Alex Witt   |  May 26, 2013

Recycled purses help support military families

Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse talk about the company they created that helps support service members and empower the economy. R. Riveter employs military spouses to make one-of-a-kind purses that are made of ‘up-cycled’ military material.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> remembering our heroes during this special weekend. rosie was a symbol of inspiration for women working during world war ii . now she is a source of inspiration for a company founded by two military wives which helped support service members and empower the economy. a year ago they started r. riveter that employs military spouses to make handbags. their one of a kind handmade purses are made of military material, tents, blankets, each telling a unique story. before we get to talking about how fabulous these things are, i want to talk about the jobs that you are both providing for this military. how important is that to you?

>> it's really huge. it's a personal struggle cameron and i dealt with, every new job we felt like we were reidentify ing ourselves and i never really felt like i had my own sense of purpose or like i belonged anywhere. so it was huge for us to create r. riveter as a way to provide military wives with something they can take with them as they move toast 30 post.

>> that's a great inspiration.

>> she embodies just about everything we really strive to represent and so she is the cult l ral icon we can do it and that we can do attitude and the connection of the rosies of yesterday really standing up to do their part and in the war efforts and then what we were trying to do today to stand up and help the american economy and do what we can do.

>> you know what i think is cool, each bag's style, correct, is named after a military wife, right?

>> it is.

>> that's pretty neat. do you have current ones you look at as well or are these only historical figures?

>> well, we named it after military spouses that paved the way for us, so we wanted to honor them by naming bags after them. we wanted to, also, open up the naming of bags to your viewers and the military spouse community.

>> how fun.

>> we'd love to have people submit stories and a name of a spouse that really inspired them.

>> how can they do that?

>> please e-mail or touch base with us on facebook.

>> we talked about the upcycled materials. what are these? the second you girls sat down and showed these, i went, there does have a military feel to it. there definitely is. so tents and different types of materials you use?

>> we use all recycled military materials so these are actually old shelter hats. and when we talk about the manufacturing of an r. riveter product you are talking about a story and a coming together of a lot of pieces and parts. like this tent was hand dooifed, hand washed, hand pressed by a military spouse and then we also use a very high quality hand leather that goes through a dyeing process and then all the pieces and parts coming together from across the nation made by military spouses to come together and make a very unique one of a kind product.

>> so it's not just -- i know you both -- they're based in georgia so it's not just there on your base. you're pulling together a community from around the country.

>> correct. there are military spouses that make the parts and pieces and so our story is being told by military spouses across the country.

>> that is so youawesome. how many different styles do you have, and if people want to buy one, how can they do that?

>> we have, i want to say, nine handbags styles. we're continuing to grow. we do retail on our website so you can go to rriveter.com, take a look and buy a bag if it's on your heart.

>> how about the price point? about how much do they cost?

>> well, we have a variety starting at $115 going all the way up.

>> okay. these are absolutely beautiful. they're wonderfully made and thank you so much, both of you. i appreciate your time. i hope you have great success with this. it's bringing in some good economic benefits as well. good luck.

>> thank you. it's been wonderful to be here on this memorial day weekend .

>> it was perfect to have you. you've enhanced the show. thank you.