This post is dedicated to my fellow lake babies. To the people who have heard their parents lecture them about the rip current and still went out to swim anyways. (Sorry Mom!!) To those who can paddle board, wake board, skim board, surf board, and do basically anything that ends in board. To the ones who know where to go that the tourists who come to visit don’t. To those who feel just as comfortable behind the wheel of the boat as they do the wheel of a car. To the ones who were fine with jumping into the water and swimming even though everyone else claimed it was “seriously freezing.” Summer and lake life is where we feel most at home, and I know we wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s where your favorite memories are and the sound of waves and seagulls is truly he best sound in the world.
My mom used to summer on Lake St. Clair in Michigan when growing up on the East side of the state, but at one point my grandpa decided that Detroit was headed in the wrong direction and decided to move the family to the lake house. (It actually had 4 cabins on the property originally!) My mom, her siblings, and my grandparents always tell stories about taking the boats out, ice fishing, swimming in the lake with the dogs, ice skating, bonfires by the waters edge, and my mom and her friends laying out on the raft my grandpa had built for them. My mom passed her love for the water directly down to my brothers and I. There’s even a photo of her and my dad on our refrigerator from when they were dating that shows them recreating the dirty dancing lift in the water. It’s AMAZING.
Now that I live on the West side of the state, about 7 minutes from the beach, and just across the street from the boat launch, my summer has included a lot of lake time. I love every second of it. Someone who loves lake life just as much (or honestly maybe a little more than I do) is Katherine from Lake Effect Co. Lake Effect Co. is lifestyle website and shop where people can share their favorite lake memories just like they were sitting around a campfire and purchase insanely adorable pieces for their home and wardrobe. Katherine launched her company in December of 2016 after growing up around all things lake whether it be lifeguarding, at the beach with friends, or boating with her own family. Her website shares all of her stories about growing up surrounded by “lake people” and really connects with the person reading it. (Especially if you are a lake person yourself!) I got to chat more with Katherine about lake life, her company, and even test out a few of her products and all in all this is a company I cannot recommend highly enough.
I was loving the hazy but hot day I spent at the beach and the photo above captures it perfectly. There was not a ton of people on the main beach and after walking just a little there was absolutely no one! Pure perfection. (In my opinion at least!)
So one of my very first questions for Katherine was what her favorite activity was on the water.
“My favorite lake activity is boating without a destination in mind. There’s really nothing better than exploring the waters with good company on a sunny afternoon. I could stay out on that water ALL DAY. But otherwise, I love to be in the water swimming or on it paddling. Paddleboarding gives you such a unique perspective – spying on the creatures below when the sun hits the water just right and sneaking up to land animals on the shores. I’ve also had some incredibly close encounters with eagles, which is totally thrilling and cheesily emotional!”
One of my favorite things is just messing about in the water with my brothers while swimming. It’s so simple, but some of my favorite memories are seeing my brothers make fun of each other for completely random things, like when Evan yelled at the fish that swam and bumped against his leg or trying to have all three of us sit on each others shoulders in an insane game of chicken. That game of chicken ended with a lot of falling and a lot of sore shoulders. During my latest trip to the beach, the boys went with me and Evan actually ended up stealing my new Red Logo Ball Cap from Lake Effect Co. Not gonna lie, but he might pull it off better than I do! (But Evan, if you are reading this, it’s not yours. You can’t, I repeat CAN’T have it.) Selfish, yes. But it is so comfortable and matches one of my favorite swimsuits perfectly!!
After talking more, Katherine revealed what she loves most about running her own business.
“My favorite part of running the business, other than doing “research” via traveling to new lake destinations is building connections. This business has introduced me to dozens of amazing people that either share a love of the lake or simply are entrepreneurs willing to support each other. The power of social media in driving those connections has totally changed the way that I look at the online world now, and I’m forever grateful to it for that.”
With the topic of business in mind, I asked Katherine what her favorite products were from the shop. She chose the White Lake Day hat, Lake Anchors the Soul Tank (the one seen on me above), Red 1/4 Zip, and Blue Pocket LAKE DAY Long Sleeve. Oh, and she doesn’t go anywhere without her boat tote. Seriously, who could pick just one?? I have the red logo hat and lake anchors the soul tank top (both mentioned and linked above) and they are perfect for lake days. The tank top is so light and fits like a gem (I have it rolled up in the cover photo, because I was getting pretty toasty in the sun. However, it goes to my hips like a good fitting tank top should.) and the hat will be going to a lot more than just the beach let me tell you! If you have a baby – they’ve got onesies! They also have so many more different styles of clothing and home goods like candles. My wish list includes the Crew Sweatshirt which will be perfect for fall days. (Which just happens to be when my birthday is. Coincidence? I think not!) The best part is that every purchase benefits the Alliance for the Great Lakes!! Looking cute and helping out my favorite lakes?? Couldn’t think of anything better!
To finish up our little Q and A session, I just had to ask her what her favorite memories or moments were on the lake. What she said gave me goose bumps the first time I read it and I’m sure you’ll agree!
“One of my favorite lake stories was from quite a few years ago. My sister had her friends up north to our cottage, and after the day’s festivities, including s’mores around the fire, my dad noticed quite a few shooting stars. He rounded up all the girls as we were getting ready for bed and took us out into the middle of the lake where we turned the boat off, snuggled under blankets, and watched a meteor shower for what seemed like hours. TOTAL MAGIC. Other favorite moments include paddleboarding at dawn before the lake is awake and having an amazing encounter with a loon. He swam around me, fishing and letting out loon calls sporadically for ~15 minutes. I just sat down and let him do his thing, but was totally in awe of how comfortable he was getting close to me. MORE MAGIC!”
So to all of my lake babies reading this and to all who just enjoy the nautical side of things, let me say that Lake Effect Co. is magic themselves, and that you should for sure check them out!! I had such a wonderful time getting to know the company and Katherine and truly loved the products. I wouldn’t partner with a company I didn’t really love and this is one I definitley stand behind, especially with how she is helping with the Alliance for the Great Lakes. I’m headed back to the East side of the state this weekend and I know what I’ll be packing in my suitcase for my time at the lake! #longlivelakelife