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"HOME" Letters to Lake Michigan Tee | Behind the Design

December 03, 2018 4 min read

"HOME" Letters to Lake Michigan Tee | Behind the Design

home long sleeve tee mae stier poem

$5 from every HOME tee benefits FLOW a public trust that protects the Great Lakes.


I have been weightless

in your waves

when I needed



-Mae Stier

I read it. I cried. I let it sink in. I cried again.

I met Mae nearly two years ago for a shoot at the beach along Sleeping Bear Dunes. I’d been crushing on her lake-heavy Instagram feed for awhile, so it only made sense to have her love of the lake involved in my brand images. The shoot was easy, she was a gem, and I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with her sporadically since then - we have a fun connected lil web of NoMi, lake-loving friends.

At that time, I don’t think I realized just HOW MUCH Mae loved the lake, but I am so glad I know now. Both her photography and poetry are so so devoted to the water and support her through the seasons - of weather, life, etc.

In her own words: “I grew up around water, as most Michiganders do. I was always swimming in the nearby rivers and lakes as a kid, but especially loved the trips my family would take to the Great Lakes. As an adult, my family began vacationing in a small Northern Michigan village on the shore of Lake Michigan, and I fell in love with the area. My love for this region grew so strong that after going through a breakup with a partner I was living with in New York, I decided to return to the place that felt the most like home: Lake Michigan.

Over the last two years of living within walking distance to Lake Michigan, I have grown and changed so much as a person. The way that I process heartache, the way that I begin my days...everything from the most mundane to the most monumental moments have been shaped by my proximity to Lake Michigan. After only a few months of living on Her shore, I started writing poetry that felt somewhat like love letters to this great body of water, and theLetters to Lake Michigan project was born. This project consists of poetry written to Lake Michigan, mailed out to subscribers on postcards that feature imagery of the inspiration.”

The lake does so much for us. My favorite blog posts* here have been about the healing properties of the lake and how water can truly be your comfort. You can deny it all you want, but there’s more to it than just the beauty of the waves. During any emotional discomfort or any sort of feelings of “meh” in my life, water has been my healer, and that’s a primary component of WHY I started this business. I have an obligation to support the lakes. If that means getting people to look at the lake with the same perspective to help them feel similarly about protecting it, then I’ve done my job.

So, in collaboration with Mae, who also took the photos featured on this page, I’m so excited to announce the HOME long sleeve tee. Because we want to give even more to the lake, as the poem highlights just how much we rely on her, $5in sales from every shirt purchased benefit the organization FLOW, which is a public trust that fights to protect the Great Lakes.

HOME white long sleeve tee shirt poem mae stier

HOME white long sleeve shirt lake effect co mae stier

FLOW is a Great Lakes water law and policy 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the common waters of the Great Lakes Basin through public trust solutions founded in 2011 by legendary water attorney Jim Olson. The public trust – an ancient and durable legal doctrine – exists in all Great Lakes jurisdictions and provides its 40 million citizens a legal right to use these common waters for drinking, fishing, swimming, recreation, navigation and the like. It also holds state governments accountable for ensuring these waters and public uses are protected for current and future generations. The public trust demands that we all are responsible for protecting water as a common shared resource.  The Great Lakes belong to all of us and they are ours to defend.

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, today our normal 5% is doubled, and 10% of all site salesbenefit the Milwaukee Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation which works to protect the Great Lakes, fighting issues similar to FLOW.

And if all these emotions feel a bit too woo for you, let’s let science have a seat at the table here. On a cellular level, water is healing. Since we are composed of mostly water, being around water helps us feel connected to our natural, aligned state. It’s calming effects are said to be due to the fact that we came from the womb - a place where most of us were pretty dang cozy and chilled out. People who spend time near water are healthier, happier, statistically. Ok, so maybe I’m referencing an Elite Daily article for the sake of time, but they did their homework and quoted Blue Mind among other more sciencey sources.

But really, just call on your own experiences - are you happier by the water, even when the season of your life may not feel so sunny? We thought so.

*A list of blog posts about the lake-heart-healing connection:


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