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Sword & Plough’s Notes from the Field: July 2017

Posted on July 30, 2017 by Sword & Plough

 

Aspen Ideas Festival

We kicked off our summer at Sword & Plough with an epic partnership with the Aspen Ideas Festival. The Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation’s premier, public gathering place for leaders from the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Some 350 presenters, 200 sessions, and 3,000 attendees comprise the annual Festival, launched in 2005, on the Aspen Institute’s campus in Aspen, Colorado.

Sword & Plough designed and provided nearly 4,000 printed totes as swag bags for the Aspen Ideas Festival this year. In previous years, designers Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, and Lauren Bush Lauren designed the bags for the Aspen Ideas Festival. Sword & Plough would love to work with other companies that have a similar need for team building or conference merchandise. We have the capacity to do large orders, so let us know how we can help provide your event attendees with truly unique gifts!

We have also launched an effort this month to provide a 25% discount to brides and grooms who want to share the Sword & Plough story with their bridal party and guests via some of our more popular accessory items. Please reach out to info@swordandplough.com for more details about our wedding discount!

A huge part of Sword & Plough’s mission is providing 10% of our net profits to veteran initiatives. By donating to these causes we help fund their initiatives but also bring awareness to the great work they are doing in their respective communities. Three initiatives we highlighted this month were the Military Spouse of the Year (Brittany Boucher),  Shootout for Soldiers, and The Mission Continues. Shoot for Soldiers is a 24-hour lacrosse event benefiting American veterans. Sword & Plough’s partnership for Soldiers Ohio led to success for 2017. Shootout for Soldiers Ohio 2017 raised over $47,000. Over 5,000 guests attended and 900 players participated during the 24 hours event this month!  The Mission Continues is working with Bob Evans Farms to launch the “Heroes to CEOs” Initiatives. Sword & Plough’s co-founders will be on the five person judging selection panel this October. The deadline to apply is August 8th, 2017.

We continue to grow at Sword & Plough. This month we crossed over 38K followers on Facebook and 12K on Instagram. If you haven’t followed us on social media, join us on our journey. We share news about our nonprofit partners, product restocks & product launches, and we highlight our employees, as well as details about exciting employment opportunities such as our Brand Champion program.

We currently have 76 Brand Champions located in 33 states and 3 countries. We are eager to have a Brand Champion in every state! If you are, or someone you know is, passionate about S&P, looking for flexible/part-time work, and located in one of these states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wyoming, please apply for this employment opportunity today, or encourage your friend to check it out! If you want to learn more about the Brand Champion program, read this interview from Jamie Sheaffer who is the Brand Champion of the Month for July! If you want to learn more about our mission, what we do, and why, check out this recent article by Wide Open Country!

We hope you are enjoying your summer! See you next month!


Cheers,


The Sword & Plough team

Posted in Aspen Ideas Festival, Brand Champion, Brand Champion of the Month, Brand Champion Program, Field Notes, Heroes to CEOs, Military, Military Spouse of the Year, Shootout for Soldiers, social mission, The Mission Continues, Veteran, Wide Open Country

Brand Champion of the Month - Jamie Sheaffer

Posted on July 25, 2017 by Sword & Plough

Brand Champion of the Month

This month we recognize Jamie Sheaffer's dedication and outstanding work as an S&P Brand Champion.

Jamie Shaeffer

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?

I grew up in Muskegon, Michigan. My husband’s military career has brought us to the Metro-Detroit area. I have two dogs, Bravo and Chinook, that make me laugh every single day. I enjoy spending time with friends and family and crafting. Whenever my husband is deployed, I immerse myself in any kind of DIY project to keep myself occupied.

Do you work another job in addition to Sword & Plough? If so, what job is that? What is it like to manage both responsibilities?

I also work at Team Rehabilitation Physical Therapy and AR Workshop. I am also attending school to earn a degree in Occupational Therapy. Needless to say, my schedule is very busy but I would not have it any other way. I love that my position with Sword & Plough allows me to work within my own schedule. Being a Brand Champion is a very fulfilling yet flexible role.

