The Blog

Brand Champion of the Month - Megan Zelinski

Posted on December 29, 2017 by Sword & Plough | 0 Comments

Brand Champion of the Month

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

Megan Zelinski

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

I grew up on a farm near Ann Arbor, Michigan. I attended Northern Michigan University for their zoology program, and it was there I met my husband, Simon. The Upper Peninsula is also where we adopted our 5-year-old Pitador, Bentley. He brings so much happiness into my life. After graduating from NMU in 2013, we got stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. There, I worked at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in the Rocky Shores/Tundra area. Currently, we are stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and will be transitioning to Fort Bragg, North Carolina within the month!

What three words would describe you and why?

Hard-working: My Father instilled a hard work ethic in me at an early age. I define my goals, and find the challenges rewarding. One of my favorite aspects of being a Brand Champion is the initiative afforded to me to be successful.

Passionate: Animal science has always been my thing. Working at Point Defiance Zoo has been a life changing experience for me. I am so thankful for the knowledge I gained in marine mammal conservation and husbandry. I would do anything for those animals and I will forever be teaching others what we can do to help out our planet.

Thoughtful: I have always been empathetic towards others and I enjoy listening to what they have to say. I believe everyone has the right to their own opinions.

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

Currently, I work at an animal hospital as a Veterinarian Assistant. I have also spent time over the past few months volunteering at the Endangered Wolf Center near St. Louis, Missouri. Managing both requires a lot of planning and time management but I enjoy the variety!

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

I first heard about Sword and Plough on the NBC news. Immediately, I knew I had to be a part of such an amazing organization that not only empowers veteran employment but repurposes material! I absolutely adore the environmental impact of reducing waste and our carbon footprint on the world.

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

It is most rewarding to see how people respond to our mission and how it relates to their life. I’ve had many people share their military experiences as well as those who explain what they do in their lives to repurpose or conserve. It’s all about seeing faces light up and knowing that people will tell others about Sword and Plough’s mission. Communicating ways we can make a positive change is imperative.

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

Whenever I am out and about, I always have my wool crossbody; people love hearing what it’s made of. In addition, I make sure to carry my business cards with me, so that it’s easy for others to go online later and see all of our products.

Who is the most interesting veteran you know and why?

My grandfather is the most interesting veteran I know. He was born in 1918 and grew up with 10 siblings. I admire him because he has always had strong principles. He taught me that in life it’s important to work hard and always be honest. His laugh is contagious, and he tells the best stories. Most importantly, I love the kind of partner he has been to my grandmother 75+ years.

Sword & Plough recently announced their Giving Partners. What Giving Partner is your favorite and why?

My favorite giving partner is Paws for Vets (bet you didn’t see that one coming). Canines add a quantifiable degree of quality and purpose to the lives of the humans they share their lives with. You can never truly have a bad day when you come home to a dog. Training shelter dogs to assist veterans as they make their way through the world, is an honorable mission.

What Sword & Plough product is your favorite and why?

Currently, the signature zip top tote bag is my absolute favorite product! You could fit your whole house in it if you wanted to. It’s durable and versatile; ideal for any adventure!

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

Harold, my grandfather served in the Army during WWII as a technician 5th class in the Pacific Coastal Frontier Defense under the Western Defense Command.

Simon, my husband is a prior service medic, currently an Army captain with 9 years in service.

Rudy, my brother-in-law spent 4 years active duty in Fort Lewis and is now a Sergeant in the Michigan Army National Guard while completing his business degree at Northern Michigan University.

George, my brother-in-law is a specialist with 3 years currently stationed in Germany.

Frances, my sister-in-law is a Private First Class serving in the Michigan Army National Guard while getting her degree in nursing at Northern Michigan University.

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?

Honestly, this has been a whole new experience for me which has made it exciting. I feel blessed to be able to represent a company that has such inspiring team members and a positive mission. I would advise those who might be thinking of joining our family to reach out for inspiration. The whole team is always willing to help!

