By: Veronica Bryant
Meet the Socially Conscious Fashion Brand that Supports Veterans (Plus, Learn How YOU Can Join Their Team!)
In 2012, when co-founders and sisters Emily Núñez Cavness and Betsy Núñez started their socially conscious fashion brand Sword & Plough, it was a family affair.
Emily, an active duty Army officer at the time, had the idea to recycle old military surplus into bags and other accessories. Betsy helped launch the business. And their mother, Judy Núñez, created the first prototype—a design that would later become the brand’s inspiration for the iconic Sword & Plough Signature Tote. Their father, Colonel (retired) Joseph Núñez, also serves as a member of the Sword & Plough Board of Advisors.
Together, they created a company with a mission of reducing waste, empowering veteran employment, and strengthening civil-military relations.
But when the company broke records via the online fundraising platform Kickstarter—raising over $300,000 from over 1,500 backers in just 30 days—it was obvious Sword & Plough was destined to become more than a small family business.
Years later, Sword & Plough has recycled over 35,000 pounds of military surplus, creating thousands of fashionable bags, jewelry, hats, and other accessories from leftover materials.
The sisters have also successfully kept the promises listed in their Kickstarter pitch: creating a business model that supports veteran employment at every level from production to fulfillment, manufacturing products exclusively in the United States, and donating 10% of all net profits to veteran organizations.
Yet despite its incredible success, the brand has never forgotten about the people who helped Sword & Plough turn a dream into an impactful reality.
“Since day one, our customers have carried the brand,” Shelby Black, the company’s Community Programs Manager, insists.
She credits fans of the brand with sharing Sword & Plough’s story, mission, and products with their friends and families and in turn, expanding the company’s impact in communities around the world. Emily and Betsy recognized this too and saw a unique chance to thank their dedicated customers and formally bring them in as members of the Sword & Plough team.
As a result, in 2016 they created the Sword & Plough Brand Champion Program, an entrepreneurial opportunity for passionate fans to spread the word about Sword & Plough while earning sales commissions.
It’s no surprise that the Brand Champion Program, which anyone can apply for, attracts many veterans, military spouses, active duty and reserve soldiers, as well as existing Sword and Plough customers.
Though for military spouses, this program is a particularly perfect match.
Like any remote sales position, being a Brand Champion allows you to work flexible hours and keep your job even as you move around the country or the world.
There are currently Brand Champions in 40 states and three different countries!
And with a business centered on supporting veterans and products made in America, it’s a job that ALWAYS feels fulfilling and meaningful.
Jamie Sheaffer, a Brand Champion and military spouse from Muskegon, Michigan, was recently honored as the Sword & Plough Brand Champion of the Month. When asked what she loves about the program, Jamie described the impact of Sword and Plough, saying,
“One purchase creates a ripple effect that goes far beyond a simple fashion item.”
However, it’s not just the brand’s mission that makes the Brand Champion Program different from other remote sales jobs.
First, there’s no buy-in required to become a part of the program, meaning you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars just to get started.
Also, there’s zero pressure to recruit others and build teams like many popular multi-level marketing sales positions.
Furthermore, Sword & Plough equips you with the tools and training you need in order to become a successful Brand Champion so that you’re prepared to communicate its mission and impact to your community and new customers.
Because even selling just one item can seem daunting to someone with no previous sales experience, the Sword and Plough team provides one-on-one coaching to help you through the process.
A supportive virtual community also exists for Brand Champions to get to know each other and share tips for successful sales like creating online newsletters or setting up pop-up shops in local stores.
- Many Brand Champions enjoy sharing out via social media while others prefer to sell in brick and mortar locations or at local events.
- The program allows Sword & Plough Brand Champions to leverage and grow their entrepreneurial skills, in whatever way suits them best, while receiving the support of a well established company.
- Sales are tracked via the unique code each Brand Champion gives to his or her customers.
- At the end of each month, Brand Champions are compensated based on their accumulated sales and top sellers are rewarded with chances to win additional prizes each business quarter.
Brand Champions are motivated to join the Sword & Plough team because of their dedication to supporting veterans and the military community.
However, Brand Champions are also eager to develop their careers professionally and expand their skills while showcasing an impactful fashion brand they are proud to be part of.
This year Sword & Plough celebrated the one year anniversary of the Brand Champion Program by announcing the addition of their 100th Brand Champion.
This major milestone was reached early on in the program’s history because of the incredible dedication of the Brand Champions, many of whom were the original customers and inspiration for the brand.
So whether it’s the desire to support veterans, increase your entrepreneurial skills and career opportunities, or be part of an impactful and rapidly growing fashion company that’s most appealing about becoming a Sword & Plough Brand Champion—go for it!
Learn more about the application process by visiting the Sword and Plough website here.
Sword & Plough also offers a lifetime 20% off military discount to all military spouses, veterans, active duty U.S. military personnel, National Guard members, Reservists, Gold Star family members, and retired military personnel and their spouses!