What made you decide to be a Sword & Plough Brand Manager? What is it about the products/brand you love?  

I decided to be a Brand Manager because I simply loved the mission. It is my way to give back to veterans while using my skillset from former retail positions. I love that our products are made in America and that we give back to our veteran communities. One purchase creates a ripple effect that goes far beyond a simple fashion item.

What has been the most rewarding experience of being a Sword & Plough Community Brand Manager?  

Being a Brand Manager has allowed me to have new and different opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have.  One day, I had decided to reach out to one of my role models, a very popular wife of a very popular retired Navy Seal. She has done so much charity work for military members, veterans, and their families that she inspires me to continue to do more.  I had told her about Sword & Plough’s mission and our products. To my surprise, not only did she write back, she purchased one of our totes. I was so excited! My role as a Brand Manager, opens new avenues to reach out to those who inspire me.  

One of the hopes for the Community Brand Manager program is that each member will leverage their own entrepreneurial spirit. What creative ways have you employed to reach customers?  

To reach new customer bases, I started a Facebook page and post regularly on my Instagram. But, I also enjoy setting up pop up shops for potential customers to see and feel the products in person. My pop up shops give me an opportunity to get creative with new displays. I also get to meet new people and share stories.

Can you please share what has been your favorite experience/memory working with a Sword & Plough customer?

I love hearing stories from everyone that I get to meet. I have met military wives  who overcame hurdle after hurdle during deployments. I have met veterans who have never been thanked, and take the opportunity to express my gratitude. I always leave an event feeling accomplished and humbled.

What Sword & Plough product is your favorite and why?

I love the wool handbag! It is super durable and fashionable. My husband is a pilot, and being that it was inspired by aircraft insulation, I have a special connection to it.  

Who is someone who inspires you and why?

Two of my role models are Taya Kyle and Melanie Luttrell.  Both amaze me with their poise and tenacity through unimaginable hardships. They both immerse themselves in helping military members, veterans, and military families. They inspire me to continue to do more. I had the pleasure of listening to Taya Kyle speak during the Patriot Tour, and I was blown away by her ability to connect with people and maintain her composure while telling her incredibly emotional story. When my husband had deployed again, I had used a lot of what I had learned from Taya, to not only survive but thrive during difficult times.  

Are you a military spouse? What is the most challenging aspect of being a military spouse? What is the most rewarding?

I am a military spouse. This role comes with some of my greatest challenges and greatest rewards.  Besides the obvious challenges of your spouse being away, of constantly wondering and worrying, there are other not so obvious challenges. I found that it was difficult to connect with others who did not understand what it was like to have a spouse deployed.  It is also challenging to maintain a  positive outlook when you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.  But it is essential that you do.  It is inevitable during deployments, that a situation will arise that you have never had to face before.  I have adapted with an ability to stay calm and just handle it. I knew after it was over, I could look back and feel proud and accomplished. I truly understand now that I can overcome whatever hurdles arise, even if that means asking for help.

Of course, the biggest reward of being a military spouse is the homecoming. For us, it had followed year long deployments and there is no better feeling than being with your loved one again. The littlest things would fill me with joy. Simply being able to call my husband’s cell phone and have him answer, with clear reception…. was AMAZING.  


What is something about being a military spouse you did not expect?

Something as a military spouse that I did not expect would be the challenges that I would face going to school. I have a desire to pursue higher levels of education and I am always challenged to find programs that I could complete prior to moving or a potential military career shift. The unknowns make it difficult to make extensive commitments.  

Tell us about the service members in your life and your connection to them.   

My husband has been serving as a CH-47 pilot for 10 years. He has deployed twice to Afghanistan. My brother proudly served in the Marine Corps. I have numerous uncles that served in Vietnam and grandfathers who served in WWII and the Korean War. I am extremely proud of my family's military service and it drives me to support our veterans.  

What, if any, experience did you have that made you feel like the Brand Champion program was a good fit for you? What advice would you give to someone who is just starting as a Brand Champion or thinking about applying?

