Our first goal is to take further into account what kind of new gear our customers want to see. While we put a lot of thought and effort into making our gear, we also know it is important to do a better job of finding out what type of stuff our customers want to see. We want to hear from you! If you have an idea for a certain product you would like to see developed, click here to let us know. It is exciting for us to have our following continue to help shape and develop Northern Wake Company, and this seems like the perfect opportunity.
The second goal for 2018 is to expand our target market. For the last few years, we have been based out of Duluth, MN, and have focused most of our attention on the state of Minnesota. Currently, all of our authorized retailers reside in Minnesota. We love this place, but realize there is a huge opportunity to spread our brand and love for the lake to some surrounding areas. Our focus is to continue to grow our brand in Minnesota, but also to expand to Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakota’s. Some of our ideas will roll out within the next few months, and we are excited to share those with you. When it comes to bringing our products to retailers, we have been fairly selective. For us, there is always an emphasis on finding shops that really embody what Northern Wake Co. is all about. We are always looking to make connections with local store owners, and will be taking some adventures outside the walls of Minnesota to further those connections. If you have any thoughts on a storefront that Northern Wake would fit well in, or if you are in the retail business and want to connect, let us know here!
Our last goal for 2018 is more of a personal goal, to do more of what we love, with who we love! Andrew and I both have what we like to call a “100 Percent Personality.” Whatever we are doing, we are giving it 100 percent of our effort. Whether it be running Northern Wake Co., school, work, or the adventures we find, we are all in. Knowing this, we sometimes find ourselves forgetting to relax and enjoy the beauty of the lake. For me, it is the most freeing thing in the world to cruise around the water at night with my family and friends. An early morning fishing outing with my Dad in our secret crappie hole is also at the top of the list. Our goal is enjoy the good times; the boat rides that inspire us, the bonfires that bring us together, and the friends we will never forget. These times are irreplaceable and ultimately the inspiration behind Northern Wake Company, so it only makes sense to strive for more of them!
Cheers to 2018,
Keeping our lakes and streams clean is so important to us. After all, it is the main theme that Northern Wake Company was formed around. But why? Why are we so passionate? Why is it important?
The issue can be seen on both a global and local scale. By 2025, over half of the world's population will be living in a water-stressed area. Just looking at Minnesota, almost half of our bodies of water are considered "impaired", meaning they do not meet the water quality standards for swimming or fishing. There are 1.4 million pounds of toxic waste dumped into Minnesota rivers and streams every year. Without working toward conserving our waters, we will soon start to see the consequences.
In addition to the cleanliness of our waters, we also continue to deal with invasive species. Local lakes have become homes to invasive species including Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels. These non-native species destroy aquatic ecosystems and are difficult difficult to get rid of.
We knew that when we founded Northern Wake Company, we wanted to focus on helping contain an eliminate these issues. We have decided to focus on helping tackle our local issues in the Midwest, with plans to expand our efforts to a more global scale in the future.
We determined two significant ways to start tackling these issues. The first is to help fund organizations that are dedicated conserving our waters. Some of these include; The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Conservation Minnesota, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The second of the two ways is education. Education is a vital part of stopping the spread of invasive species. When boaters know how to properly transfer their vehicles from lake to lake, it can make all the difference. Read about how to transfer vehicles properly, here. We have also been working hard at creating an educational video that will release this Fall. We are projecting that this video will be seen by over 1 million viewers, and will help people better understand how important conserving our waters actually is.
Thanks for reading!
(1) Environment Minnesota Research and Policy Center
(2) Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
(3) World Health Organization Media Centre Fact sheet N°391. Drinking Water, July 2017
Duluth, Minnesota; The second largest city on the Northern Shore of Lake Superior. It is an adventure seeker's dream, and it is where we call home. Three quadrillion gallons of water wade in the depths of Lake Superior, making it the world's largest freshwater lake. A great place to build a company that crafts quality clothing based around this big idea of water conservation, huh?
