Years ago, new military spouses Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse found themselves asking the question: why is it so difficult to find meaningful employment?
Both were highly educated, creative, and determined. Yet neither was able to find work. Employer after employer turned them down.
"That's how we became friends-we really struggled to find work despite being overqualified."
Military spouses provide strength to servicemembers, yet their sacrifices often come with an economic and emotional price tag unknown to many. If Bradley and Cruse experienced these struggles, what could be said about the employment landscape for other spouses?
Plenty of military spouses want to work, but obtaining employment is especially tough. Military families move on average, every 2.9 years - and oftentimes, they relocate to remote military bases where there are fewer professional opportunities for spouses. In duty locations next to smaller cities, it's oftentimes difficult to create a professional network, interview, search and obtain jobs - all while supporting your service member and helping your family adjust to the new location. This is an aspect of being a military spouse that is not widely discussed, yet is a major struggle for most families.
Because of the transient lifestyle, constraints of moving, cost of caregiving, and flexibility required to balance family obligations when a servicemember is away, many spouses seek or require remote work opportunities. In fact, 57% of military spouses do not work outside the home.
Challenging the Status Quo
The women knew they had to do something. How could they solve the employment issue that plagued thousands of military spouses?
"We were starting to see that if we wanted a career in this transient military life, we'd have to create it for ourselves. Not only did we need flexible income, but we needed mobile income to travel along with us as we relocate with our military members. And that's when R.Riveter was born."
After charging two thousand dollars each to their credit cards, Lisa and Cameron purchased a commercial sewing machine and a small supply of leather and canvas. At first, it was a two-woman operation, but a