The Brand Champion program has been a good fit for me because it is very flexible. I can schedule table events during times that work in my schedule and I can participate wherever we move. There are no downfalls to the program. You can be as involved as you would like to be. It also allows you to connect with your community and you’ll be humbled to hear their stories.  

 

Posted in Affiliate Program, Brand Champion, Brand Champion of the Month, Brand Manager, Military, Military Spouse, Sales Rep

Sword & Plough's Notes from the Field: June 2017

Posted on June 29, 2017 by Sword & Plough

Emily & Betsy - Mission 43

We kicked off June with a fantastic talk with the motivating Mission43 community in Boise, Idaho. Mission43 brings in top veterans from around the country who have used attributes they developed in the military to do amazing things after the service. A conversation is moderated with the special guests and the conditions are set for guests to network with other veterans, military spouses, community members, and local business leaders.This was a perfect collaboration for our co-founders, Emily and Betsy. A big part of Sword & Plough’s mission is creating opportunities to bridge the civil-military divide, which aligns perfectly with Mission43’s focus. Emily and Betsy spoke to a large crowd on how they conceptualized Sword & Plough, how they continue to develop the brand today, and the impact the brand has on the veteran community.

We love working with like minded organizations who believe in giving back to the community which is why after returning from Mission43, we led an epic Summer Brand Giveaway. We joined forces with Seamly.co, Love Your Melon, Half United, Krochet Kids Int., and Watts In Maine to give away over $1000 in merchandise. These socially conscious brands each focus on bringing sustainable practices and integrity back to the fashion industry. The giveaway ran for seven days and we had thousands of individuals enter. We also recently joined PACT Organic, Zeal Optics, Perky Jerky, The Seaweed Bath Co. , and Analog Watch Company for a giveaway of over $2,000 in prizes.

We had two wonderful essays by Brand Champions, Kayley Namarri and Veronica Bryant posted on our blog in honor of Father’s Day! These women presented a lens to better understand the sacrifice military families make and how their fathers influenced their decisions to serve in the military. We also recognized Kayley as the Brand Champion of the Month for her outstanding motivation and her leadership in developing fellow Brand Champions. We currently have over 70 Brand Champions and are actively looking for more Brand Champions to help spread the Sword & Plough mission in their local communities. We had several pop up shops in New York, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Michigan this month and look forward to having more around the country this summer!

In addition to hiring for Brand Champions, we are also hiring for veteran sewers, a photography intern, a blogging intern, and a logistician. Apply today or share with a friend who might be interested!

At Sword & Plough, we give 10% of our earnings to veteran nonprofit organizations. One organization we actively support is Got Your 6.

Got Your 6 unites nonprofit, Hollywood, and government partners to empower veterans. Like Sword & Plough, Got Your 6 believes that veterans are leaders, team builders, and problem solvers who have the unique potential to strengthen communities across the country. As a coalition, Got Your 6 works to integrate these perspectives into popular culture, engage veterans and civilians together to foster understanding, and empower veterans to lead in their communities. Got Your 6 and its partners are shifting public perceptions so that veterans’ leadership and skills are recognized and utilized at home to strengthen communities. We were proud to share Got Your 6’s #Shesbadass public service announcement on our Facebook page this month bringing awareness to the contributions of female servicemembers.

If you want to learn more about Sword & Plough, NowThis and NowThisHer ran a wonderful video clip about Sword & Plough’s journey and social impat. It surpassed one million views in June alone! You can watch it here!  

We will be back next month with more!

Cheers,

The Sword & Plough Team


 

Posted in Field Notes, Military, social mission, Veteran

Brand Champion of the Month - Kayley Nammari

Posted on June 23, 2017 by Sword & Plough

Brand Champion of the Month

This month we recognize Kayley Nammari's dedication and outstanding work as an S&P Brand Manager.

Kayley Nammari

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? Where did you study? What is your family like?

I’m an Army brat through and through. I was born in Missouri, and moved around the States to different Army installations thanks to my dad. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Hail Varsity!), moved to Houston for my civilian job, met my husband there, and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, three years ago after my father-in-law was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I have a LARGE family and married into a LARGE family. My dad is one of 14 so I have more cousins than I can name off the top of my head. My husband’s family is Irish Catholic on his mom’s side and Palestinian on his father’s side. I love how this makes my four year old son so unique! I’m also expecting a baby, my second son, in September! I also have a goal of one day earning my PhD, possibly at OU in Political Science, and work in the Intelligence field in a more academic role.