And that is exactly what we did. We set up shop right here in Duluth, MN, and haven't looked back. If we aren't busy operating Northern Wake Company, it is safe to assume we are taking full advantage of our favorite Great Lake. Although Lake Superior is home to some well-known tourist attractions, we wanted to share a few of our favorite things that keep us busy.
Jet Skiing in Canal Park:
Canal Park in downtown Duluth serves as a great place to take an evening stroll, grab a great dinner, and catch some incredible views. However, on one Saturday a few years back, we were looking for more of a thrill. We loaded up and strapped down our stand up jet skis, and dropped them into the playground that is Lake Superior. Little did we know, we were about to take one of our favorite pass times and turn it into even more of a thrill. Because of its size, Lake Superior's water temperature doesn't fluctuate more than 10-20 °F annually. On our first ride, the water sat at a brisk 48 °F, but it only took a few minutes of riding before we were hooked. There is nothing to this day that has made me feel smaller, or rather realize how big our world really is, than driving a tiny jet ski underneath the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. Crowds of people intently observed us and waved from the pier. Since our first ride, we have made it more of a regular event, and try to get out on more than one occasion each Fall and Spring. We have even hit the lake with 7-foot swells, what a time! Take a look at one of our riding days here.
Our Favorite Swimming Spots: Park Point Beach and "The Ice Box"
If you are at all like us, it is hard for you to stay away from the water! We are always looking for some thrill, but there is something about just swimming and a day at the beach that can't be beaten. Here are a few of our favorite swimming spots around the Duluth area. We won't share all of our secrets, so you will have to find them on your own if you are looking for more!
Park Point Beach is located directly across the bridge from Canal Park. It is the worlds' longest continuous freshwater beach and is the perfect destination for a hot day, with great friends. All you need is a grill, some burgers, and a cooler, I guarantee you will have a good time. As previously mentioned, Lake Superior is never really "warm", so be prepared with a sweatshirt if you plan to stay in the water for an extended period of time.
If you are looking for a little more adventure, be sure to hit "The Icebox" located directly off the Canal Park Lakewalk. The sagging cement structure sits about 50 yards out from the Lakewalk, and serves as a great spot to swim, explore, or even jump from! Make sure you exercise some caution with this one, as it can be dangerous. On a hot day, there will be plenty of people hanging around it, but if you can endure a slightly colder day, you will likely have the whole thing to yourself. We spent part of labor day weekend doing some jumping that can be seen in a short video here.
If you live in or around the Duluth area, consider yourself one of the lucky few! Take advantage of the beauty that lies right in your backyard while you have the chance. If you are a less frequent visitor or have never been, we can guarantee a trip to this city will be an unforgettable experience. For a full list of things to do in Duluth, check this out. Make sure you take your trip in style and get some Northern Wake gear while you're at it!
Almost three years ago to date, my partner Andrew and I sat in a college dorm room and came up with the ideas that eventually led to the creation of Northern Wake Company. With both of our college graduations just around the corner, we are taking this opportunity to reflect on the journey and growth of Northern Wake Co., and what the future looks like for the company.
We are so impressed with the amount of support we have had pour in over the last three years, and we can't thank you all enough. We learn as we go, and on the way, our product line continues to grow and the quality of our products continue to increase. Every day we are striving to design products that make us proud.
One of the biggest missions that really embodies the Northern Wake Co. brand is our love for our waters and the desire to keep them clean. Water is our most precious resource. However, it is often taken for granted. We have pledged to give a portion of all of our proceeds to different water conservation efforts around the Midwest area. But we want to do more. The realization set in for us that although our donations are helping, we are not scaled as a company, yet at least, to make the type of impact that we are looking to make.
A few of our ideas for furthering our clean water efforts will debut this Fall, and will roll into the Winter. We are excited about the projects we are working on, and believe that our customers will be too.
Continue to follow this weekly blog to find out what we are working on, and get some inside looks. One thing we are sure of is the potential that Northern Wake Company possesses to genuinely make a difference, and we can't wait to journey forward with all of you.
Thanks for reading, and remember to #ownthewater