Cameron is from the South and Lisa is from the North. Cameron likes sweet tea and Lisa likes hers straight up (maybe not always with alcohol, but definitely no sugar). Cameron swears by her Mac and Lisa won't use anything but a PC. Cameron designs her space with furniture floating throughout the room and Lisa pushes everything up against a wall. It was no wonder their loved ones were advising them to really think about going into business together. Could two friends, who were complete opposites, become successful business partners?
“Don’t do it!” Lisa Bradley remembers when she and R. Riveter co-founder, Cameron Cruse, were being offered advice from various friends and family members about partnering up on a business adventure. It was a great idea, for sure; designing and creating authentic canvas handbags, using repurposed military materials, and providing other military spouses with a portable and sustainable income. No one could deny that it was a beautiful dream, but there was also no denying that Cameron and Lisa were also so different! How would they make it work?
The answer: Opposites attract.
Flash forward four-years into the future, and their company, R. Riveter, is thriving. The decision Cameron and Lisa made created a company that provides income to Military Spouse Riveters from all over the country. They also have a team of marketing and sales professionals, a popular shop in downtown Southern Pines, NC and have been featured in various publications and media stories. And guess what? Through it all, Cameron and Lisa have become closer than ever because their different backgrounds, interests and passions compliment each other so well.
Lisa and Cameron’s successful business partnership was built upon an understanding that they are both capable, but each brings something unique to the table. Cameron’s enthusiasm for art, design and the general creative process allows her to maintain the company’s branding and overall visual presence and design the handbags themselves, while Lisa’s background in entrepreneurship breathes life into the company (from a legal standpoint). Because they identified their strengths as individuals early, they were able to reach their dream together: to create a company with the values and spirit to match those of the military family.
Lisa Bradley grew up on Columbus, MT – a small Rocky Mountain town with no stop lights. Her parents were entrpreneurs, creating a unique lifestyle that has shaped her career ambitions. Lisa too off for the “Big City” lights of Bismarck, ND to study Business + Entrepreneurship. She met Jason Bradley during this time, and married both Jason and the Army in 2007. The two enjoyed 4 duty stations in just over six years. Lisa put her “roll up the sleeves” mentality and MBA from Chapman University to work as she launched R. Riveter with Cameron Cruse in 2011.
Cameron Cruse is a mother, designer and proud Army Wife. Growing up just outside of Atlanta, GA armed her with an appreciation for culture as well as a seemingly southern mindset. Upon completing her Masters in Architecture from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010, she did what most Military families do: she moved. An opportunity in disguise, as the one thing that might ruin a career actually paved the way for a much more impassioned and fulfilling path. In a small attic above her home near Ft. Merrill, GA, Cameron and fellow Military Spouse, Lisa Bradley, founded R. Riveter.