What made you decide to be a Sword & Plough Brand Manager? What is it about the products/brand you love?  

I first found S&P when I did a Google search in 2014 for a bag made in the USA. I immediately fell for the Wool Handbag, and sent my dad the link after he asked me what I would like for Christmas. I then followed the company like a drone on a target, and when I saw an Instagram post about the Brand Manager program, I applied! Being a veteran, the mission of the company spoke to me in a very personal way, and I wanted to share that mission’s message with others.

What has been the most rewarding experience of being a Sword & Plough Community Brand Manager?  

To me, it’s not about the amount of sales I generate; instead, it’s about the reach I can have. I have met so many veterans since becoming a Brand Manager and sharing S&P’s mission. The material of the products catches their eyes, and then they begin to share an inkling of who they are. I’ve met retired Generals, Purple Heart recipients, and female veterans who joined the military when women were segregated to their own separate basic training.  It’s an honor and a privilege to shake their hands and hear their stories! It’s the most rewarding part of being a Brand Manager by far.

One of the hopes for the Community Brand Manager program is that each member will leverage their own entrepreneurial spirit. What creative ways have you employed to reach customers?   

Perhaps this harkens back to my time as an NCO, but to me, I’m only as successful as the entire team is successful. If I find a way to generate sales efficiently, I share it with the other Brand Managers. In the Army, at the conclusion of a mission, you have what is called an AAR (after action review) that highlights three sustains and three improves. I do my own version of an AAR after I do a show and share this with the other Brand Managers via Instagram Stories. I honestly state what I thought went well and what could be improved upon. My goal is that by sharing these insights with others, the team as a whole will be successful and reach customers in ways they may not have thought of.

Can you please share what has been your favorite experience/memory working with a Sword & Plough customer?

I had a man come up to me at the last show I did, and ask me if I was a veteran. I responded with a yes, and a huge smile crossed his face. He told me that I would appreciate what he had to show me and pulled out his phone. As he flipped through photos searching for the one he was hunting for, he explained he was a veteran and his son was now in the Air Guard. He then found the photo and proudly showed the screen to me. What I found myself looking at was a restored WWII medic Jeep. This man told me how he and his son found the Jeep in a farmer’s field, bought it, and had restored it together. The project created a deeper bond between then and allowed for the father to share his war stories with his son. He then profusely thanked me for listening and for my service. No, he didn’t buy anything, but by noticing the military surplus material, he felt comfortable enough to share a very personal story with me, a complete stranger. What a privilege! Hearing stories like this one is what I enjoy most about being a Brand Manager.

What Sword & Plough product is your favorite and why?

While I love my wool handbags, I find myself wearing my Brass Bar + Circle Necklace whenever I can. It’s just so chic! But beside the look of the necklace, it’s the story behind it that truly makes me enjoy wearing the piece. I wish I had just an ounce of creativity like Shanna because what she does with .50 caliber ammo casing is just beautiful.

Who is someone who inspires you and why?

I inspire myself. That may come across as a bit egocentric, but I was tiny kid who was bullied in school. When you’re small in size, not very athletic, and smart, childhood and adolescence can be difficult. When I joined the Army, I learned that my size had nothing to do with my abilities to succeed, but I had to LEARN that. I once was told that my brother was the brawn and I was the brain; the Army taught me that I can be both. When I ran my first marathon in 2014, I cried when I crossed the finish line because I did it. I just ran 26.2 miles without stopping! That was my way of proving that I can do anything regardless of the challenge at hand. I’ve ran two more marathons since then and have two more lined up for next year after I recover from the birth of my second son. I inspire me daily.

Tell us about your military service. Why did you serve, where did you serve, and what did you do.

