Canvas and Leather Handbags made by military spouses recycled materials Gifts for Spouse. Share the stories from Military Spouses who strive to inspire & empower others through portable careers, crafting quality handbags & purses.
All About R.Riveter's Brand Ambassador of the Month, Laura
Tell us a little about yourself:
I'm an old soul. A wife, mama, a curator. Southern. Born in Kentucky. Raised in Tennessee. Environmentalist with a love for the outdoors. Lover of all things with a story. You can find me at estate sales or local flea markets. Proud military spouse. Fan of a good, sweaty workout. Music junkie. Follow my life adventures and my real life cabbage patch doll on @laura_turns.
Why did you want to be an R.Riveter Brand Ambassador?
Having worked with R.Riveter since 2014, I have grown to love sharing the mission. The Brand Ambassador program enabled me to continue to share their story as well as my personal journey as a military spouse. I love the community and being able to continue to grow the community as well as share the brand. Whatever season I am in, I know this community of brand ambassadors as well as my "Riveter Sisters" will always be there with open arms. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?!
What is your favorite R.Riveter bag?
Since I own every R.Riveter bag ever created I will have to say The Otto is my go to. But the Patton is a close fav.
5 Fun Facts About You:
1. I received the most athletic superlative in High School and was offered 3 different athletic scholarships. I stuck with the one that was less likely to get me injured: golf.
2. I know a lot about birds. I can identify most by either seeing or hearing their distinguished calls. Along with some other random odd facts. I even considered becoming an Ornithologist.
3. I lost a bet to my friend which resulted in sky diving. I'm deathly afraid of heights and cried before I jumped. But apparently, I impressed him because that friend is now my husband.
4. I am the mother of a real life cabbage patch doll. Cutest baby around, seriously. Check for yourself on Instagram at @laura_turns.
5. I have a HUGE collection of vintage American Indian turquoise jewelry.
All About R.Riveter's Brand Ambassador of the Month, Amanda
Amanda Causey Baity is publisher of American Service Dogs Magazine and Director of Operations and Photo Editor for Prince William Living and Brides & Weddings magazines. An Atlanta native, she has 8+ years of print & online media experience. In her early career, she was Controller for a multi-million-dollar corporation in Atlanta as she attended college. While finishing her degrees in Optometry and Astrobiology, she worked as a family service worker for the Department of Health & Human Services Head Start Program.
Wife of a Marine Corps combat veteran, Amanda co-founded Semper K9 Assistance Dogs in 2014 with her husband Christopher. She is currently Director of Operations for Semper K9 and an advocate for the military community with a focus on invisible wounds of war and family integration.
Her family's rich military heritage along with being the spouse of an OEF/OIF Marine Combat Veteran make her a perfect advocate for veteran rights. Amanda is currently continuing her education with various classes on PTS, TBI and Family Counseling for Military Families.
Why did you want to be an R.Riveter Brand Ambassador?
I wanted to be a Brand Bmbassador for R. Riveter because this company’s values are much like those of my personal and professional lifestyle. I work every day to enhance the quality of life of service members and their families, empowering them to overcome challenges in their lives due to military life and combat. R.Riveter does the same, giving spouses meaningful and gainful employment which in turn, enhances their family's quality of life. I am proud to promote not only an American owned and operated business, but also one that empowers all who are associated with its brand.
What is your favorite R.Riveter handbag?
My favorite R.Riveter handbag is the Hobby. I had always been a large handbag kind of girl because I am a busy mama and need lots of random things at a moments notice. Once I tried the Hobby, I fell in love with a smaller handbag! I pair my Hobby with the Grant since I have small children. The Grant is a great option for busy moms, and I can easily slide my laptop and items I need for meetings while grabbing my Hobby on the way out the door.
To celebrate the launch of our Fido Collection, R.Riveter is proud to partner with the nation's largest provider for disabled military veterans, K9s for Warriors. The profits from each K9 support tag will go towards K9s for Warriors, and help connect a service dog to a veteran in need.
Read on below to learn more about K9s for Warriors ----
Since 2011, K9s For Warriors has been serving post-9/11 veterans suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Military Sexual Trauma. We rescue dogs and train them to be service dogs to mitigate the invisible wounds of military service and give American heroes a new “leash” on life. Based in Ponte Vedra, FL, K9s For Warriors has become the nation’s largest service dog provider for disabled military veterans. The VA estimates that 20 veterans die by suicide every day. Our goal is to end this suicide epidemic and empower veterans to return to life with dignity and independence.
