The Colemans wanted to find a place to raise their four kids that was business and firearms friendly.
“South Dakota really has a lot to offer us as far as all those options,” said Dustin Coleman, founder and owner of Cole-TAC. “South Dakotans love their guns and that definitely was in it.”
After several trips to the state and Rapid City, the Colemans moved their family and firearms and hunting accessories business West River.
Coleman, an Air Force veteran, founded Cole-TAC in 2015 with his wife, Liene, as a part-time hobby — a single Baby Lock Hobbyist sewing machine in a spare bedroom in their New Hampshire home and a 2-by-3-foot table.
Cole-TAC manufactures and sells packs, suppressor covers, ammo novels and rifle guardians among other products.
Coleman said the business started after he bought a suppressor cover that broke and asked Liene to fix it.
“She said no and then got upset with how much I paid for it,” Coleman said. “She said she could’ve made something better for less, so she made a whole new one for me.”
He said some of his co-workers at Ruger Firearms asked if Liene could make them one. Liene made a couple and then set up a website for a side business.
Then it moved to the basement and a newly built garage.
Six months later, they bought a building. Then came more products and designs and 15-16 employees.
Coleman said the business has grown so much they’re now focusing on finding employees. He said their New Hampshire location was remote and rural, so they’ve always struggled to find applicants. He said within a week of posting the job in Rapid City, they had six interviews scheduled.
“Sewing is a dead skill, so we’re looking for team members who are willing to learn a new skill and to be that team member to grow with us,” Coleman said.
Coleman said the company has 70 industrial sewing machines but only 16 employees.
He said the plan is to hire four to six people in July that will have key roles in expansion and likely be leaders. Then they’ll work their way up to 20 people at the Rapid City location to keep growing.
Coleman said they focus on hiring veterans and military spouses, although everyone is welcome to apply whether they have sewing knowledge or not.
Cole-TAC will open its doors to an 8,200-square-foot facility on Jet Drive on Monday. Coleman said they have new ideas and designs coming soon, which will include hunting products, competitive shooting and precision.
He said the building has enough room for expansion if they need it later.
“It’s the right size for what we need right away,” Coleman said.
He said the company has had several military and government contract opportunities but haven’t had the resources to go after them yet.
Coleman said the company will keep its New Hampshire doors open as well.
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