I enlisted in the Army Reserve when I was 19. I was motivated by two factors: 1) my dad served 31 years in the Army and it changed his life for the better, and 2) student loan debt scared the hell out of me. I became a 96B (now 35F), an Intelligence Analyst, and garnered time as an NCO before receiving my direct commission into the Officer Corps when I graduated from university. Becoming a 2LT was both incredibly rewarding on a personal level and incredibly humbling on a military level. No one likes a LT! I separated from the Army after almost 10 years of service as an All Source Intelligence Officer and at the rank of CPT, my speciality being targeting terrorists specifically in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. I always say that joining the Army was the best decision I ever made, and that is no exaggeration. I found a wealth of self-confidence that I was severely lacking through the leadership skills the Army teaches. I met and served alongside the most selfless and brilliant individuals, all of whom taught me life lessons and made me a better soldier. Because I joined the Army, the skills I attained led me to Houston, to my husband, and eventually to my son. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not raised my right hand one frigid Nebraska winter day and taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Nineteen year olds often make poor, rash decisions; however, this time I like to think I proved that wrong.

Tell us about the service members in your life and your connection to them.   

My dad, Charlie Obermier, served 31 years in the Army before retiring in 2008. He has been all over the world, through Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2009, the Army named that year the year of the NCO. I remember I had just joined a new unit in Texas and was asked to stand in front of my brigade and name the NCO that has influenced me the most; I named my dad. He’s a force to be reckoned with!

My brother, Taylor, also served in the Army Reserve. Like me, he enlisted when in the middle of university and became a MP (Military Police). My brother was made for the Army and excelled at every task and mission. He humbly served in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, and is now separated from the military.

I have numerous cousins that have served or are currently serving in the military. My dear cousin, Kyle Pankau, serves in the Virginia National Guard as an Artillery CPT; my cousin, Abbie Obermier, is currently in Baghdad serving in the Army Reserve; my cousin, Josh Obermier, is an incredible active duty Marine and embodies military values to the tee. My beloved Papa, Raymond Pankau, served in the Army during WWII in the Pacific. He’s now almost 96, still as whip smart as ever, and beginning to share what his time in the war was like. He’s truly an incredibly man, and I adore him. And there are so many more! I am so proud to be a part of a family that serves!

What, if any, experience did you have that made you feel like the Brand Champion program was a good fit for you? What advice would you give to someone who is just starting as a Brand Champion or thinking about applying?

I believe in the the good of Sword & Plough. It’s that simple. It’s a GOOD company founded by GOOD people. This simplicity is difficult to find anymore. If you want to be a Brand Manager, you have to believe in the goodness of S&P, you have to want to be a part of the mission, you have to truly want to empower veterans and their employment. I’m not selling a product, I’m selling a message. You have to go out there and share with civilians that there are ways to support veterans that they might not have heard of: like buying goods made by veterans out of recycled military surplus. Embody the goodness that is Sword & Plough and you’ll find that the Brand Champion is an excellent fit for you! It is for me, and I enjoy it immensely!

Posted in Brand Champion of the Month, Brand Champion Program, Military, Veteran

Dear Dad - Thank you for your service

Posted on June 18, 2017 by Sword & Plough

- A Father's Day tribute by Brand Champion Veronica Bryant -
 

My dad, now in his mid-sixties, spends a considerable amount of time reflecting on his life.

At this point, he’s accomplished all the things listed on the societal checklist of success: his marriage has lasted four decades, he’s raised four children, and retired after a remarkable career in the United States Army with a little less than forty years of service under his belt.

Yet, in several of our recent conversations I heard my dad wondering if he had made a mistake somewhere along the line.  Like many military parents, my dad stomachs the guilt of having been absent for large parts of his children’s childhoods. Whether it be for deployments, field exercises, or simply nights assigned as the staff duty officer, my dad missed birthdays, anniversaries, sports games, and proms. His job in the Army also meant picking up our family and moving every two years—if we were lucky—across the country. As a family, we left behind friends, schools, and opportunities in support of my dad’s military career.

From his perspective, it is easy to see all the hurt—the resentment for having to attend four different high schools, the disappointment of cancelled vacations, the fear of the unknown which inevitably came with each move. It’s evident that my dad sometimes feels his service to his nation was a disservice to his family. While his perspective is true, what is suggests is not; the greatest gift my dad has ever given to his children is his service to his country.