Megan Zelinski


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

Sword & Plough Notes from the Field: November 2017

Posted on December 08, 2017 by Sword & Plough | 0 Comments

 

This was such an exciting month! In celebration of Veterans Day, Sword & Plough announced an impactful update to our giving model! Since launching in 2013, Sword & Plough has donated 10% of our profits every year to veteran organizations that align with our mission to empower veterans and strengthen civil-military understanding. Now, Sword & Plough customers can see which veteran non-profit organization their purchase will benefit via the description on each product page.  

We are thrilled to be able to further support impactful veteran organizations through this initiative including Got Your Six, Team RWB, Team Rubicon, Green Beret Foundation, The Mission Continues, The Pat Tillman Foundation, Green Vets LA, and Pets for Vets. Our donations to these organization help provide scholarships for veterans and their children, match veterans with companion dogs, support disaster relief missions, fund women veteran leadership events, and provide job training for veterans. You can check out Sword & Plough’s product pages and Giving Partners Page to learn more!

In addition to these donations, we have also donated more than $35,000 worth of Sword & Plough products to charitable veteran organizations. These in-kind donations have helped support over 100 additional veteran related initiatives in areas of employment, education, health, housing, and leadership.

These non-profits actively work to bring awareness and resources to the veteran community. In the same vein, we are working to bridge the civil-military divide through our most recent initiative, the Uniform Donation Program. We are now recycling old military uniforms and incorporating the material into the production of our bags to include the Limited Edition Uniform Tote! Each uniform donor will receive 20% off their next Sword & Plough purchase and will have the opportunity to share the legacy of their or a family member's military service by submitting a short bio to be posted on our website. This program is a great way for Sword & Plough to share the stories of uniform donors and to give these uniforms a new life.

As veterans felt it was their duty to serve, we at Sword & Plough feel it is our responsibility to bring awareness to the important narrative of how veterans are leaders, problems solvers, and incredible assets to companies through our products, donations and awareness campaigns.

We were also excited to conduct several pop-up shops across the country in November! We held pop up shops in Nevada, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Texas, Michigan, South Carolina, Alabama, New Jersey, and Colorado. We are always so excited to see you in your home state and encourage you to visit our social media pages for updates on where we will be next. Each of the pop-up shops are hosted by a Sword & Plough Brand Champion who has ties to the local community. To learn more about the Brand Champion program, check out our recent feature on Teresa Straley, our Brand Champion of the Month!

We are so grateful for all the organizations that are helping us spread the word about the Sword & Plough brand. Thank you to Mic, FedEx, Weight Watchers, DailyMom, The Everygirl, Reader’s Digest, We Are the Mighty, Humans on the Homefront, CauseArtist, PCSGrades, and Fox News who featured Sword & Plough’s story, mission, and products this past month! We were especially thrilled to join host, Maria Bartiromo, on Fox News Mornings with Maria and encourage you to check out the video clip!


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Posted in Field Notes, social mission, Veteran, Veteran Non Profits, Veteran Owned

Brand Champion of the Month - Teresa Straley

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Sword & Plough | 0 Comments

Brand Champion of the Month

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

Teresa Straley 

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

I was born and raised in Chambersburg, PA. I still live in the area and raised all three of my children here.

What three words would describe you and why?

Talented - My friends always tell me I have a very crafty side as well as a great fashion sense. I guess I just know what I like. It’s my way of expressing myself.

Hard working - I was a single mom for most of my children’s lives. I’ve always worked full time, and have had a side job for a good many years. As I watch my children grow into adulthood, I think that is one of the best qualities I have passed on to them.

Dedicated - I give everything I do my all. And if I set my mind to do something, I’m gonna do it.

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

I work full time as a Marketer for a Senior Living Community. It’s a job that I absolutely love!  We have about 160 seniors that live here, from Independent to advanced Dementia. They make my job 100% fulfilling.

I guess I’ve always been good at time management because I’ve had to be. With my children grown, it gives me a little more flexibility to dedicate to Sword & Plough. And I think if you are passionate about something, you can make it work.

