Name: Rachel S
Year started at R.Riveter: 2017
Position: Sales Associate
Military Affiliation: Military Spouse
Current base/station: Pope AAF
1. First, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a native New Mexican, and I miss green chile and the dry heat like crazy. I graduated from UNM with a degree in Strategic Communication in December of 2012. I met my husband in 2009, shortly after my 19th birthday. He asked me on a date that night. We went out two days later, and we've been together ever since. I moved to Tucson to be with him in March 2013 after I finished school and he got back from an extended training. We got married in May 2014, and we moved to Pinehurst on 1 July, 2015. I'm also an avid reader, love all things Disney, and I love random bits of information. Whenever we go on vacation anywhere, I love to go to museums or historic sites just to see and learn something new.
2. Why did you join R.Riveter?
I had heard of the company before from a veteran friend who is lucky enough to have an Heirloom Patton, and I had always thought that the entire idea sounded interesting. One day, after already having gone through several interviews in the area, I saw an ad for an open sales associate position at the bottom of The Sway. I honestly was a little hesitant to apply at first because I had been avoiding going back into any retail. After a couple days of thought, and looking into the company a bit more, I kind of just said, "Screw it." I liked the mission, I liked the local business aspect, and I really liked the bags! I thought, "At the very least, I'll be working with other women who know what my life is like." And I really needed an environment like that. So, when Jessie offered me the job on the spot, I was definitely surprised, but I just felt so happy to be accepted like that. And now, a few months later, I'm really loving it at the store.
3. How has being a military spouse affected your journey and your career?
First of all, I never thought I would end up as a military spouse. In fact, shortly before I met Tom, I even told myself that I would never date someone in the military. I'm so happy that he and I found each other and that I have gone down this path, but it has lead me through a lot of bumps and experiences I wouldn't have had otherwise. Being a military spouse definitely changed my perspective of the world, in good ways and not so great ways, but I'm certain that this is where I am supposed to be. Once I graduated from college, I moved to Tucson to be with my husband, who was just my boyfriend at the time. I wanted to take a bit of a break after finishing school and leaving behind a job I no longer liked. When I eventually started looking for a job in my field, I couldn't really find anything. I eventually got an internship, but that only lasted a few months. By the time we got married, and my husband deployed for the first time, I knew we wouldn't be in Tucson much longer. So, instead of trying to find a job relevant to my degree, I went back to retail because I didn't want to go through the hassle of interviewing knowing I would probably leave a year later and that I wouldn't be what companies were looking for in an employee. When we got here, I spent some time putting our house together (it's the first one we bought), but I was excited to look for a job because we're supposed to be here for a while. I ran into the same problem I had in Tucson. I wanted to do event planning and it was a long time before I heard back from anyone. Even once I did, I only helped her here and there, so it's not like it was a steady stream of income. The pay was good when I did help, but it definitely wasn't sustainable. After a while, I started looking for other jobs in my field, but had no luck. Eventually, I ended up with the company.
4. How has R.Riveter affected your life?
R. Riveter has been such a positive experience for me. It's so refreshing to work with a group of people who just "get it." The staff in the store are great and I love working for Jessie. Everyone else in the company is nice and fun to talk to. Cameron and Lisa are such inspiring women, and I think it's so cool that you see Cameron in the warehouse every day actually leading and doing work herself. And I know Lisa works hard every day from Minnesota. I've never worked for another company that was so supportive of its employees.
5. What do you love most about what you do?
My favorite thing is helping someone pick out a bag. I really enjoy when I get to help someone make a decision because I get to insure that they go home with the purses that are truly theirs.
6. What is one of your most proud moments at R.Riveter?
The first Saturday I ever worked by I was so nervous. Since I had only ever worked in larger retail, working a Saturday by myself was never a thing. I kept thinking that something was going to go wrong or I would mess up somehow, but I got through the whole day just fine, and now working by myself doesn't even register as anything unusual. It's a really weird type of independence.
7. Favorite part about working at R.Riveter?
I'm surrounded by a community of people who do such great things.
8. Favorite R.Riveter handbag?
The Otto. It's such a great everyday bag. I can fit everything I need into it and it fits a few extra things that I like to take on the plane with me.
9. Fun Fact about yourself?
I was the school and District Spelling Bee champion in the 8th grade. I came in 4th place at Regionals that year. Had I made it to 1st place there, I would've been in the National competition.