Making their Mark: Unique Pl8z

(WJAR)

From Utah to Connecticut, and everywhere in between, license plates tell a story.

When you're part of a military family, moving from base to base, chances are, that story is pretty long.

“About six years ago, I received orders to move to Japan,” said Nicole O’Brien. “I was with the military and I wanted to make a special gift for a friend.”

O'Brien decide to repurpose all the license plates she'd collected over the years, and Unique Pl8z was born.

“Our tagline is ‘Art for the traveling heart,’” said O’Brien. “So, our art -- I really want it to mean something.”

Like many military spouses, O’Brien struggled to find employment in Japan. She started ordering more license plates and selling her unique art on Etsy.

“When I did my first little craft fair in Japan, I made about 200 signs and sold out in the first day and I was like, ‘Wow, people really like this,’” said O’Brien.

Fast forward to 2018 and O’Brien is back in Rhode Island.

She opened up a storefront in Warwick and sells direct to HomeGoods.

In fact, Unique Pl8z is big enough that O’Brien 's hired Greg, a military veteran with a background in woodworking.

And she's not done yet.

O’Brien hopes to expand Unique Pl8z to military installations across the globe, empowering fellow military spouses through employment.

“It's really hard,” said O’Brien. “You have to change your career every two, three, four years so to be able to take something this mobile and to grow it has been a blessing.”

Unique Pl8z also creates custom gifts for special occasions like weddings and anniversaries -- and they can do it with your specific plates.

To check out their products, click here.

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