Interview with Corey Cole, Dad and Founder of The Rugged Company

This month, we’re proud to support a Dad-owned business! Your August boxes will have a bottle of liquid hand soap from The Rugged Company. We sat down with owner, founder, and Rad Dad to two daughters, Corey Cole, and chatted about business, work-life balance, and fatherhood.

(Image to the left shows Corey and his daughters on a hike, courtesy of Corey Cole)

The Rad Dad Box: Can you tell us about your company and the types of products you offer?

Corey Cole, The Rugged Company: At The Rugged Company we make natural products for men, women, and children. We make bath bombs, shower steamers, body butters, shampoo, conditioner, jar and beard oil, shave soaps, clay face masks, rose water toning spray, texture spray, candles, and I can keep going. We manufacture over 125 different products. We are constantly launching new products. 

TRDB: What inspired you to start The Rugged Company?

CC: I started The Rugged Company out of necessity really. I have both psoriasis and eczema. I have dealt with self image my entire life because of it. I started to hear about the benefits of natural oils and products and it just blossomed from there. What started as a way to help my own skin turned into us making over 125 different products and having 20 people on staff that we get to help create product lines for other companies as well. We get to create products that people can stand behind and be proud of.  

TRDB: Being an entrepreneur/business owner is, as you probably know, very time-consuming. How do you set aside and prioritize time with your children and spouse?

CC: I’m blessed that I get to do this alongside my wife. She is the COO and handles all the day to day operations. I oversee the sales, private label production and research and development.  I set strong boundaries with my work life. Once I leave the office, I’m done with work. When I’m with my family it’s family time. I don’t even take the computer home anymore unless it’s absolutely dire need. Even then, I wait until my daughters are in bed. Weekends are family time only. I’ve stopped doing markets and vendor shows so I can spend time with my family. We love to be outside hiking and camping. 

A few of the many products offered by The Rugged Company. Image courtesy of The Rugged Company

TRDB: What advice do you have for dads who would like to start a business?

CC: I always tell people to just go for it. At the end of the day if it doesn’t work out, you will still have some amazing stories to tell your children and grandchildren. Take your time with it. Do the research and put in the work. Don’t compare your day 1 with someone’s year 5 or year 20. It takes time to build a successful business. Lastly, you have to enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it then what’s the point? You can always make money. Find something you’re passionate about that solves a problem. 

TRDB: As a dad of two children, do you have any words of wisdom for new dads or soon-to-be dads? Also, do you have any advice for dads who are expecting their second child?

CC:

Take in the moment. Be in the room. Ask a nurse to take the pictures for you. Soak up the moment with your spouse. We don’t become fathers until they are here, so don’t worry if you don’t feel prepared. You never will. It’s a constant growing process. We learn as we go. Our job as fathers is to show our boys how to grow up to be an amazing man and to show our daughters how men should treat them. I want to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things with them. They will never forget it and you won’t either. Only thing we can’t get back is our time. Our time with our children and our family is more important than anything else. Be present. 


Dads expecting second- good luck! Haha! Two can be crazy but your children will always have each other to play with. Teach them to be best friends and they will always care for each other. The bond my daughters have is beautiful. Even on the days they fight all day long, at the end of the day they snuggle up together and love on each other. 

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