In 1969, my dad was an afro wearing, rock ‘n roll listening teenager living in San Francisco. Faced with a draft number for Vietnam and an opportunity to attend the United States Military Academy, he chose the latter in hopes of having a little more control over his inevitable military service. What began as a plan to “five and fly” (serve his minimum five year contract to the Army before transitioning to a civilian job) led to 39 total years of active duty service.

During those years, I was privileged to grow up in the military community. As a “brat”, the affectionate term used to describe children of military service members, I made lifelong friends with kids all over the country. I was raised on bases whose added security measures allowed me to play uninterrupted until the sun went down. I saw more of the world in fifteen years than some people see in their whole lives.

When my dad finally retired, crocodile tears ran down my face during the entire ceremony. The presiding officer jokingly suggested that if leaving the Army made me that sad, I could always join up myself—he “knew a guy.” But the joke was on him and my dad was the first person to laugh when I rejected the acceptance letter from my previous first choice school, a small liberal arts women’s college, in favor of attending the United States Military Academy Preparatory School.

It was there which I realized the values which my dad had engrained in me as a child were the same values that the Army had engrained in him as a young Soldier. Hard work wasn’t optional. Neither was integrity or honor. Most importantly, my dad raised me with the understanding that I was part of something bigger than myself—nowhere is the value of selfless service seen, or practiced, more than in lives of the service members and families in our armed forces. Regardless of whether I had joined the Army or not, these beliefs were imperative to my development as both a good citizen and a good person.

This isn’t to say that my military upbringing totally set me up for success in the real world. It wasn’t until high school that I realized most families don’t set up rally points when splitting up in the grocery store. Or that “tracking” and “roger” weren’t normally used in everyday conversation. Most embarrassingly, all those moves as a child (and the requirement to continually make new friends) left me with an overt friendliness that can be a little disconcerting to strangers.

All jokes aside, there are things about being a military child that are challenging. But when I think about my childhood, the things I tend to remember about my dad aren’t the birthdays or the sports games he missed. I remember helping him shape his beret. I remember the excitement of welcoming my dad home from his deployment. I remember watching in awe as he addressed his troops.

I don’t harbor resentment or disappointment; I swell with pride and gratitude.

To all the military fathers (especially mine),

On this Father’s Day, I’d like to tell you thank you. Thank you for serving both your country and your family.

- Veronica Bryant

 

 

Posted in Father's Day, Military, Veteran

Happy Father's Day, Sarg. Thank you for screaming.

Posted on June 18, 2017 by Sword & Plough

- A Father's Day tribute by Brand Champion Kayley Nammari -

When I was six years old, I heard my dad scream. Really scream. Grown man kind of scream.

You never forget the time your dad screamed.

Out of pain.

My dad, Charlie Obermier, had just completed his final ruck march of Air Assault School at Fort Hood, Texas. It was July of 1992. The Army still had black leather boots and dark camo BDUs as the uniform. One mile into his final ruck march, a strap on his ruck tore apart. My dad, being my dad, wrapped the broken strap around his hand, and held it in place for the many more miles he had to complete for time. In black leather boots. In the humid heat of Texas summer day.

My dad completed his ruck march. He graduated from Air Assault School. But he screamed when he got home.  He screamed in pain after he untied those black leather boots and peeled off those wool socks and stepped into the hot, steaming shower. My dad’s feet were raw from broken blisters. The pain of that moment, as I sat at the kitchen table, is forever seared into my memory as it is in his.

That is my dad, The Sarg, the man who stops at nothing to reach his intended target.  No blister, no broken ruck, nothing will beat him down. This is the man who taught me that a little water and some Vitamin M (Motrin) are all a person needs to get back into the game. There are no excuses. Sleep is a crutch. Toilet paper is a crutch. Cold water is a crutch. You get out there and you give it your all until you reach the finish line. That is my dad.

