You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Local Army wife finds job tailored for military spouses

Urbana grad lands flexible work that can move when she does.

A bad local economy forced Urbana native Tyler Davisson to re-enlist in the Army in 2010, but his wife didn’t have a job for a couple of years for entirely different reasons.

Being a military spouse, Carly Davisson, who also grew up in Urbana, found it difficult in the area around Fort Drum, N.Y., to find work.

“They know you’re moving in a couple of years,” Carly Davisson said recently. “They don’t really want to have to replace you.”

Besides, townies near the base, she explained, frequently complained that “military spouses were trying to steal all the jobs.”

Enter R. Riveter, a designer handbag company started in 2011 by two military wives to give military spouses like Carly Davisson flexible — and mobile — employment.

On average, according to R. Riveter, military families are relocated every 2.9 years, making it difficult for the spouses to find jobs of their own.

Davisson, 31, was hired this past January and, like the other “riveters,” makes bag parts at home and then sends them on to be fabricated into a finished purse.

The 2000 Urbana High School graduate, whose husband is now based at Camp Frank D. Merrill near Dahlonega, Ga., spends her free time dyeing leather in the family garage for a line of bags that bear such military-savvy product names as “Mrs. Grant” and “Mrs. Abrams.”

Davisson had seen one of the company’s bags — made using surplus military gear like duffel bags, wool blankets and tents — at a neighbor’s place in military housing.

“I texted her and said, ‘I have to have one of those bags,’” she said.

The company currently employs 15 military spouses across the country and divides them into riveters — those who help construct the bags, like Davisson — and Rosies, the company’s independent sales reps.

Based in Dahlonega, the company obviously takes its name from Rosie the Riveter, the fictional propaganda icon who helped lure millions of women into the workforce during World War II to churn out ships and bombers.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” Davisson said.

In fact, when someone asked how much she made, she admittedly wasn’t even sure.

“It does not feel like work,” she said. “It’s like a hobby.”

For Davisson, it’s a chance to do something for herself while at the same time contributing to the family’s income.

The mother of two school-age children from a previous marriage, Davisson said she mostly spent her days after the kids went to school cleaning the house. She got a cat, she said, “so somebody was home with me.”

“I realized I’m always on the sidelines,” she said, “and I’m never doing anything for me.”

Sgt. Tyler Davisson, a 1999 graduate of Urbana High, did six years with the Army as a photographer out of high school before he came home and started working at Rittal.

After her first marriage, Carly migrated back home and ended up working at Rittal as well.

Married in 2009, the Davissons found themselves in a stressful situation a year later as they both faced reduced hours at work while trying to support a family.

“We decided him going back into the service was the best thing for us,” Carly Davisson said.

The only downside was that Tyler Davisson, then 30, was given two career choices — infantry or Special Forces — and neither included holding a camera like he’d hoped.

“He said, ‘OK, I’ll take one for the team.’ A week later, he was gone,” Carly Davisson said.

Assigned at first to the Third Brigade Combat Team at Fort Drum, Tyler Davisson eventually deployed to Afghanistan for a year.

Carly Davisson said she would be happy staying in Georgia, where her husband plays an adversarial role in combat exercises for soldiers training to be Rangers.

But, she imagines they’ll be moved again at some point. If so, she’ll take her new line of work with her.

She’s also likely to be a military spouse for a long time. Tyler Davisson now plans to retire from the Army.

“We’re all in,” she said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Some neighbors 'not surprised' after wife of Pulse nightclub shooter arrested
Some neighbors 'not surprised' after wife of Pulse nightclub shooter arrested

The FBI has arrested the widow of the gunman in the Pulse terror attack, charging her with aiding him in his plans and obstructing the investigation into the shooting, WFTV learned Monday. Noor Salman Mateen, 30, was married to Omar Mateen, 29, when he carried out his attack in Orlando last June. Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State...
WATCH: 7-year-old wows with spot-on Taylor Swift impression
WATCH: 7-year-old wows with spot-on Taylor Swift impression

A tiny Taylor Swift-in-training is making headlines with her fearless impression of the pop diva. According to Us Weekly, Xia Vigor, 7, wowed the judges and the audience on a recent episode of "Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids," a Filipino reality competition.
$850K mobile unit to combat high breast cancer rates in Clark County
$850K mobile unit to combat high breast cancer rates in Clark County

Community Mercy Health Partners has purchased an $850,000 mobile mammography unit to offer preventative services in Clark and Champaign counties after data revealed breast cancer rates in both counties are above the state average. The new vehicle will travel around the two counties to offer 3D and 2D mammograms to patients. Before its purchase, Community...
Wet morning commute, mild weather ahead this week
Wet morning commute, mild weather ahead this week

Rain will fall for first half of the day. There is a chance for a stray shower or a few sprinkles later this afternoon. Scattered showers at times through first half of day. Temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above normal all week. Rounds of rain towards end of week. TODAY: The bulk of the steady rain ends around noon. Breezy through the day....
Monica Crowley passes on Trump White House post amid plagiarism allegations
Monica Crowley passes on Trump White House post amid plagiarism allegations

Monica Crowley will not be joining the Trump administration as previously believed, The Washington Times reported Monday. “After much reflection, I have decided to remain in New York to pursue other opportunities and will not be taking a position in the incoming administration,” Crowley said in a statement to the Times...
More Stories