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

My oldest graduated from high school last year. I’ve been trying to find a good match for me to give back. I’ve been most interested in something related to the military, as I come from a military family, and especially after my oldest joined the Air Force. When I saw Emily and Betsy on The Today Show in the spring, I think I knew I found my match. I did some research and loved what I saw.

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

I did an event at an Armory a few weeks ago in Carlisle, PA. I guess seeing all the active duty service men and women, and meeting some of their spouses, seeing their interest in what we stand for and what we do, that hit home. My father, brothers, grandfather, son….all of them share an unbreakable bond. That’s what is rewarding for me.

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

I carry the product with me at all times.  I actually attached a wristlet strap to my crossbody and carry it as my wallet.

I am in a lot of Vendor groups on Facebook so that has enabled me to find a lot of local events.

Who is the most interesting veteran you know and why?

Well of course I have to say my son Coltin. His choice to join the Air Force wasn’t something that he had planned through life, so when it happened, I think his father and I were a little shocked. But as in everything he does, he put complete effort into it. He served 6 months in Honor Guard, probably one of the things I am most proud of. He did a year tour at Kunsan AFB in Korea. He’s only been out for about 3 months and has already passed his Florida real estate test and gotten a job as a Realtor. This is such a testament to the transition from military to civilian workforce. He is also now classified as disabled, but he doesn’t let that slow him down. He takes life by the horns and continues to push forward and succeed.

What veteran cause do you care about the most and why?

Disabled Veterans. My son’s disabilities are minimal. We were very fortunate that he never saw combat. When I sit and watch real life war movies on TV, the thought of what those soldiers and their families have had to endure...my heart just aches for them. We as Americans need to offer more support, and be thankful every day for others’ sacrifices for our freedom.

What Sword & Plough product is your favorite and why?

My favorite today, which will be my next purchase, is the Camo Zip Top Tote. My coworker just bought the one out of my kit and I admit, I’m jealous.

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

As I mentioned, I come from a military family. Aside from my son, my dad is a Vet and my brothers were both in the military. My grandfather was a POW on a war train, contracted TB and passed away when my mother was a toddler. I can’t imagine how hard life was in the 40’s for my grandmother to be a single mother with two babies to raise.  

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 think all of my life experiences make S&P a great fit. Not only my connection to most branches of the service through family and friends, but my 25 years of Direct Sales gives me the edge on marketing our brand.  

The best advice I can give is let your own experiences show through your passion. I’ve always said, I’m not a sales person. What I sell is what I believe in. Sword & Plough has the potential to continue to do amazing things while supporting our Armed Forces and service members.


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

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

Posted on November 02, 2017 by Sword & Plough | 5 Comments

 

Emily and Besty and Mil Blogging

One of the things we are most proud of here at Sword & Plough is our commitment to strengthening civil-military understanding. Our team knows that veterans are highly skilled technical professionals, problem solvers, and proven leaders who are empowering assets to civilian communities and companies. Through our social media, email, blog, conversation starting products, and public speaking opportunities, we work to educate others about the incredible value that veterans provide. This month CEO and COO, Emily Núñez Cavness​ and Betsy Núñez, participated in several events highlighting the civil-military divide and lessons learned in entrepreneurship.

Betsy kicked off the month at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City as a judge at the Bob Evans “Heroes to CEO's” award event. The winners included inspiring veteran-owned brands Fan Food, Mutt’s Sauce, and Vet Veggies. Emily and Betsy helped select the winners of the competition and joined Bob Evans leadership, The Mission Continues team, and Shark Tank’s Daymond John at the NYC event to recognize the winners. All three winners received a $25,000 business grant and a business coaching session with Daymond John.

While Betsy was in New York City with emerging veteran entrepreneurs, Emily was in Boston, Massachusetts at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit. The 2017 Forbes Under 30 is the most definitive gathering of today’s leading young changemakers and innovators in the U.S. Now in its sixth year, the 30 Under 30 offers an annual opportunity to embrace the optimism, inventiveness, and boldness of youth. In 2015, Sword & Plough​ co-founders were recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30​ list. This year, Emily spoke about her experiences as an entrepreneur during and after her military service. She was joined on stage by Kathryn Dill of CNBC, Jayson Browder of Veterans in Global Leadership, and Felix W. Ortiz III of Viridis. Meeting fellow veteran entrepreneurs and changemakers is one of Emily’s favorite things about leading at Sword & Plough!