I thought of my dad whenever I felt my spirit slipping during any Army training. I wore his dog tag around my neck with my own as a reminder that The Sarg paved the way when the odds were against him. When I could make an excuse, even if that excuse was a fractured right hip, I would think, “What would Dad do? Choose the hard right or the easy wrong?” The answer was always “the hard right”…along with some water and Motrin.

Because when you’re six years old and putting together your Little Mermaid puzzle for the umpteenth time and hear a piercing scream coming from your soldier of a father, you suck it up and power through any life circumstance the future may hold.

Happy Father’s Day, Sarg. Thank you for screaming.

Kayley Nammari

Posted in Father's Day, Military, Veteran

Sword & Plough's Notes from the Field: May 2017

Posted on June 01, 2017 by Sword & Plough

The month has been one amazing journey!

After winning the FedEx Small Business Grant we have been spending time with some incredible media outlets, telling them the Sword & Plough journey, sharing where we started, how we grew, and where we are going. Our media highlights this month included The Today Show, NBC Latino,The Nightly Business Report on PBS, Fox32 KDVR,  Colorado’s Own Channel 2, Martha Stewart, and She is Fierce Blog.

We also announced that we have teamed up with the Speakers Boutique for speaking engagements. Speakers Boutique offers a variety of impressive speakers from diverse backgrounds and we are pleased to work with them. We can’t wait to hopefully share our story with you at your next event!

We already have a few speaking events planned! Our next one is today, June 1st in Boise, Idaho with Mission43! Mission43 is a partnership of the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation and four premier veterans organizations designed to give veterans and military spouses in Idaho (the 43rd state) the resources for a successful transition after leaving the service. By bringing together these world-class organizations, Idaho's post-9/11 servicemen, women, and their spouses have the resources to excel academically, in their next career, and in the community.

This month our co-founders, Emily & Betsy, were honored to join the Mission Continues in San Francisco, CA for Armed Forces Day. Sword & Plough donated $1,000 and over 50 of our popular sunglasses cases to the 50 women veterans who attended the Women’s Leadership Summit. The focus of the summit was how women veterans can successfully transition into the civilian workforce after leaving the military. In addition to the engaging panels, all of the women volunteered with a service project that helped beautify the India Basin Shoreline Park.

When we weren’t at speaking events and media interviews this month, we were working on our new Denver showroom display (our grand opening will be in the month of June - details to follow!!!), traveling to visit our veteran owned manufacturers, and visiting veteran and artist Shanna in Kentucky. Shanna and her partner Fred make all of our jewelry out of repurposed bullet casings. Our jewelry was a big hit for Mother’s Day and we are thrilled to hear your feedback. Keep posting pictures - we love seeing and knowing what you think!!!

It won’t be long before Father’s Day and we have a few suggestions for what your dad will love this year. Our best sellers around Father’s Day are all under $80 so if you haven’t found that perfect gift for Dad (or for the Grad in your life), check out our belts, cufflinks, travel kits, and collection of wallets. For Sword & Plough student fans, we are proud to announce a 15% student discount.

This month we were excited to expand Sword & Plough’s presence by partnering with Shop Seventy West. Shop Seventy West is a mobile boutique in the Denver, Colorado area. Next time you’re in town, keep an eye out for this cool new fashion truck and check out its offering of Sword & Plough products!

We welcomed more Brand Champions to our program in May and were pleased to announce our first Brand Champion of the Month, Dawn Boyle. The Sword & Plough Brand Champion position is a part-time, remote sales and brand ambassador role. It is a grassroots way to bring Sword & Plough to the heart of your community, expand S&P’s impact, and for us to give back to our amazing supporters. It also allows you to see the products in person before you buy. Check out the event in Tulsa, Oklahoma that Brand Champion Kayley Nammari attended this past month. We have Brand Champions in 37 states and are actively looking to employ more. If you would like to know more about the program and be considered, we would love to share details! In addition to Brand Champions, we are also looking to hire sewers, a logistics associate, a quality assurance finishing associate, and blogging interns.

Thanks for all your support! We look forward to updating you next month!

Cheers,

The Sword & Plough Team

Posted in Field Notes, Monthly Update

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