The Spirit of Rosie The Riveter Is Alive And Well

Rosie the Riveter would be proud of military spouses Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse. The two bonded over the shared difficulty in finding employment as the wife of a deployed serviceman. The transient lifestyle gave employers pause when it came to finding meaningful employment despite their education and creativity. The two put their heads together and, following Rosie’s lead, they got to work in manufacturing. R. Riveter was born.

The company, named for the World War 2 icon, manufacturers stylish handbags and employs the spouses of over 35 servicemen all across the country. Employees create the various parts and pieces for the bags wherever they are located and ship them back to the company’s Southern Pines, North Carolina facility for final assembly.

54 percent of active duty servicemen are married and nearly 35 percent of active-duty service members are married with children, according to Military OneSource.

“We wanted to create a manufacturing platform that was able to bring opportunities to those that didn’t have the ability to receive jobs after move after move with the military,” co-CEO Lisa Bradley said. The flexibility of working from wherever they are stationed and on their own schedule works for these women’s unique circumstances and allows them to do meaningful, skilled manufacturing work. “They get to take that job with them no matter where the military takes them,” co-CEO Cameron Cruse said

Last year the company produced over 21,000 handbags and accessories. “One-third of every dollar goes directly back to hands of a military spouse. So we are creating a sustainable income throughout the business model,” Bradley said.

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To hear one of the original Rosie The Riveters interview on Women And Manufacturing visit

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