsboro Brew Works on Thursday, Feb. 2. The airmen-owned business has quickly become a favorite downtown Goldsboro spot to hang out. After their military commitments are up, airmen often find ways to go into business in the same community they lived in while serving. Story by JOEY PITCHFORD Photos by CASEY MOZINGO Tamara Gambrell holds one of her diaper flower arrangements at Artisan's Village on Tuesday, Feb.7. Thanks to the business that allows people to rent booth space, the former airman is able to operate her business, FDE Designs, without having to be there all of the time to sell her gifts to the public. See AIRMEN, Page 54

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