After the Forbes 30 Under 30 summit, Emily and Betsy journeyed to Texas to participate in the MilBlogging conference. Emily was the keynote speaker and spoke to an audience of over 400 attendees and 35 other speakers. The audience was comprised of veterans, military spouses, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and content creators. Emily shared the story of Sword & Plough and how it has grown from an idea to a viral social enterprise. She also shared many of the lessons she and Betsy have learned as social entrepreneurs, inspiring others to take action on their own great ideas.

After Texas, Emily headed to Wisconsin where she spoke at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater campus. The lecture was a part of the contemporary issues lecture series and was open to the public. Emily spoke about the civil military divide, how Sword & Plough bridges the gap, and how all citizens can work together to strengthen understanding by staying informed on matters of national security, starting meaningful conversations, focusing on how veterans are empowering assets and leaders, and forming relationships through shared experiences like those offered at veteran non-profit organizations such as Got Your 6, Team Red, White & Blue, Team Rubicon and The Mission Continues. Emily also met with a class earlier that day where she answered students’ questions about how she started Sword & Plough and balanced that with active-duty military service. Emily loves opportunities to share her experiences as an entrepreneur and military officer with all audiences and especially students, since she was a college student when she thought of the idea for Sword & Plough.

In addition to the exciting speaking events around the country, Sword & Plough held pop up shops during the month of October in Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Check and follow our Facebook and Instagram pages daily for updates on where our next pop up shops will be held and for inspiration on great gifts to give this holiday season. We would also love for you to tag us in your next post! Use our hashtags #swordandplough and #repurposedforpurpose on Facebook or Instagram! Our pop up shops are hosted by our Brand Champion teammates. This month we recognized Robbin Alex as our Brand Champion of the month. We are so proud of Robbin!

The veteran charity Sword & Plough focused on this month is Ft. Hood Santa’s Workshop. Sword & Plough has donated over $35,000 worth of in-kind products to veteran causes and that includes a donation to Ft. Hood Santa’s Workshop. Fort Hood Santa’s Workshop is an organization that allows service member parents to select brand new toys, games and books for their children. Last year alone they ensured over 3,400 military children enjoyed a happier holiday. We encourage you to learn more about this organization and other veteran causes.

As always, thank you for all your support. We can’t wait to share more of our story with you next month!

Cheers,

The Sword & Plough team

 


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Posted in Field Notes, Military, social mission, Veteran

Brand Champion of the Month - Robbin Alex

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Sword & Plough | 0 Comments

Brand Champion of the Month

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

Robbin Alex 

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

I grew up a military brat….following my dad wherever the Navy took us. It was a great way to see the United States. I live in Papillion, NE.

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 retired from the military in 2017 after 30 years in the Army and Navy. I worked for the DoD as Chief of Quality Services at Ehrling Bergquist Clinic, retiring in September 2015. I don’t work another job, however, I volunteer my time to help fellow veterans and ensure no veteran is left behind. I have been volunteering as Omaha Chapter Captain for Team Red, White & Blue since May 2014 and started volunteering as a mentor for the Veteran Treatment Court (VTC) in January 2017.

I mentor two individuals once a week and go to court twice a month to represent them in front of the judge. Our mission is to reduce recidivism of those who served in the armed forces, are suffering from Mental Illness (PTSD and/or TBI), and are involved in the criminal court system. The ability to speak with fellow veterans who have “been there” offers the court participant an informal way to ask questions, solicit feedback & discuss how they are feeling about their situation. Mentors are court trained volunteers who have served in the military and are assigned by the VTC to work with veterans as they progress through the court system. The goal of the mentoring program is to offer a hand to a buddy who may have stumbled.

