Rural is Rad Grassroots Movement Launches to Champion Rural-Based Brands in the Outdoor Industry

May 20, 2024

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (May 20, 2024) /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – The Rural is Rad (RiR) movement has officially launched to support rural brands and founders in the outdoor industry by helping consumers and specialty, independent retailers discover new brands. Their mission is to empower consumers to shop locally while fostering brand awareness for the amazing products, jobs and communities that are being developed in more remote places. While it is currently Colorado-based, the movement has a vision for the community they are creating to become a formula that rural brands nationwide can replicate in the years to come.

Rural is Rad was dreamed up by the founders of Town Hall Outdoor Co (Robin Hall), Buttnski (Kelly Mazanti) and Stray Wild (TJ Smith). The movement was formed through a shared objective to build awareness for rural brands and founders who experience shared challenges working in remote places with limited resources.

“Rural is Rad aims to bring awareness and connection to rural businesses and founders in the outdoor recreation industry,” said Hall. “Our goal is to build a comprehensive directory, marketplace and community of outdoor-oriented brands for people to discover, shop and support year-round, while providing a resource for rural founders to collaborate and, potentially, build something bigger. This movement will start right here in Colorado and expand nationwide in future years, with the help of key partners.”

Rural is Rad hosts micro gatherings and promotions throughout the year, with one main event happening during Small Business Saturday. “Rural is Rad Week” will kick off on Small Business Saturday November 30 this year, and last for the following week. Last year was the inaugural year for Rural is Rad Week. Holiday shopping and Black Friday deals are in full swing, RiR aims to provide consumers with an alternative to shopping big business through the feel-good purchasing power of shopping rural as well as connecting with local communities. The goal is to showcase purposeful purchasing opportunities, encourage collaboration and diversify economic growth.

Throughout this week, RiR businesses will offer discounts, deals or special connection points through online and in-store sales and customers will, in turn, get a unique product, made with love and become part of the community. The goal of the week is to drive revenue for rural businesses, provide an alternative to shopping ‘big’ and build a year-round community between the businesses, the customers and each other.

Rural is Rad showcases the grit and determination of rural outdoor brands and founders in the outdoor industry, helping them get discovered because in rural communities it is harder to gain awareness. Ultimately, the movement hopes to draw in the consumer who is mindful about what they are purchasing and seeks to connect with brands that are centered around purpose and values—those who are likely to care for the outdoors and treat the outdoors with respect.

“We believe that rural communities are not only the heart of the outdoor experience, but also the engine driving connections and sustainability in our industry,” said Mazanti, Co-Founder of Rural is Rad and Founder of Buttnski. “Through our movement, we aim to shine a bright light on hard-working and passionate rural businesses, create deep bonds between brands and build a loyal following with consumers.”

“As founders in rural communities in Colorado, we know how important it is to collaborate and support each other due to working with more constraints and limited resources that are available in urban environments, said Smith, Co-Founder of Rural is Rad and Founder of Stray Wild. “We are excited to help retailers and consumers find and fall in love with passionate, hard-working companies that provide great gear and services.”

As part of its commitment to fostering inclusivity and collaboration, Rural is Rad will host a series of events, workshops, and networking opportunities designed to empower rural entrepreneurs, connect industry leaders, and inspire the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. Additionally, the movement has launched an online platform, serving as a hub for rural-based brands to showcase their products, share stories, and connect with a global audience. For a calendar of events, visit the RiR website.

All rural outdoor brands are encouraged, at no cost, to join the Rural is Rad movement and become a part of a transformative journey towards a more inclusive, sustainable, and vibrant outdoor industry. For more information and to get involved, join the directory at https://www.ruralisrad.org/join. You can also follow and connect with RiR on Instagram @ruralisrad .


About Rural is Rad

Rural founders in the outdoor industry have a unique connection to nature that often serves as the driving force behind their entrepreneurial endeavors. This connection stems from their deep-rooted relationship with the natural environment, which is an intrinsic part of rural living.

This connection manifests in inspiration and creativity, access to natural resources, walking the talk in the outdoor lifestyle, environmental stewardship, community and connection. The connection between rural founders in the outdoor industry and nature is profound and multifaceted. The Rural is Rad family believes it’s not just about doing business; it’s about preserving and celebrating the beauty and abundance of the natural world that rural communities call home. Learn more and become a member at https://www.ruralisrad.org/join.