02 Mar R. RIVETER Combines Craft, Military Pride, and Employment Opportunities
It is tragic that the families that are most invested in defending our freedoms are asked to do so much for so little financial reward.
Against this somber reality strides an entrepreneurial effort that aims to raise up the beleaguered service spouse with an assignment that affirms her value as well as puts some money in her bank account. The company, R. Riveter, sells handmade fashion handbags and recruits military wives across the country to assist in their manufacture.
The company takes its name from the WW2 icon Rosie the Riveter, and is the brainchild of two army wives, Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse. The core of their business plan was to provide a means for military spouses to participate in the construction of the bags from wherever they happen to be living. The spouses—known as “riveters”— are supplied with the raw materials via U.S. mail and each one is given a specific task to perform on their own schedule. In the words of their own literature,
It is not uncommon, as a military spouse, to lead a multifaceted life that requires the need for flexibility and control over one’s schedule and career. This sense of independence is especially important to the riveters, who are also dedicated mothers. Each riveter finds great value and freedom in dictating just how much time is spent working, in order to spend more time with their children, families and communities.
The products are designed to be high quality and fashionable, and many component parts are sourced from repurposed military gear such as canvas tents and woolen blankets. The assembled parts get sent back to a facility in North Carolina where the final construction is completed. The bags are sold online through their website www.rriveter. com, and also through Amazon.