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

I read about S&P in a magazine article. Once I saw the product I went online and bought the Blue Mini Zip Top Tote. I was in love! I purchased the following products prior to becoming a Brand Champion: Camo Signature Zip Top Tote, Blue/Green Field Pack, Green Signature Rucksack, Grey Wool Cross Body-Brown leather.  

The company is veteran owned, I loved the mission, and when I saw they were looking for Brand Champions, I could not complete the form quick enough! I was missing something from my life since I left the military. I knew it would give me MCP (Mission, Challenge and Purpose). I love that the brand's items are repurposed for a purpose out of military surplus, that Sword & Plough is a veteran owned company, that they hire veterans, and that everything is AMERICAN made!! I fell in love with S&P from the moment I was introduced to it.

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

Showing the products to the community, discussing that they are repurposed for a purpose out military surplus, and talking about the mission. Talking about Betsy and Emily’s hard work to develop this company to build a bridge between the military and civilian community. I’m proud to tell everyone that these two brilliant entrepreneurs built it from the ground up.   

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

I love carrying my Camo Signature Zip Top tote bag with me everywhere. It is a great conversation starter. For the holidays I have added items to make a mini kit to show other items we carry such as Sword & Plough story cards, the Grey Wool Crossbody bag, the Black Leather Zip Clutch, the Screen Printed Clutch, Got Your 6 pins, the Mini Key Fob, and my Sword & Plough business cards.

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

I reconnected with an old friend on Facebook. We decided to meet for coffee and catch up. It has been 20+ years since we had last seen each other. We talked about our days in the military and as we were talking she noticed my Camo Signature Zip Top Tote bag and asked me about it. After showing her all the great reasons why I loved it and what it could be used for she was hooked. Shortly after we met she ordered her bag and loves it!

What Sword & Plough product is your favorite and why?

My Camo Signature Zip Top tote bag. It is so versatile! I carry it every day while doing my errands and shopping. It is great for travel with all the pockets, plus my laptop fits in it. In the summer it’s great for going to the pool with all items needed in one bag.

Are you a military spouse and/or a veteran? What is the most challenging aspect of being a military spouse and/or veteran? What is the most rewarding?

I am a military veteran who served in the Army and Navy for 30 years before retiring in 2007. The most challenging aspect of retiring was taking off the uniform. It was my identity for so long I didn’t really know who I was without the uniform. I had to invent myself as a civilian who is a veteran.

My spouse and I both served and other retired military servicemembers automatically recognize him as a veteran. When he tells them I served 30 years too (or I tell people) their reactions are “You’re a veteran?” I am still surprised. I know our country realizes there are women in our military, however, there is a stereotypical perception of what a female veteran looks like. Female veterans are from all walks of life, but we look just like everyone else.

What is something about being a military spouse and/or veteran you did not expect? 

When my dad was in the Navy the families were called dependents. I never understood that because my mom worked full time and took care of the house plus 4 kids and our grandmother when dad was deployed. I thought after he retired in 1974 and I joined the military it would have changed. However to this day family members are still referred to as dependents. Although through the years they have tried to change it to family members, old habits die hard. I have always believed they should be referred to as family members because you cannot be dependent on someone who is deployed. It takes a special kind of independence to do it all while they are gone! I always fought to remind staff why it is important to call them family members.

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

My husband Bill and I met when I was stationed at Ft Rucker, AL. I was an Army Nurse and he was in the Navy going through Naval Flight School in Pensacola, FL. I transferred to the Navy for love so my husband and I could be stationed together. We have been married for 23 ½ yrs. We figured out half of our marriage was spent separated because duty called. We knew when we married that it would not always be easy, however, we believed our love and support for each other would help us through everything. At times it was hard. Just like everyone else, you want to come first, however, we knew when we signed up it was going to be duty, honor and country with our love for each other.

I have a long history with military in my life. My dad was career Navy, my father-in-law was in the Navy, and both of my grandparents served in the military. Between everyone in my family, we have about 100 years military service.

