Let's face it, when it comes to fall entryway styling, finding the perfect doormat that's both beautiful and functional can be a challenge. I don't know about you but I'm so over the standard coir doormats since they tend to shed. Flat weave mats are so pretty but get dirty quickly, and don't hold up to the elements. Waterhog mats are amazingly functional but at the cost of being a bit ugly and industrial looking. Insert The Rope Co - a coastal Maine based company all about making beautiful, durable doormats that stand the test of time.
When Caroline first discovered them on Instagram, she fell in love with the simplicity of the design, materials, and fact that their company is based in Maine near where she grew up. We’re so excited to have been able to collaborate with The Rope Co who created a custom size/color doormat for the CCT design studio entrance. Let me bring you in on why these doormats are so fabulous. The narrative of coastal life, innovation, and history are quite literally woven into their products. Deriving inspiration from New England coastal culture, their entire product line is handmade in the state of Maine.
We sat down with the husband-wife duo behind The Rope Co to learn firsthand about the history behind the brand. Born and raised in Maine and children of lobstermen, the Rope Co makes products from materials they have known for as long as they can remember. Made from the same ropes lobstermen use on their fishing boats off the coast of Maine, they are mold and mildew resistant, and colorfast.
“Each product tells the tale of coastal life, innovation, and history.”
You emphasize the importance of your products being made in Maine. Why was it important for you to keep production local?
Hannah: We do not take living in Maine for granted, the rugged coastline, the islands, the dramatic seasons, it’s special here. I have never felt the desire to live outside of Maine and Logan shares the same feelings. Growing a company in Maine creates jobs and we want our business to support people who like living here as much as we do. Maine is a quiet, slow place; both are reasons we admire it. Growing a business in Maine and working with locals is extra exciting because here we are, tucked away in the far North East, in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Among the isolation and quietness, we are growing a successful company, which is really invigorating. It is our greatest desire that as we grow, we can keep production in Maine.
“Maine is a quiet, slow place; both are reasons we admire it.”
Logan, both your father and grandfather have owned their own rope companies. Back in 2013, what drew you both to create doormats made from the rope you’ve been around for years?
Logan: My grandfather knew how to make doormats and he always wanted to do something with this knowledge but he didn’t have the time. This skill was something he had hoped one of his children or grandchildren would pick up and when I graduated from college I started thinking about the doormats and one winter decided to start making them. I saw it as a great opportunity. Since then my wife and I have developed the look we like, a very neutral palette, a little color, but most importantly a business built on honesty, hard work, quality, community and putting a sturdy, well made, useful product out there for others to enjoy. We have learned a lot in the past 7 years and we really like the direction we are headed in. I think we are starting to get into a good rhythm.
“My wife and I have developed a business built on honesty, hard work, quality, community and putting a well made, useful product out there for others to enjoy.”
We love the custom doormats you created for Caroline’s front entrance and the CCT design studio! Do you plan to add this new colorway to your assortment? I’m sure our readers would love to know how to get their hands on this style!
Hannah: Thank you! We were thrilled when Caroline reached out to us. Her home and studio are gorgeous, and we are honored to have our doormats there. We admire Caroline’s style and especially the neutral colors she has throughout her home and in her textiles. We always offer custom colors and sizes, so this colorway is available! We want all of the CCT readers to be able to get this custom Raven + Fog Grey colorway without the additional custom fee. So, for a month or so, this sleek, neutral colorway will be on our web at the same cost as our stock doormats.
Tell us about the importance of function and durability when it comes to creating your products?
Hannah: Logan and I have very similar beliefs with what we bring into our home. For Logan, function, practicality and durability guide his decision making. He doesn’t buy much but when he does, he wants it to last, make sense and work well. For me, I like beautiful items of high quality. We are both quite selective. We care about who made a product, what the materials are, how it was put together, what it looks like, how it works, and we do our best to bring that same standard into our company.
“We are both quite selective. We care about who made a product, what the materials are, how it was put together, what it looks like, how it works, and we do our best to bring that same standard into our company.”
Do you have any new product launches coming up that you can share with us?
Hannah: We are currently preparing for our 2021 season. We are a small business and the most challenging dimension to our growth has been production. For over a year now, we have overcome that major obstacle and our doormat production has been running smoothly. Our customers now have the choice to order custom doormat sizes and color combinations and that is our focus for 2020. So often when I am looking for a specific item, I always seem to find the exact color I want but it is not the right size for my space or vice versa. Becoming a customizable company is exciting for us. Our customers are now able to design what they desire for their space and we get to make it for them. We are also running new colors at the rope mill for 2021. When developing a new color there are many different components and variables that determine the color and look, so it may take a few tries until we get exactly what we want. Our rope is extruded, not dyed, the benefit of this is the color in our rope doesn't bleed.
“Our rope is extruded, not dyed, the benefit of this is the color in our rope doesn't bleed.”
In an interview with Food52 you mention how you’d love for people to be excited about the product they purchased and then not think about it. Can you expand on why you WANT people to forget about the product?
Logan: When I go to a box store and buy a tool from overseas it almost inevitably won’t work, breaks after a few uses, and/or breaks what I’m working on. This most always costs me money, time and frustration. When I use any old tools my great grandfather had, I just grab it, use it and it works. I don’t have to “think about it” or worry about it not working or creating more damage. A quality product will just work.
What makes your rope products stand out compared to your competitors?
Hannah: Color and look is of great importance to us. We have created a great neutral palette and we will continue to grow that look. As mentioned before, all of our doormats are hand-made in Maine, which allows us to control quality closely. The rope is made at a mill owned by Logan’s Dad, just down the road from us. Logan is at his Dad’s rope mill twice a week, he wants to learn how that side of the business works, the ins, and outs of the machines. He knows every person that works at the rope mill and he knows about their lives. We want our customers to know and feel the heart in that. We have a hand in every step that goes into our doormat process. We don’t just pick colors out of a catalog, Logan and the crew at the mill put in many hours to get these colors we desire just right, they are totally exclusive to us. We stand by our product with a product guarantee. We have a limited lifetime guarantee on our doormats, which I think is quite bold, we really trust this product. For a doormat, that sits outside in all weather, that gets walked all over, and stomped on, to offer this type of guarantee means we are not just another company making disposable products. Not only does that satisfy the customer, but it also helps the environment.
“ We know every person that works at the rope mill and we know about their lives. We want our customers to feel the heart in that.”
One of my favorite things about what we’re doing at The Rope Co is building a company upon the foundation of integrity, giving back and creating products that will stand the test of time.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling really inspired by that Q&A! After having our new doormats for the last few weeks the whole CCT team is obsessed and cannot wait for you to get your hands on your own Rope Co doormat! For more ideas on how to style your front entry, follow Caroline Cecil Textiles on Instagram.