K9s For Warriors started as a grass-roots effort led by Shari Duval. Already an active volunteer with military veterans, the severity of the invisible wounds of war confronted Shari head-on when her own son returned from Iraq with PTSD, after two tours as a DOD-contracted K9 bomb handler. Brett did not return the same man he and his mother knew before Iraq. After the frustration of identifying post-traumatic stress as the culprit, Shari fervently researched the symptoms and treatment for PTSD, determined to help her son heal. She noticed that when Brett was around dogs, his demeanor became calmer; his burden, lighter. The answer was clear: train service dogs to mitigate symptoms of military-related trauma, to help those who served to defend our nation’s freedom.
What started as a small nonprofit with a goal to pair 12 warrior-canine teams per year, transformed into a national veteran service organization capable of pairing 12 warrior-canine teams per month. The innovative program that rescues dogs to rescue warriors is available to all American heroes who served, or are still serving in the post-9/11 era. Each month, a new class of warriors arrives to begin a 21-day training program at Camp K9, the organization’s headquarters. Incoming warriors are paired with their own service dog, who has already undergone months of training with professional dog trainers.
K9s For Warriors holds 12 classes per year, divided between male and female classes. The training model supports each warrior’s healing and reintegration into society by giving peer-to-peer interaction and group training. Each Warrior receives group and individual instruction from Warrior Trainers who are program graduates themselves.
While in class at Camp K9, each Warrior is provided a highly-trained service dog, equipment, veterinary care for their canine, meals, transportation, and housing – all at no cost to them. The program is sustained by generous individual and corporate donors, sponsors, and passionate volunteers.
As of March 2018, K9s For Warriors has graduated 416 warrior-dog teams – that’s two lives saved with each team! The organization is on track to reach its 500th graduate by the end of 2018. Additionally, it just opened a second campus near Gainesville, FL, which will be used exclusively for female veterans.
Graduates of K9s For Warriors regularly report significant progress and healing after returning home with their service dog. There’s a high reduction in night terrors and panic attacks; they sleep better and feel calmer; the fear that prevents them from even leaving their home subsides. They pursue new jobs, education, and engage with their families and communities again.
Thanks to a scientific study conducted by Purdue University in partnership with K9s For Warriors’ program, there’s now empirical evidence backing up every service dog success story. Published in February 2018 by the Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, the study shows several key factors supporting the claims that K9s For Warriors service dogs work to mitigate PTSD in warriors, such as:
lower overall symptoms of post-traumatic stress;
lower levels of depression;
higher levels of life satisfaction;
higher levels of companionship, and more.
Based on these preliminary findings, the NIH will fund a longer-term study to provide more data about the efficacy of service animals. K9s For Warriors’ goal is to use these findings to push the Veterans Administration (VA) to finally pay for service dogs as a treatment option for PTSD. Ultimately, this change in policy would allow more veterans to receive life-saving service dogs faster. After all, nearly 30% of post-9/11 veterans are diagnosed with the emotionally-crippling disability, yet we know that many who suffer do so in silence.
All About R.Riveter's Brand Ambassador of the Month, Mary
Why did you want to be an R.Riveter Brand Ambassador?
I have been a fan and customer of R. Riveter for a few years now and was so excited to hear of their brand ambassador program starting at the beginning of this last year. I wanted to be part of such a wonderful movement, such a beautiful mission and was over the moon at the chance to apply. Both of my parents were in the Air Force, and my husband is a Navy veteran. Growing up in a military family has always been something so near and dear to my heart, and this wonderful brand has a way of capturing the love, community, and care of that life. Sharing my love for such a wonderful company seemed like the perfect fit!
What is your Favorite R.Riveter handbag?
My favorite bag is the Otto and black canvas and brown leather. It goes with absolutely everything and is the perfect everyday bag for my capsule wardrobe. The size is perfect for just about anything, date night out with my husband or toting around with my kids at the park. Heck, I've even used it as my gym bag in a pinch!
Fun Facts about Mary:
I share the name, Mary Rose, with one of King Henry VIII's ships. When I visited Portsmith as a kid, I was able to visit the shipwreck and stocked up on goodies with my name all over!
My husband and I were set up on a blind date for Valentine's Day 7 years ago... We were married on Valentine's Day too!
I love biscotti. I mean love it. I could sit and eat an entire batch in any flavor every day.
I'm a capsule wardrob-er and love it.
My dream car is a 1970s Ford Bronco, jet black.
I love gardening, but my green thumb hasn't arrived yet.
Women’s movements have, and will continue to change the course of history.
Rosie the Riveter was the beginning of one of the most powerful women’s movements of our time. Today, we celebrate the life of a woman who served as the inspiration for the iconic figurehead.