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 am grateful for this opportunity to become a Veteran Brand Champion. Sword & Plough is a great brand and knowing that I am helping other veterans and the support from the whole team has made it a great fit. I have MCP (Mission Challenge and Purpose).

Go for the opportunities of a lifetime! Become a Brand Champion! You will never regret it. If you’re a new Brand Champion, reach out to other Brand Champions and ask questions or for guidance. We are all willing to share our experiences. Feel free to contact me anytime and I will share everything I can.

Robbin Alex - Team RWB 


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

Sword & Plough's Fall Bucket List

Posted on October 13, 2017 by Sword & Plough | 0 Comments

 

Fall Bucket list

Sword and Plough’s Fall Bucket List

10 Ways to Empower, Reduce, and Strengthen this Season

Does anyone else feel like October is the unofficial start of fall? Sure, the season technically kicks off in September, but it’s often too hot to break out the sweaters and spiced cider that early. We’re only a week into the new month, but the air already feels cooler and the leaves are finally (!!!) starting to change colors. To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of ten Sword and Plough suggested ways to make the most out of fall this year!

Inspired by the mission of Sword and Plough, you’ll find ways to empower yourself and your community, reduce waste, and strengthen the many relationships in your life:

  1. Buy New School Supplies: Without the momentum of a new school year, it’s easy to lose the “This is my year!” enthusiasm for starting new projects or developing a productive routine. This fall, tap into that back-to-school feeling by picking up a daily planner and a few of your favorite pens. Armed with the right tools, it’s easy to keep sight of (and crush!) your goals.
  2. Visit the Farmer’s Market: Shop at your local farmer’s market this fall knowing you’re getting the freshest, seasonal produce AND supporting the environment. Since most farmer’s markets require vendors to sell food produced within 200 miles of the site, farmer’s markets have a significantly smaller carbon footprint than big name grocery stores, which ship produce in from around the world. Another way to go green? Ditch the plastic bag in favor of a reuseable tote.
  3. Pick Pumpkins (or Apples!): It wouldn’t be a fall bucket list without mentioning a trip to a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard! You’ll get all the perks of a farmer’s market plus hay rides, freshly made doughnuts, and endless opportunities for the perfect fall photo.
  4. Warm Up your Wardrobe: The change of season presents a great opportunity to upgrade your wardrobe. Look for investment pieces that will become seasonal favorites and brands that offer lifelong repairs. Just make sure you upgrade your accessories too! Pair any outfit with our wool crossbody for automatic #fallgoals.
  5. Scare yourself Silly: Ghost stories, haunted houses, and horror movies are all great reminders that sometimes being a little scared is a good thing. Whether you decide to conquer a lifelong fear or just step outside of your comfort zone, challenge yourself to do something that scares you. Bonus points if it gives you goosebumps!
  6. DIY your Halloween Costume: Everyone loves a killer Halloween costume. But like a Zombie that just won’t die, discarded costumes can sit in landfills for up to 100 years before decomposing. But fear not! DIY your costume this year with items from your closet, some crafting material, and a dash of creativity. You’ll not only be doing your part to reduce waste, you’re guaranteeing a one of kind costume!
  7. Head to the Voting Booth: It’s easy to overlook Election Day when no one is running for President, but voting at the local level is just as important. As Americans, it’s our privilege to exercise our right to vote. So register now, read up on the issues, then rock your “I Voted” sticker with pride.
  8. Celebrate Veterans: If you're like us, you probably celebrate veterans everyday. But with hundreds of ways to get involved, commit to trying something new this Veterans Day. Usually volunteer? Visit a VA hospital. Never attended a Veterans Day parade? Make a sign and bring the whole family. Or, think about inviting a friend who may not know a lot about the military. A Veterans Day celebration is a fun way to strengthen ties within the community.  (Looking for ideas? Read about how Sword and Plough’s supports veterans here.)
  9. Write a Thank You Note: Thanksgiving is the perfect time to let friends and family know how grateful you are to have them in your life. Taking the extra time to write a handwritten thank you note adds a special touch, especially for loved ones you may not see in person this holiday season.
  10. Support a Small Business: Did you know that the first Saturday after Thanksgiving is officially known as Small Business Saturday? Show your support for local businesses by pledging to shop small that day. In doing so, you’ll be helping businesses like Sword and Plough continue their mission.

