R. Riveter is a retailer of handmade, American handbags that was founded in 2011 by military-spouses Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse. Today, the company is based out of Southern Pines.
At the heart of R. Riveter is its mission to provide empowerment for military spouses. Lisa and Cameron met in Dahlonega, Georgia while their spouses were on an assignment there. Shortly thereafter, the two women decided to address the challenge of “finding flexible and mobile employment while attached to the military,” where relocation often makes it difficult to pursue a career.
R. Riveter is run by military spouses across the US who manage everything from production to advertising. Team members all over the nation make the components of the handcrafted bags, which are then assembled in Southern Pines.
“Our process speaks on so many levels about a coming together of a military community,” co-founder Cruse explains.
The bags are made from recycled military materials (such as duffle bags and wool blankets) and hand-dyed leather, and each is named after a famous military spouse. A military spouse crafts these high-quality products from start-to-finish, and R. Riveter aims to “inspire pride and patriotism into the hearts of each customer.”
R. Riveter’s new shop is located at 177 W. Pennsylvania Avenue in Southern Pines. The company moved to the area after Cruse's family was relocated to Ft. Bragg, and Cruse has found Moore County to be the perfect place for active-duty and retired veterans.
“In the short time that we have been here – we have met so many incredible military families as well as other military spouse entrepreneurs! Moore County has so much to offer – and the military community here is subtle but it’s a strong one."
Moore County is just 30 minutes away from Fort Bragg’s headquarters, and it also boasts an incredibly high quality-of-life. The family-friendly neighborhoods, shopping, delicious restaurants, great schools, and wide range of parks and recreation facilities make the area an ideal choice for military families.
The community is also amazingly supportive of its military families and entrepreneurs. The nearby North Carolina Military Business Center works to encourage new ventures by veterans, offering them a number of resources. Community members also make an active effort to support these businesses, like R. Riveter and Aberdeen’s Railhouse Brewery.
“Enlisted or commissioned,” says Cameron, “if you are looking for an active and healthy community to call home, Moore County is an amazing place to live, eat and play!”
Photo courtesy of The PIlot.