Military wives are the unsung heroes of military families, but they often sacrifice a lot to support their husbands. Cameron Cruse and Lisa Bradley, both military wives themselves, came up with the perfect system to help military wives keep stable employment with their handbag business, R. Riveter. What will the sharks think of this up-cycling business on
Shark Tank R. Riveter Update
- Entrepreneurs: Cameron Cruse and Lisa Bradley
- Business: Hand-made leather bags made by military wives
- Ask: $100,000 for 20% equity
- Result: $100,000 for 20% equity plus a line of credit
- Shark: Mark Cuban
The R. Riveter pitch began with an at-home segment. Here, we met Cameron and Lisa, military wives who revealed that military families move about every 3 years, which makes gainful employment nearly impossible. Their company created handbags from old military uniforms, blankets, and gear. Each bag was created by multiple military wives, with each employee producing the part they were best at. Each was paid well for their contributions and stamped their part of the bag with their name.
Made in the USA. Components are crafted by independent military spouses in their homes around the nation, and shipped to R.Riveter's FabShop to be assembled into a one-of-a-kind product.
They wanted to create a business that would help military spouses feel more empowered and in control. These bags used fabrics like tents, duffle bags, and apparel to create the base of each bag.
Each bag cost $55 to make and sold for $220. About 60% of their sales were online, from military families and supporters across the country. Their retail location sold 40% of their overall numbers. In the year prior to filming, R. Riveter had $300,000 in sales.
The sharks seemed interested, and most agreed that it was a great idea. Kevin O’Leary wasn’t a fan of the higher price point, but he understood the mission and the idea. Daymond John asked why they needed the money, and they told him that they needed basic online marketing and education related to the bags. Each bag, they said, had a lead time of about 90 days.
Daymond went out because he didn’t think they needed a partner. Kevin offered $100,000 for 20% equity, and Robert matched it. Mark Cuban, on the other hand, matched the offer but added a line of credit to help with future growth. He liked the idea of social action for a cause. Lori Greiner went out, too. R. Riveter had a different model than she would use.
In the end, Cameron and Lisa choose to accept Mark’s offer. The promise of future growth helped them make the decision. But how is the company doing today? Keep reading our R. Riveter update to find out.
Riveter is thriving! During our R. Riveter update research, we found that the company has about $2 million in annual revenue today. They have two storefronts, Amazon listings, and manufacturing centers to help assemble the handbags.
They also now offer a Heritage Bag service, where you can have a loved one’s uniform made into a bag. Overall, the company is growing in leaps and bounds. It was featured in the
You can purchase an R. Riveter bag on Amazon, but you can also purchase Heritage bags and new lines from its website.
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