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Love First, Shop Second

November 21, 2017 3 min read

Love First, Shop Second

I love a good sale. But as I approached holiday promotional planning for Lake Effect Co., I procrastinated like nobody’s business. “They” (umm, who are “they” anyway?) tell you to plan this at least a quarter in advance, or at least a few months. Well, at least by October. And I’m sure “they’d” be facepalming if they saw me the Sunday of Thanksgiving week maniacally drafting out my plans - taking time out of my sacred Sunday to force myself to put this together. And what did my plans look like? A lot of scribbles and feeling like this all felt a little off. Desperate, even.

No one likes desperation. Free shipping. Doorbusters. Schemes designed to reward the early risers. Sneaking one by the competition. FOMO or wishing you had waited. These are games. These are stressors. This is time spent on your device, in your car, at the mall, and not spent celebrating a few components that many of us find central to the holidays - quality time with those we love. This is time spent getting up early, skipping your slow morning with little ones, with relatives in town, to save a few bucks. I’ll also stop here to acknowledge that some of you love getting up early, have created rituals around the retail holidays, and truly love the thrill of the shopping. So to you, I applaud your efforts and hope you score big. For real. I want you to get a great deal. I also want you to spread the essence of Lake Effect co - gear that celebrates the beauty and adventure of time by the water - with loved ones who cherish time by the water.


I want you to give your dad, who has captained the family boat for decades, your time first. Then if it resonates with you, he’d probably rock a LAKE DAY tee.

I want you to give your mom, first, an offer to help as she flutters about taking care of everyone but herself. Then, I bet she’d love a candle to help her to create a calm moment as it conjures up memories of time cozied up in your lakeside cottage.

I want you to give your sister, bestie, partners in crime first a strong hug, followed by a hard laugh as you reminisce about skinny dipping last summer. Then, maybe a “Lake Anchors the Soul” tank or cozy “Northerly Vibes” sweatshirt - she’ll be thinking of you and those memories every time she cozies up.

I want you to give your brother, guy friend, boyfriend, first a hearty cheers. Then, he’d look awesome in the bobber thermal or “Cabin Fever” ball cap.

I want you to give the little ones in your life first your willingness to shed your adult stresses and just play with them. Then, cheer them on to be who they truly are with a Wild & Free onesie / tee or a “Make Waves” pennant.

More than that, I want you to spend your time knowing that you don’t need to be checking social media or refreshing your inbox for a better/deeper bargain from us. Here’s the deal. I am a small business that depends on the patronage of lake-minded folks like you. Your support has and will continue to mean more to me than you’ll ever know. I would love you to support my dream, a small, Milwaukee-based business that also supports small, Milwaukee/Midwest-based businesses with your purchase for yourself or a loved one.

From Black Friday through Giving Tuesday, orders over $50 receive 25% off, all orders enjoy free shipping, and purchases over $100 will also get a cozy waffle beanie ($25 value). No promo codes - just shop!

On Small Business Saturday, I hope you consider voting with your dollars - shop the little guy, whether it’s Lake Effect Co or elsewhere - knowing that a business owner really is doing a cartwheel on the inside every time you take your business to them.

And on Giving Tuesday, since 5% of our sales always benefits the Alliance for the Great Lakes, we’re upping that amount to 10%, but keeping our other promotions going strong.

So to recap: I love and appreciate your support. I want you to enjoy the holidays and not let the stressors of bargain-hunting keep you from face-time, the real life kind, with people you love. FRI-TUES: 25% off orders of $50+. Free shipping. Free waffle beanie with orders over $100. xo, Katherine Gramann  

woman and her dog on the pier

parents and their baby on a rowboat

sitting on the steps to the lake

sitting in a hammock together

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Katherine Gramann

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Michigan, Medicine

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