Name: Jessica E
Year started at R. Riveter: 2016
Position: Remote Canvas Riveter
Military Affiliation: Army
Current Base/ Station: Sterling, VA.
First, tell us a bit about yourself.
What defines me, is my role in life as a wife and a mother. I grew up in Dayton, Ohio and lived there until I graduated college in 2010. I studied Early Childhood Education at the University of Dayton. While in college, I met Chris, the love of my life. We got married in 2010, the summer after I graduated and moved to Fort Hood, Texas (my first move ever in my life), and began my role as a military spouse. After a few years we moved to Fort Benning, GA, and then to Fort Bragg, NC. In North Carolina, we had our beautiful baby girl. We lived in North Carolina for almost four years. We now live in Virginia and have a beautiful baby boy. It has been both a challenging and incredible adventure! I am a stay at home mom, who works from home. I love my family. My children are the light of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Why did you join R. Riveter?
When we were living in NC, I was told, from another military souse, about the company R. Riveter. It was brought to my attention that they had a store in Southern Pines, NC (right where we lived)! I had no idea! This company sounded amazing to me, and I was curious about what it was all about! I stopped in the store, and spoke to the girls working there about the company! I knew this was something that I was also very passionate about, and I had to get involved! I put in my application and was hired as a Remote Riveter! I decided to join R. Riveter because I wanted to be a part of something that was making a difference in people’s lives. This company is not just a company that makes handbags for people. It is about the story, the celebrations, and the challenges that each military spouse goes through and puts into making the different pieces of the bags.
How has being a military spouse affected your journey and your career?
Being a military spouse has had its challenges. One of them being the ability to have a career. I got my degree in Early Childhood Education. Because of the constant moving and uprooting, we as military spouses are forced to (usually) quit our job, get a new job, and establish new work every place we go. It is difficult to truly become established. Sometimes, it is almost easier to not even have a job because of the schedule and demand of our husband’s work. We are the ones who sacrifice our career path, and have to be ok with that. Although the military life has many challenges, it also has given me many blessings. It has forced me to find my independence and taught me to find my inner strength to be able to survive through many situations where I would otherwise fall apart. It has given me friends, all over the country, that have blessed our lives and taught us that a strong family bond is the true basis of a successful military family.
How has R. Riveter affected your life?
A lot of times in the military life (and life of a stay at home mom), our efforts are focused on our families. Our children need us, our husbands need us to be at Base for a ceremony in the middle of the day, our husbands deploy or go on an unplanned TDY and we are forced to be a “single” parent for weeks or months at a time. R. Riveter has been an aspect of my life that is something that allows me to contribute to my family. It is work that allows me to have something outside of cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, or picking up toys. ☺ Because of the crazy schedule of a military spouse, it is hard to have a steady job, let alone a steady income. R. Riveter has allowed me to do this for my family, by still having the incredible opportunity to stay at home with my beautiful children and be there for my husband when he needs me there!
What do you love most about what you do?
I love being able to be a part of a handbag that someone purchases and uses every day. It’s being a part of that reminder of the struggle, strength, and courage that all of our men and women who wear the uniform and those who stand beside them as a spouse go through on a daily basis. It’s a reminder of the empowerment of military spouses and the connection that we have all throughout the country. It’s the family that we, in this company, are a part of and that “unspoken bond” that instantly connects a military spouse to another.
What is one of your most proud moments at R. Riveter?
One of my proudest moments as a Remote Riveter was when I was asked to speak at the Navy Exchange at Walter Reed about my experience and story at R. Riveter and as a military spouse. I was honored to stand beside Cameron and share my story as a military spouse in front of other people who also share that passion for their families and their country. Being able to see a handbag made from pieces that had my Riveter number on them was truly humbling.
Favorite part about working at R. Riveter?
My favorite part about working at R. Riveter is the way that each and every one of us is appreciated. It goes beyond just a handbag. It is a family of people who are appreciated and respected. I truly miss living in North Carolina and being able to go into the Fabshop and seeing the wonderful hardworking women who put the bags together. When I was living in Pinehurst, I was able to physically take my pieces in that I had constructed. I saw that the women who put these bags together were so happy to have such beautiful pieces to work with from other spouses all over the country. I felt appreciated and respected and empowered.
Favorite R. Riveter Handbag?
My favorite handbag is the hobby!
Fun Fact about yourself?
I am a person who absolutely adores her family. I would rather spend a Friday night at home with my husband, daughter, and little boy eating pizza and watching a movie than anything else! That is my perfect Friday night.