DENVER (CBS4) – Betsy and Emily Nunez say military has always been a part of their life. After years of moving around Colorado is home.
“There’s this amazing sense of community you have growing up in the military as military kids,” Emily said.
A father with 30 years of service paired with that sense of community inspired Emily’s move into the Army working as an intelligence officer.
“They were able to give back through military service, and I knew that was something I wanted to do in my life,” she said.
That experience is also the driving force behind their company, Sword & Plough.
An endeavor they started on more than seven years ago just before Emily was graduating college and would be deploying to Afghanistan.
“She said ‘What would you think if I were to turn this Army ROTC tent into a tote bag?’ and I was just immediately intrigued by what was going on in her mind,” Betsy said.
Now they make a variety of bags and accessories using that and a whole host of other military surplus material from old uniforms, parachutes even shell casings. Their mission to repurpose for a purpose.
“It doesn’t look anything like where it came from,” Emily said displaying one of their money clips made from a .50 caliber casing.
Every item is made by a veteran-owned or partially veteran-owned company, and Emily and Betsy give ten percent of everything they make back to service members and their families through a number of different veteran nonprofit organizations.
“From bunker labs which helps military veterans start their own companies, to pets for vets which pairs military members with companion animals,” Emily said.
While the success of their company is its own reward, giving back to the family that raised them is priceless.
“We have this incredible opportunity to have impact, and with so many choices out there I think that people want to really use their dollar to support companies that are making a difference,” Betsy said.
LINK: Sword & Plough
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.