Cool Friends: Noah Wunsch
Meet Noah, the founder of Ruby (yes, that very cool bottle full of bright red hibiscus water!) In addition to launching what is maybe the drink of the year, Noah (& Ruby) have become a part of downtown’s fabric — most recently hosting a movie night at The Jane. We caught up with Noah to get far out and deep into the back story of the Rubyverse...
How did you start Ruby, your organic Hibiscus water brand?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a universe frozen in time. Look closer. The freeze sparkles not with the ice of ancestors, but a layer of sugar running so deep that the meaning is anathema to the taste profile. Like Athena from Zues' skull, this universe waited in anticipation to have it's story told. To have those layers pulled back, dissolved and enlivened. Such was The Rubyverse. Such is the present. Such is such and words are words.
How, what and why are all different questions. The how goes back to many conversations with many unbelievably gracious founders who were willing to sit down with me and explain how the hell the beverage industry works (shout out to Sandro, founder of Sanzo, Tommy Kelly cofounder of Sound, Melanie Masarin founder of Ghia, Willa Townsend overall CPG goddess, and many many more). From the beginning of that how came all of the tedious but necessary operational and logistical components: how does one take this drink they are making at home and multiply it to thousands and thousands of units, and thereafter, how does one sell those units? Some of these questions are now answered, others remain. And then there's the weird little brand, but that's all the fun stuff 😈
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
It changes all the time, but right now it feels like people are willing to take chances. There's an edge to a lot of it. This isn't an original thought at all, but for the decade prior to the pandemic it felt like everything was overly nice, which relates to that mentality of millennials "blue ribbon" upbringing (FYI I'm a millennial and still desire a blue ribbon in all I do, even if it's for being in second or third place). There are so many weird brands and activations and wheat pastings and stories and music just now. It's fantastic. It's a weird renaissance that I don't think anyone could have imagined because it's pulling from so many different inspirations. For a moment, the world seemed to think that we were going to fall into the digital, but it feels like IRL has never been stronger. A lot of that is taboo, which reignites the underground as well. And how great is that? When was the last time NYC had an underground 😂😂😂
What's inspiring you right now?
I mean building Ruby is seriously inspiring because we're just doing all the weird things we want to do. We're in an amazing stage for a brand: the beginning. We can take risks here because we don't fully mean anything to anyone, so we get to throw it all at the kitchen wall and see what sticks. We of course have brand guidelines that we take seriously, and brand narratives, but the experimentation of launching a music series and a film series and collaborations. It's a lot of fun.
Outside of Ruby I usually go through different listening stages - I'll be addicted to audiobooks or podcasts or music. But it's very much one or the other. Right now I'm just hungry for new music. All different genres, time periods, etc. I'll ask anyone I see what they're listening to, which is how I got to listening to kryptogram right now (the track has changed, now it's Olvidar).
@rubyforfun on Instagram