Writer / Lisa Mitchell
Photography / Brian Brosmer
The Rugged Co. is designed as a place for men to be men. In a world full of shops and boutiques that cater specifically to women, The Rugged Co. is the counterbalance to the “ladies only” norm. It is very much a “manly man’s” place full of very manly things. With its signature hand-mixed beard oils, the premium straight-edge razors and leather goods stamped by hand, it’s clear that The Rugged Co. aims to help men step up their game and appreciate premium products designed especially for them.
Owner Corey Cole is a proud Noblesville resident who is deeply rooted in and committed to the community. His goal with The Rugged Co., located at 942 Maple Ave., is to help Noblesville grow and to play a role in creating a vibrant business landscape where small business owners contribute to the community in meaningful ways. Although growth and expansion, both in location and products offered, is the goal and will be happening soon, leaving Noblesville or selling out to a larger brand is not on the horizon for this business owner.
Cole says, “We plan to grow here and stay here. You can’t buy the history that is found in Noblesville. It’s the small town feel with a thriving historic district. I love every part of Noblesville.”
The Rugged Co. items are finding their way to the shelves of countless other boutiques and shops, and the demand for the products continues to grow. Cole’s goal is to eventually have his hand-crafted items carried in 5,000-6,000 “mom and pop” shops all around the country. It’s a goal that looks to be very attainable based on the current growth trajectory.
One additional offering that Cole is especially excited about is the upcoming introduction of The 1823 denim line. This line of custom designed jeans will be available in the store this summer, and the company will soon be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the launch and production of that line. That funding campaign will be launching soon, and if you would like to contribute, you can get more information by signing up for their newsletter at ruggedcompany.com.
In addition to the custom-made personal care items that will help keep men looking and smelling their best, The Rugged Co. offers locally printed apparel, art and sculptures for sale from local artists and even a unique coffee bar that looks equal parts science lab and coffee shop. Cole prepares coffee using the pour over method to prevent any bitter taste and even has special brews that are made using aged whiskey infused beans. This is not your average cup of coffee!
Cole’s efforts with The Rugged Co. are to bring back the type of general store feeling from bygone eras. He wants his shop to be seen as a place for personal goods to be purchased, coffee to be enjoyed, art to be admired and for connections and real interactions to happen. It’s all about building community for Cole and his family.
Family is a big part of what The Rugged Co. is about as well. On any given day, you can expect to find Cole hand-mixing oils, stamping leather goods or making the perfect cup of coffee, all with his daughter Addilee by his side, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s a driving force behind Cole’s ambition and desire to build his business the right way and to create a legacy that she can be proud of.
The precocious 2-year-old is also the reason why the usually heavily bearded Cole was clean-shaven when it was time for his interview and cover shoot. Cole shared that his new look was the result of an ill-timed tug on the trimmer cord that left him with a bare line straight through the middle of his thick beard. Despite his best efforts to reason with himself, he conceded that walking around with mutton chops was just not going to be a good look for him. He found himself clean shaven for the first time in almost too long to remember with a funny story behind it and one more memory to share with his daughter in the years to come.
That is, after all, what Cole is hoping to create through the growth and success of The Rugged Co. He wants to keep creating memories with his family and his customers that will help them appreciate quality handmade products that can make any man feel more like a well-groomed man, even if they happen to lose their beard to an unfortunately timed slip of the trimmers. The Rugged Co. is truly made for every man, beards not required.
Located in Noblesville at 942 Maple Ave.
Open Thursday 12-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.