WACO, Texas – One local veteran is using the tools he learned in the military to help with his family-owned business.

From the outside, you will think Cottontail Jones is just another clothing boutique, but it’s a store with a bigger meaning.

Robert Lim was active duty for six years before serving eight years in the Army National Guard.

While in the Reserves in 2016, he got a business degree. He didn’t know a hobby he had would turn into something more.

“We just felt that we needed to start our own business, more in line with our interests,” Lim says. “So I started in photography, which was actually not a part of my military training. It was just always a hobby of mine. We were doing very well there, then we transitioned into adding a children’s store to our photography.”

Lim says he found a niche for newborns and families while doing photography. As a father of six, his business had a bigger meaning to it.

“Our photography name is 8 Lims Photography,” Lim says. “So we have the two of us adults and six kids, so that’s where the eight comes from. Our logo is an octopus, because eight limbs, and ‘Lims’ is my last name.”

His photography hobby has now transitioned into a store/studio combo with a different name. Cottontail Jones was started out of their own pockets – but his military experience did help out.

“A lot of the military mentality of the comradery, the teamwork, the supervision, the interpersonal skills helped me to run a business,” Lim says.

When they moved to Waco at the end of 2018, they searched for the best location to plant their growing business.

“We kinda wanted downtown, so we started, actually, a couple of blocks up the street in March of 2019, then we moved here in this location August of 2020,” Lim says.

Lim says there is a big difference from being in the military and full-time entrepreneurship.

“More freedom I guess, and able to do what you want. The military training gave me a good base to basically interact and be sociable with the people,” Lim says.

Lim says its also very rewarding to do what he loves with his family by his side.

“Every dollar we spend comes out of our pocket. Every dollar that we bring in goes to the store and comes to help feed the table, too. It’s a lot of involvement being an entrepreneur.”

Lim says anyone would be lucky to hire someone from the military because of their work ethic and skills. For more information on Cottontail Jones, you can visit the official website.