Lake Effect Co. is a retail brand and blog that encourages you to connect with the beauty and adventure of nature, through time by the water. It's a venue to share magnetic lake stories and perfect lake moments, to embrace a unique lifestyle, and to let the ever-changing water inspire us. It’s about being balanced in adventure, health, beauty, and self, all through the lens of life by the lake. It's a suggestion to "Chase More Sunsets" which is code for finding what inspires you and building a life that includes more of that.
Lake effect literally means the precipitation or other miscellaneous weather patterns produced when cold air passes over warmer water or vice versa. In my world, the lake effect includes crisp breezes swirling off the lake on sweltering days and incubator-type temps on cold days. A lake’s effects extend far beyond the weather. When you’re on lake time, you know it. It’s a slower pace. It’s a breath of fresh air. It’s connecting with nature. It's letting the waves heal you. It’s forgetting you’ve ever been anywhere else. When you’re on lake time, it’s never wanting to leave.
And while we may not all have the chance to reside lakeside, or even near a body of water, we can still find common ground in those prized, even if brief, moments when we catch a glimpse of the closest body of water or remember a moment when the water filled us with a sense of awe. Sometimes you just know what feels good to your soul, and for many like me, that is the Lake Effect.
So nice to meet you! I’m Katherine. Growing up in the Lake Country area, just 30 miles west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, kept me constantly around lake people - the ones that just got it. I was either tagging along on someone’s boat for the day, helping keep an eye on friend’s younger siblings playing by the shore (lifeguard status, right here), or begging my parents to let us launch our boat after work for an evening cool down. Living lakeside, I consider myself truly lucky to get a glimpse of the water every day. I am in love with the water, for the beauty, adventure, inspiration, and healing. It constantly heals me and shapes my existence. I talk about it a lot on the blog. Like, here and here.
Lake Michigan and the Lake Country are lovely, but “my lake” is Medicine Lake in Three Lakes, WI (my family wrote about it here). Medicine Lake is a place I’ve called true home since age three. The days always seemed to go on forever, giving me extra hours of pier time. I tossed and turned all night before we hit the road to the lake, butterflies of excitement in my belly that felt almost as aggressive as the fish flopping on the pier after I’d reeled them in. I flew off the end of the pier without a care in the world. None of that has changed, because despite growing older, we never truly grow up at the lake. Even today, daylight seems to linger unending, and cocktail hours flow right through dinner. We’re all truly at our happiest when we’re lakeside.
Lake Effect Co. was born after many years dreaming of products, phrasing, and branding that embodied how I felt about my beloved time at the lake. Every shared conversation with a fellow lake-lover ending in “How would anyone ever find out about that hidden gem,” or “We need a shirt that says that” brought me that much closer to bringing the idea to life..
Lake Effect Co. is not only where to buy items that embody your lake life love - though there's nothing wrong with simply wanting to buy and fly. It's also a community to connect with others who feel similarly via our blog, social channels, and in-person events. I love the idea that there is an entire crew of summertime swimmers, boaters, wet dogs, sunset-chasers, eagle-spotters, and pier-loungers, all sharing a love of their version of lake life. While summertime lake love is often easiest to express, loving the lake is a four-seasons adventure. We not only embrace the spring blossoms, fall hikes, windburned cheeks, cozy, bundled, fireside nights, and snowshoeing, skiing, and Irish-coffee-heavy-ice-fishing mornings, but in these times it's often MORE important to intentionally seek out things that make us feel alive. Which leads us to the fact that nature is our favorite healer. While we can't help but share ways the water brings us to life, we'd love to have you share your story if it does the same for you.
So let’s celebrate how lucky we are to live and love on and in these beautiful bodies of water . . .
Let’s jump in!
Lake Effect Co. products & stories are the vision of a few lake-minded folks and produced in collaboration with mostly WI-based manufacturers. We're proud to introduce a number of products by a number of nature-loving makers, too!
5% of site sales benefits the Surfrider Foundation - Milwaukee, but also, it's our hope to create "escapes to the lake" through our content, elevating the communities and businesses surrounding these beloved lakes. We know that when you love the lake, it becomes more automatic to take steps to protect their health, so we encourage you to let yourself fall in love with the water and take steps each day to support its health.