Decorative and patriotic. We love it. When the Air Force made a switch in uniforms, this active-duty airman didn’t want to throw out her beloved military uniform, so she got creative.
Instead of throwing the old uniforms out or placing them in storage to collect dust, Pompei cut them up and created beautiful wreaths out of them.
Pompei served as a member of the Marines before switching to active duty in the Air Force.
Although she never intended to create a business out of the craft, after she posted a photo of one she made herself, it led to her Facebook inbox being flooded with requests. In an interview with People, she talks about the most rewarding part of the process.
“The most rewarding part is hearing all of the stories of my customers and their family members,” she says. “I feel so honored that I can memorialize and honor their service. I have such respect for anybody who has served in the military.”
Military Wreaths Business Takes Off
Pompei said since the initial post, Wreaths by Nicole has taken off with over 200 patriotic wreaths made so far. Each wreath takes about four hours to complete, start to finish.
“I started the business because the Air Force was switching over to new uniforms, and I wanted to find a cool way to memorialize my old ones,” she says. “Thanks to some help from my crafty mother, we came up with this design.”
The Staff Sergeant said that she creates the wreaths in different sizes and designs depending on the occasion. She makes some that are patriotic that features stars and stripes, and others that fit better for the holidays.
One of the more notable wreaths she has designs was for a customer earlier this month who had three uniforms from 1946. She wrote on her company’s Facebook page about the old keepsakes.
“This was the second time I’ve received uniforms that were almost 80 years old,” Pompei wrote on Facebook. “I almost didn’t have the heart to cut them. I’m happy I did. Now they have a blended memento that they can hold with them for a lifetime.”
She adds that her favorite part isn’t the finished product but the story behind each uniform.
“Each wreath tells a story, and that’s my favorite part about it.”
And we are honored to tell your story, Staff Sergeant Nicole Pompei.