Fall Foliage

We’d love to follow along on your fall adventures! Tag us on social media or use the hashtag #SwordandPloughFBL each time you check an item off the list and we’ll share our favorites on our page.  

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veronica BryantVeronica Bryant is an active duty Army officer currently serving in South Korea. As a fourth generation Army officer and soon-to-be fourth generation military spouse, she was immediately drawn to the mission of Sword and Plough. She loves being a Sword and Plough brand champion for so many reasons, including that it allows her to give back to the community that has supported her since birth. Her other favorite thing about Sword and Plough? “Only Sword and Plough can make me want to wear camo off duty!" 

 


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Posted in American Made, Bucketlist, Fall, Fall Fashion, Veteran Owned

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

Posted on October 06, 2017 by Sword & Plough | 1 Comment

 

Fedex

Fall is in the air and even though we were sad to say goodbye to summer, we are ready to kick off the new season! Fall brings things like National Hispanic Heritage month and new wardrobe options!

If you have not checked out our newly released fall fashion line, read Brand Champion Veronica’s latest blog post for more details!

As we mentioned, this month we joined America in celebrating Hispanic Heritage. Sword & Plough is a Hispanic women-owned business founded by our CEO and COO, Emily and Betsy. Emily and Betsy will be participating in speaking events around the country this year and we encourage you to learn more about their story. The next opportunity to hear Emily speak will be at the Military Influencer Conference in Dallas, Texas on October 23-24, 2017.

Emily and Betsy also attended the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest Summit earlier this month as the Grand Prize recipient! FedEx hosted an impactful and meaningful weekend with all ten Small Business Grant Contest award recipients. Emily and Betsy loved getting to know the founders, whose industry focuses ranged from healthy food with Funky Fresh Spring Rolls to STEM science kits for girls with Yellow Scope. The FedEx team asked the attending founders what logistics challenges they were facing and shared ideas about how FedEx could help provide solutions. One of the best parts of the summit was touring the FedEx Hub where thousands of packages are sorted every minute! We’re thrilled to work with an organization that supports small businesses and veterans, and so happy to be part of the FedEx family.

In addition to the major milestone of attending the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest Summit event this month, Sword & Plough created 300 custom Screen Printed Tote bags for the crew of Florentine Films. Florentine Films produced the landmark documentary The Vietnam War, which was directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. This must see documentary is an 18 part series that features testimonies from nearly 80 witnesses, including many who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both winning and losing sides. We would love to make your custom gift for your next event or conference. Email us at info@swordandplough.com and we can discuss the best option for your group order.

If you want to check out our products in person, we continue to have pop up shops around the country. This month we held pop up shops in Minnesota, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Keep checking our Facebook page for updates on where to find us in person next.

Since Sword & Plough’s launch in 2013, we have made it a priority to donate 10% of our profits to veteran non-profit organizations that align with our mission to empower veterans and strengthen civil-military understanding. This month we supported The Joel Fund which works to provide online resources to guide veterans and their families to organizations that offer assistance in key areas such as rehabilitation, recreation, community involvement, and career readiness programs.

We were featured this month in Colorado’s own magazine, 5280 Magazine and MilitarySpouse.com. The article in MilitarySpouse.com was written by our own Brand Champion, Veronica Bryant, and highlighted the Brand Champion program. If you are interested in learning more about the Brand Champion program, consider reading about Sword & Plough Brand Champion of the Month Melissa Musick.

We can’t wait to tell you more next month! Thank you for being part of the Sword & Plough community!


Cheers,
The Sword & Plough team


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Posted in eco-friendly fashion, ethical clothing companies, Fedex, Fedex Small Business Grant, Military, repurposed, social mission, sustainable clothing brands, urban bags, Veteran, Veteran Owned Business, Veteran-Owned Clothing Company, women in business

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