Lisa Bradley & Cameron Cruse
Tell us about your business.R. Riveter, first and foremost, was created to provide mobile and flexible income to military spouses. The one of a kind handbag company was born out of a mix of frustration, passion, and creativity and designed to help chip away at the heart of military spouse employment woes. In a converted attic the still rapidly expanding company laid groundwork with a 45 year old, 75 pound, Consew industrial sewing machine, and up-cycled US Army tents—refined with a bit of real leather. Manufacturing, an increasingly technical and outsourced process, for R. Riveter, has become a renaissance of the American dream stitched together and embedded in our hand dyed leather and canvas bags and accessories. R. Riveter products represent a foundation of community that transcends rank and status.
What makes your business stand out?R. Riveter started as a way for two friends to earn a little extra income in spite of a fragmented resume from moving time and time again. Despite each achieving Master’s degrees in their desired professions, the transient military life proved more burdensome than expected. Enter R. Riveter. Though hand crafting bags and accessories is a challenging and fulfilling job, the mission is the true inspiration. Each component is cut and dyed by a military spouse at military stations across the US. It is then assembled by another talented group of military spouses centralized in Dahlonega, GA—home of the 5th Ranger Training Battalion. Each bag is customizable and uniquely suited to those is a sense for fashion and purpose!
What's the best business advice you've received?Never compromise our mission and values. Business is made on compromises and collaboration. R. Riveter, however, is built upon our mission. We make handbags to employ military spouses, not the other way around. Our products are one-of-a-kind, and we stand by them 100%—but in today’s world that’s not a competitive advantage, it’s an expectation. Our mission and uncompromising adherence to the values from which R. Riveter was born create a company that is worth more than the sum of its components. Our Rosies and Riveters, as we call our team who make or sell the handbags, are proud of who they are and what they do. It is this advice, that our story makes us the company we are, that has proven most valuable.
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