Hi, my name is Michael and I am the founder and maker behind the Gitche Gumee Company. Growing up in Michigan my family visited all the Great Lakes. Michigan is so beautiful and the lakes are the frame around our state. Superior, more specifically, always amazed me the way it could be so surreal and peaceful one day and furious and dangerous the next. So I wanted to create a brand that embodied this same persona. A collection of handbags and clothing that mixes the rough, bold and dangerous with the soft and serene. Something that was authentic Michigan without being obvious. Variations of the native american word gitche gumee exist from Chippewa and Ottawa, but it loosely translates to "a great sea" or "large body of water" and has been documented as the first name of what we now call, Lake Superior. As an ode to the greatest lake, when I first started designing, I would hand-stitch a series of five "X"s on each product with the last of the five stitched bigger. One X for each great lake. Those X's are now a symbol of when you Wear Superior.
I've spent the better part of my career in the apparel and fashion industry earning a bachelors degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology and living my 20's in New York City. From retail management and merchandising to buying, wholesale, design and product development, sewing was the one area of the product life cycle I hadn't worked in. So in the Fall of 2016 I completed the professional Industrial Sewing Certificate program at Henry Ford's M-Tech college and officially launched The Gitche Gumee Company November 10th, 2016 on the anniversary of the wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald.