FROM REALITY TV TO HARDEE COUNTY
Jun 29, 2021
R. Riveter Found its Start on Shark Tank and its Future in Hardee County
Hardee County Industrial Development Authority and Economic Development Council recruits businesses of various industries using diverse incentives. However, R. Riveter, one of the most recent projects, has perhaps the most famous start. Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse, military spouses, founded R. Riveter after struggling to find meaningful careers due to the lifestyle that being a military spouse creates. The company makes handbags to create employment opportunities for military spouses. Handbag kits are mailed to Riveters, military spouses contracted with the company. The kits are then mailed back to R. Riveter’s production site, where the handbags are assembled, produced, and disbursed.
Fame came when the R. Riveter was given the opportunity to present on reality tv’s Shark Tank in 2016. Their business pitch earned the company founders three offers. The duo ultimately accepted an offer from billionaire investor Mark Cuban.
In 2019 R. Riveter began looking for a future for their manufacturing facility. The company was considering Lakeland, Florida. Hardee County Economic Development Council was able to secure a manufacturing facility site and incentivize the company through Economic Development Authority and Industrial Development Authority grants.
“Without the work of the IDA [Industrial Development Authority] R. Riveter would not be here,” explains Erica Scheipsmeier, R. Riveter employee.
R. Riveter received a job creation grant from the Economic Development Authority of $500,000 with the contractual agreement to create 43 jobs. The Industrial Development Authority awarded R. Riveter an equipment loan in the amount of $250,000 with a 5% interest rate.
The Industrial Development Authority is currently pursuing a lease purchase agreement with R. Riveter for a manufacturing and retail facility on Main Street in Wauchula, Florida.
Since securing a manufacturing home in Hardee County, R. Riveter’s production and demand continues to grow. On July 2, R. Riveter will be featured on QVC Today’s Special Value. In preparation for the debut, R. Riveter produced 13,595 handbags in a time span of two and a half months.
“The most rewarding part of R. Riveter locating in Hardee County, is seeing Hardee County citizens gain careers where they have stability, paid time off and on the job training,” Scheipsmeier expounds.
R. Riveter found its fame on Shark Tank and they have found their future in Hardee County. Make sure to tune into QVC Today’s Special Value on July 2 and see what creativity, determination and economic development can produce!