Local military wives, helping others, bring handbag line to Shark Tank

SOUTHERN PINES (WTVD) -- Local military wives, and founders of an all-American-made handbag line are hoping to hit it big Friday night on "Shark Tank."

Their company, R. Riveter, has a limited line that upcycles vintage military fabrics from things like West point Blankets, tent liners, and Marine jackets into modern handbags, and they also have a signature collection made with new canvass, but all of the pieces are made by military spouses.

The company employs military spouses all over the country in hopes of providing them with steady employment.

Check out their handbags here.

"On average military spouses move every 2.9 years so it's really difficult to be able to find a job and keep it throughout the years you're attached to the military, co-founder," Lisa Bradley, said.

"It's heartbreaking because military spouses are educated, inspiring. They're able to hit the ground running every time they move."

Bradley and company co-founder, Cameron Cruz, are both military spouses themselves, and founded R. Riveter after noticing how hard it is to get a new job each time, even with their masters degrees.

Now they employ others like them as "Remote Riveters," providing each person with a different part of the bag to complete.

"We have a Remote Riveter in Colorado making support tags, another in New York making liners, so those parts and pieces - whenever the military says 'OK it's time to go,' - they take their job with them wherever the army takes them, or the military," Cruz said.

The parts are then shipped and assembled right here in North Carolina, and the handbags are all stamped and tagged with the riveter number of the person who made it.

"When you buy an R. Riveter bag you are investing and so much more than just an accessory," Cruz said. "You're investing in a group of women who are supporting their families, their service members."

Win or lose, the Riveters hope to keep spreading their message of empowerment with their debut on Shark Tank.

"This is going to give us a platform and an opportunity to help as many military spouses as we possibly can," Cruz said.

Be sure to tune into ABC at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Friday night to find out what the sharks think.

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