Michelle and I grew up in a very small town north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. We wouldn’t change a thing about where and how we grew up. With amazing parents that taught us to have a strong work ethic, we learned how to set priorities and work towards goals. Surrounded by dozens of acres of farmland and wooded areas, there was also no end to the fun and trouble we could get into.
From early elementary school through high school, we participated in 4-H. 4-H is a youth development organization where children learn hands-on life skills. As a part of this amazing group of families, we learned from each other’s parents how to cook, bake, craft, grow indoor and outdoor gardens, and most importantly how to sew. Each year we chose an impossibly hard pattern to make that led to many frustrating late nights with our mom. The dresses always were finished by county fair time, ready to be modeled in the fashion show and critiqued by the judges. This should have discouraged us from ever sitting in front of a sewing machine again, but the experience instead made us think of how patterns could be better.
Throughout college we tackled DIY projects, some of which turned out great and others that didn’t. Michelle made a huge bean bag chair that is still the best place to watch a movie and I made slipcovers for a couple of worn hand me down loveseats, curtains, and various clothing pieces. Michelle has made several Halloween costumes since college. She loves the holiday and thinks of creative dress up ideas for us each year.
The inspiration for our lifestyle brand Lumi came out of a trip we took with our mom to Cape Cod. We shopped and fell in love with the nautical lifestyle brands of this coastal region. We thought about how the Upper Peninsula of Michigan does not have its own lifestyle brand. This along with a personal and local need for quality, durable, comfortable, and classically designed clothing led us to want to design our own apparel. We drew up many styles and drafted patterns for a few. After sewing prototypes, we searched to find the best quality and sustainably produced fabric. Our first customers, friends and co-workers, tried our initial pieces, then provided us with incredible feedback which we used to make our garments even better. Now we are ready and excited to make our first small batches available for sale.