R. Riveter

R. Riveter founders Cameron Cruse and Lisa Bradley. Contributed photo

Military spouse-owned handbag company R. Riveter, headquartered in Southern Pines, is gearing up to celebrate ‘National Rosie the Riveter Day,’ a day recognizing the millions of women who broke workplace gender barriers, joining the workforce during World War II when men were called to battle.

While this year marks five years since Congress approved the resolution recognizing Rosie the Riveter Day, 2021 marks ten years since Army spouses Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse started their company, R. Riveter. Passionate about embracing the challenges of military spouse employment, including frequent moves and duty stations in remote locations, Bradley and Cruse set out on a mission to create an opportunity for mobile and flexible incomes for fellow military spouses.

“We knew what the challenges were. We wanted to find a way to become a part of the solution,” Bradley said.

Bradley and Cruse looked to the original Rosie the Riveter for inspiration. Today, R. Riveter’s unique production model puts military spouses to work, crafting components of the handbags from their homes, no matter where they live or how often they move.

"Rosie the Riveter embodies everything that we stand for. Our mission is a bit more modern, but her spirit and 'we can do it' attitude still apply," said Bradley.

“We’ve created a unique business and production model for a different work from home opportunity. In a time when more and more manufacturing is happening overseas at low wages, R. Riveter is proud to be redefining American manufacturing. We've developed our entire model around the maker,” added Cruse.

In addition to their goal of providing independence and income to military spouses all over the country, R. Riveter’s founders work diligently to empower women and champion female leaders in the workplace. Each manager on the R. Riveter team, from finance to human resources, marketing to sales, is a woman.

And as the country’s taken on a new enemy in the form of a global pandemic this past year, modern-day “Rosies” are just as important as they were during World War II.

“Women are proving time and time again that they have the ‘can do’ attitude to make things happen, even when times are tough. The Rosies of the 1940s worked on production lines building aircraft while still taking care of their families. Today’s Rosies are managing virtual school, board meetings, and more,” said Bradley.

“Despite these additional challenges, women have demonstrated the ability to perform at extremely high levels when given the space, flexibility, and support to balance the various aspects of their lives. We can do it,” she added.

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