In the heat of WWII, 20-year-old Naomi Parker Fraley went to work at the Naval Air Station, in Alameda, CA. She was assigned to a machine shop, where her duties included drilling, patching airplane wings, and riveting. It was in this shop where a newspaper photographer captured a photo of Fraley working, hair tied up in a telltale polkadot headscarf.
This 1942 photo was likely the inspiration of an American wartime propaganda poster produced by J. Howard Miller for an electric company, intended to be an inspirational image to boost worker morale. The poster was never meant for public display, and had been all but forgotten during WWII. In the early 1980s, a copy resurfaced and "Rosie the Riveter" became a symbol of female strength and empowerment.
While it's true that the 1940s depiction of Rosie the Riveter, a woman with a determined expression and a can-do spirit, was inspiring to many - it was a sense of belonging to something much larger that helped provide a rally call – something that still unites women today.
You Can Do It.
This very rally call is what lit a fire under two military spouses who started a movement to empower modern day women who have similar strength and might, similar determination and grit, and similar heart and soul as those who kept our country moving forward in WWII.
The “Rosies” and “Riveters”, as they are called at R.Riveter, are doing more than simply making parts and pieces of American Handmade bags in their homes across the country. Their strength and spirit is magnified by a connection to dozens, hundreds, thousands of other military spouses just like them.
Proud. Determined. Honorable.
R.Riveter has a company “saying” that binds the era of WWII with today in a few short words. It’s a shorthand expression, a rally cry to go along with the iconic image and name, R.Riveter.
Of many, One.
We are stronger together than we are apart. We can do it.
The passing of Naomi Parker Fraley touches all of us at R.Riveter.
The legendary icon Naomi inspired, Rosie the Riveter, drove our founders to take action, creating a movement to empower modern day women across the nation.
While Riveters of WWII entered factories to help the country in a time of need, today, R. Riveter is working to bring the same income opportunities home to the modern day women.
It is literally taking everything in me right now to sit here and be still. As a new mother to a dashing 5 month old baby boy life doesn’t hand out many of these moments. I’ve found you have to be intentional and strategic about finding ways to steal away time for yourself. So here I am sitting next to the fireplace in complete SILENCE (yes, can you believe it?!) reflecting on this whirlwind of a year that has left me feeling overwhelming grateful.
It all started last October when I found out 2 weeks before my husband deployed with the Air Force that I was pregnant. We hadn’t been trying for very long but somehow I had a peace that it would happen, and that I would be living alone without him for the majority of it. Looking back that 7 months apart seriously flew right by in a flash. But back then everything was raw and time stood still in the days and weeks after he left. My hormones and the holidays were in full swing and I went about making them as festive as my tired self allowed. Which pretty much consisted of a tiny artificial tree that sat atop a chest by the window. Because you gotta give yourself grace, right?! January rolled right around and it didn’t feel any closer to May. The snow was falling outside our tiny little PNW apartment and I started daydreaming about what it would be like to have our own space. Like where you didn’t share walls with chain smokers or hike up 3 flights of stairs to get to the tiny little space you overpay for. I mean how incredible would it be to jump on the floor and crank up the bass on your surround sound system without a care in the world?! In the 9 years of our marriage we’ve always rented little spaces like this. But with a baby on the way and big changes ahead I knew we needed something better. Our very own HOME.
I prayed hard. Owning a house just seemed too good to be true. But again that peace settled in and I went about finding a team to help me through this intimidating process. The thought of having our own space motivated me every single day to do the painstakingly tedious process of searching. But God brought me right to the most incredible team of people who not only gave me tremendous wisdom during the entire process but became family. Even our lender was a long time buddy of my husband back in his Army days! Let me tell you that God planed every step of the way and gave me strength to walk every one despite the fears and emotional run arounds that came with the home buying process. We started our search in January and closed on the cutest single story home in April! Just in the nick of time before baby’s arrival in July and my husband’s homecoming in May! Now the part I dreaded most of all. Moving out of our apartment on the 3rd floor without my husband, 6 months pregnant. I was terrified. What if I couldn’t get anyone to help? I didn’t want to beg but I was seriously desperate for help. For the thousandth time I found myself at God’s mercy and waited for Him to show up and do something amazing. And. He. Did.
Not only did the help show up but everyone got me moved out and into the new place in less than 3 hours! A fury of bodies and boxes and a dozen strong guys and we were done. I am forever grateful for the family and friends who helped this petite pregnant lady in a time of need. Now to hurry up and wait for Derek’s homecoming.
