R. Riveter Creates Jobs for Unemployed Military Spouses

R. Riveter bagsMemorial Day weekend is always a great kick off to summer, and now we’re in the full swing of heat-wave season. In between all the barbecues and pool parties, Memorial Day is a good opportunity for many of us to send some good vibes to the members of the Armed Services and their families. Especially the spouses. Because even though we hear a lot on the news about the situations our nation’s soldiers face on a daily basis, we do not often hear about (or pay attention to) what it is like to be a military spouse.

Members of the military and their spouses relocate frequently, sometimes yearly. As you can imagine, it is difficult for many military spouses to find positions in their field, or at all. As a result, the unemployment rate among military spouses hovers around 26%. Frustrated with their cycle of part-time jobs and career stagnation, two military spouses decided to take matters into their own hands.

R. Riveter Solves a Problem

Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse, both military wives living at Camp Merrill outside of Dahlonega, Georgia, started a handbag company called R. Riveter to employ themselves and other unemployed military spouses.

Here’s how it works: each bag is entirely handmade, using army surplus materials. Lisa and Cameron gather the materials from surplus supply storehouses, dye it and distribute it to the people who will assemble the bags. All the leather is tanned in northern Georgia. Each bag – all of them named after a famous military spouse, like Mrs. Grant – are constructed by hand and signed by the person that made it. A network of military wives and husbands around the world handle the sales and earn a portion of the profits.

For R. Riveter, business is booming (thanks in some part to the recent swell of press attention). Moreover, the fact that all the members of the company are scattered across the world is only positively affecting the company, according to Cameron.  In a recent interview with BourbonandBoots.com, she explained that the military culture of spouses needing to rely on each other during deployments and other stressful times not only makes the business possible, but also helps it to thrive.

“We’ve been able to take one of the biggest disadvantages of military life and turn it into an advantage of our business.” She said. What disadvantages does your business face? With a little inspiration from these hardworking military spouses, you might be able to turn that hurdle into a jumping-off point.

Check out RRiveter.com to find out more. The bags are pricey but well worth it to many brand fans!

The following two tabs change content below.


A teacher by trade, Elizabeth LaBelle graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 2011. After specializing in Political Science and Francophone Studies with a minor in Korean, the only tangible skill she can show for it is the ability to write in all three languages. Elizabeth never thought she would get paid to write in any language – but after four years washing dishes in an industrial kitchen and a year selling office supplies door-to-door, nothing surprises her. When she’s not writing or teaching, Elizabeth coaches high school debate and forensics. Her hobbies include thoroughbred racing, competitive pool playing and hunting for the perfect Chicago apartment.

Latest posts by Elizabeth (see all)

    Related Posts:

    Share This