SUU to Everywhere

Tyler Condie

Tyler Condie
SUU to Business Owner

Originally published on July 19, 2016.

Growing up, one of Tyler’s many chores was maintaining his father’s century old saddle. Working on that sturdy saddle instilled in Tyler a passion for products that last.

“I always knew that I wanted to do something creative,” said Tyler. “I had an engineering scholarship to Southern Utah University, but I was still interested in art.”

At SUU, Tyler was able to combine his creative nature with his business and engineering skills. He gained confidence in his abilities and was able to take a variety of  classes in engineering, fine art, design, psychology and business.

"One day while sitting in the library I realized that I could help a great deal of people if I could create products that would last like that saddle,” said Tyler.

Within a month of Tyler’s epiphany he had begun applying the construction techniques that were used on the century old saddle to make modern travel goods. He started with iPhone cases and wallets and within 6 months he had prototyped two active Backpacks and a Messenger bag.

With the help of SUU’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) —a resource for southern Utahns to facilitate business growth and gain entrepreneurship education — Tyler had the support to create his own business, Rugged Material.

“Tyler has been able to carve out a niche and he has hit it out of the ballpark,” said Craig Isom, executive director of the SBDC. “His business is growing at a nice rate and creating jobs, with his attitude and energy the future bodes well for him.”

This idea of creating jobs is part of the culture of Rugged Material, and according to Tyler it’s the main goal. “We love Cedar City and are focused on keeping our manufacturing here so we can create opportunities for the community to grow.”

Tyler studied Engineering. Learn more about the program.