Flash forward to May and I’m sitting in the cell phone waiting lot at the airport awaiting the pick up call from my guy! I’ll never forget his reactions when he walked into our HOUSE for the first time and just stood there in amazement. We were together and we were home.
I swear life just moved at an outrageous pace as we tried adjusting to all the new changes and the pending arrival of our son. July 1st came and our hospital bags were packed. Nothing prepared us for the long labor and short NICU stay after he was born on the 6th, but the joy we experienced when we brought him home for the first time was unforgettable. And here we are 5 months later with our Charley in our new home celebrating the holidays TOGETHER. The dust is still settling but our hearts are full. Thanking God for the many moments and ways He has taken care of us in 2017 and for the new adventures and stories I’ll get to share in 2018. And maybe more mommy time and quiet moments like this? A girl can dream.
I am the daughter of a seamstress; the granddaughter of a baker. Our family has a strong legacy of creating with our hands. We know the process that makes something taste so good, fit like a glove, or last for generations because our blood is thick with the legacy of artisans.
Growing up around this mindset resulted in me graduating with a degree in clothing and textile design. I love the feel of quality fabric, the look of beautiful stitching, and the transformation of nothing to something breathtaking.
Fashion that means something has always been at the forefront of my mind. That being said, I think we can all agree that in today’s world, it’s hard to break the cycle of disposable fashion (or disposable anything, really).
Perhaps this is why R. Riveter stood out to me when I first saw them on Shark Tank. I loved that they had bags made from repurposed military materials and products assembled by the spouses of military families—hard working American women.
They are truly a brand on a mission. And the products speak for themselves.
When I first got my bag in the mail I was a little worried that the online/TV quality wasn’t going to translate, but I was not disappointed. The brass details, leather, and canvas were all signs of a bag well made. And to be perfectly honest, I’ve used my Otto every day since I unboxed it.
It’s the perfect bag for taking to the office, going out with friends, and I even took it as a carry-on during my last backpacking trip to Morocco, Spain, England and Iceland.
With each of these bag you can feel the authenticity, you can see that it’s intentional; they are built to stand the test of time. Of course there are other products floating around in this space, but what is their purpose? Why are they being made?
The R.Riveter brand stands for something more. It’s not only building products, but lives. As an artist, the intentionality of R. Riveter’s products speaks to my mind. As a woman, and as an American, the products speak to something so much more.
2017 showed us the importance of building up and supporting each other, and the community that R. Riveter is building, one bag at a time, is such a unique and beautiful way of speaking to that.
As an ambassador, I’m able to show my support for this brand in such a unique and beautiful way. And the community that I’ve gained by doing so has added so much to my life.
While not directly being a military spouse, I have a long line of men and women in my family who have served, and are currently serving in the Army, Navy and National Guard.
Supporting this legacy of almost 50 years, and the current dedication and sacrifice of my family members, ties me to R. Riveter in a very personal way. American made, to me, means supporting a national community when we need it the most—and it starts from the sewing machines of military spouses.
Everyone has that accessory they grab almost without thinking. For me, the R.Riveter Wristlet has become just that. I want to introduce you to newest my go to on-the-go accessory! From family fun day, business events, holiday parties the R.Riveter Wristlet does it all!
The Bigger The Better
Since having my Kiddies I have become that girl. You know. The big bag kinda girl. I need to carry everything for everyone and that means the bigger the bag the better. That's where my Otto comes in on. Still sometimes a girl just wants to look well - cute.
Get My Cute On
I'm still a girly-girl and there are times when I want to be cute, dainty and compact. The R.Riveter Wristlet fills this need perfectly. Small enough to carry on a date night, errand run or to the latest Holiday party but functional enough to keep whatever I need from lipsticks and business cards to sanitizer and keys.
Had To Have it
I grabbed up my camel wristlet on my very first visit to the R.Riveter Flagship Store in Southern Pines. I was super excited to see the store where it all started. I had to have it. After walking around and trying on several different colors I settled on the camel. It's the perfect neutral and goes with anything. *Plus now I have an excuse to go back for the other colors.
The R.Riveter Wristlet is the first thing I grab when I know I have a day of family fun at the arcade, movies, shopping or simply running errands.
This Size Fits All
Now remember when I said the bigger the better? Well don't let this little bag mislead you. I could hardly believe it when I first switched over. This big bag girl was beyond surprised to say: it all fits!
See that?!? That's no ordinary wristlet!! That's why the R.Riveter Wristlet has become my go to on-the-go accessory. It fits all I need while I stay cute and stylish at the same time.
Now that I've told you about the awesomeness don't forget to check out those other amazing colors I told you about SHOP HERE
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