Gift Rubber City Clothing Co.

Shop Rubber City Clothing Co. and gift CAKron Pride

With owner and designer Kevin Friend deeply immersed in the community, you’re sure to find a meaningful, authentic Akron gift.

By Shamna Chuwan

Introducing the "Ben T" - Featuring the iconic image of Ben Affleck smoking through the pain of being a Cleveland sports fan, this shirt is both humorous and heartfelt, capturing the spirit of resilience and perseverance that Cleveland fans are known for.”


This description from the Rubber City Clothing Co. catalog is evidence of the best reason to shop there for anyone on your list that loves the local in small and local. The designers of that shirt, one of whom is the shop’s owner Kevin Friend, get it. They get what it is to be a rust belt, rubber city native thirty odd miles south of the city with all our major sports teams.


They know why dad is always sad on Sunday and why it’s cool to be ‘just a kid from Akron.’ So, though technically not currently located in the downtown district (they did start here though), Rubber City Clothing Co. must have a spot in the guide. 


Since its inception in 2004, the shop has been a beacon of Akron pride, offering a wide range of apparel and accessories that celebrate the city's rich history and culture.


"Rubber City Clothing Co. was born out of a love for Akron," Kevin Friend, owner of Rubber City Clothing Co. said. 

"We wanted to create products that reflect the spirit of our city, from its iconic landmarks to its vibrant community."


What makes Rubber City Clothing Co. stand out besides understanding the general pathos of the region is its extensive collection of Akron-themed designs. With over 180 items, ranging from clothing to stickers to glassware, there is something for everyone. 


From graphic t-shirts featuring local landmarks to handmade jewelry crafted by Akron artisans, the store truly captures the essence of Akron.


"When it comes to designing our apparel, we draw inspiration from all facets of Akron life," Friend said. "Whether it's a historic location or a local event, we strive to create designs that resonate with our customers."


Some of the designs include the following phrases.




“Born ‘n raised.” 


“Be a good human”

“Just a kid from Akron.”


Does your mom or dad love Akron? Do you want to gift your grad something to remember it by? There is no better place than Rubber City Clothing Co. Especially if you’re looking for something personalized or custom.


When visiting the store, you’ll find a dedicated section where customers can customize any of Rubber City’s designs. The section has a variety of blank garments and other products ready for personalization. 


Pick out your desired items, choose a design (or bring your own), and they will create it for you right there on the spot, usually in about 5 minutes. You can also order your own custom apparel on their website.


As far as moms go, Rubber City Clothing Co. offers more than just apparel. "While t-shirts are always a hit, we also have a variety of other products, such as candles and handmade soaps, which would make perfect Mother's Day gifts," Friend said.


Similarly, for Father's Day, the store's collection of graphic t-shirts is a popular choice among dads. "Our Akron-themed apparel makes for great Father's Day gifts," Friend said. "But we're always introducing new designs, so there's something for every dad."


As graduation season approaches, Rubber City Clothing Co. also has a wide variety of options for Akron graduates. "While we don't have specific graduation designs, our extensive collection ensures that grads can find something to celebrate their Akron roots," Friend said.


And, with the ability to personalize and customize, any design can become that bespoke fit you’re seeking for the perfect gift.


Looking ahead, Rubber City Clothing Co. is excited about upcoming projects and collaborations. "We're working on some exciting initiatives, including collaborations with local artists and organizations," Kevin revealed. "And as we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we're planning a big celebration to thank our loyal customers and the Akron community."


In addition to its retail offerings, Rubber City Clothing Co. is deeply involved in the local community. "We work with local businesses and organizations to provide custom apparel and printing services," Kevin said. "Our commitment to Akron goes beyond just selling clothing – we're proud to be a part of this vibrant city."


ZipsGuide has been the recipient of that community care. Rubber City Clothing Co. donated a collection of some of their favorite items for our giveaway, supporting our mission to promote the small, local businesses in downtown Akron.

With its dedication to celebrating Akron and supporting the local community, Rubber City Clothing Co. is more than just a clothing store – it is Akron pride personified.


If you're searching for a convenient way to add a personal touch to your gifts or wardrobe, you can find Kevin Friend and Rubber City Clothing Co. at 71 Westgate Circle in Akron, or on their website, Instagram or Facebook page.

Rubber City Clothing Co. owner Kevin Friend, Photo by Shamna Chuwan.

Photos of Rubber City Clothing Co. products and displays by Shamna Chuwan.

To reach content author Shamna Chuwan,  email her here.

Downtown Akron Partnership Announces Downtown Dollars E-Gift Card Program > read more here.