Many people make resolutions at the beginning of the year, but oftentimes, those intentions fall by the wayside come February. That’s why I’m a fan of one goal that can easily be checked off in the first few months of a new year: winter cleaning. That’s right, say goodbye to spring cleaning because this annual chore is so much better suited for wintery weather.
These dreary days force us inside, so why not take that as a welcome opportunity to sort through your clutter and ask yourself, “Does this old sweater really add value to my life?” If it doesn’t, consider donating it to someone who could really use it, or repurposing it into a scarf or fuzzy pillowcase. And come springtime, you’ll be done with your yearly cleaning chores and ready to enjoy the glorious season.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: More Than 3,000 Years
Today’s number highlights the dedicated women in the military. And we’re not just talking modern female soldiers in the contemporary armed forces. As a matter of fact, for more than 3,000 years, across a variety of cultures, nations and conflicts, women have served in military roles.
From ancient warrior women to empresses, mercenaries and queens to the thousands of front-line nurses, pilots and modern-day Marines patrolling in heavy conflict zones, women have long been honored to serve and fight for what they believe in. We at On The Dot are proud to stand by these women warriors. Ladies, thank you for your service!
WOMEN TO WATCH: Betsy Nunez and Emily Nunez Cavness, Co-founders of Sword & Plough
So, how do repurposing items in different ways and women in the military connect? With our Women to Watch, of course! Betsy Nunez and Emily Nunez Cavness are sisters, born and raised in a military family. During Thanksgivings while living at West Point (the United States Military Academy), the young sisters fondly shared meals with hundreds of soldiers. While in college, Emily was the only ROTC cadet on campus, and later attended the U.S. Army Airborne School. She still serves as an officer in the U.S. Army.
These sisters have a great understanding of the struggles many veterans face when looking for gainful employment after their military service. Such an appreciation for that situation prompted them to come up with a wonderful business idea that helps bridge the civil-military divide. Betsy and Emily’s company, Sword & Plough, repurposes wasted military surplus items into fashionable bags, jewelry, shirts, wallets and more.
With such a novel business idea, Betsy and Emily quickly got some much-needed backing. After winning a $3,000 grant, the sisters turned to crowdfunding site Kickstarter, with a goal of raising $20,000 in 30 days. Within a mere two hours, they reached their goal, and eventually, a thousand-plus backers pledged more than $300,000 to get Sword & Plough up and running.
But here’s the really cool thing about the business: By incorporating veterans into every stage of the business (as designers, managers, sewers, quality-control experts and even models), the company empowers veteran employment and brings public awareness to veteran issues. Their leather products are produced by a small, veteran-owned family business. Even their fulfillment center is veteran-owned. Additionally, 10 percent of Sword & Plough’s profits are donated to veteran initiatives.
Sword & Plough’s products are well-made and possess a refined design, which seems like a feat, given the rugged materials with which they work. Shoppers can find items in classic Army green and camouflage, but also in navy and my favorite, gray wool.
The company’s impact on the environment is also phenomenal. Since 2015, Sword & Plough has repurposed more than 25,000 pounds of military surplus that would have headed to the landfill! Now, instead of all that surplus becoming rubbish, it’s easy for women like us to support a deserving cause while looking oh so military chic!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today’s quote comes from award-winning entrepreneur Liliana Gil Valleta, who said:
“Let love and purpose for your idea drive you.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.