A Love Letter to Wisconsin

A Love Letter to Wisconsin
Dear Wisconsin,
It’s true. I love you madly.  I think your rivers and lakes are so beautiful.  The trees that cover the rolling hills are truly stunning.  Lake Michigan is something to behold as it fools the eye into thinking you’re in the Caribbean.  But please don’t think that I only love you for your beauty.  It goes way deeper than that. The people in your state are some of the nicest you’ll find.  They wave you forward at an intersection.  They smile at you in line of the grocery store.  They help you shovel after a big snowfall.  They have the biggest heart.  The phrase “Midwest Nice”  applies to the people of your state.  I just thought you should know.

I was born and raised in Wisconsin. I lived in Minnesota and Illinois for a few years, but other than that, I’ve always called Wisconsin my home.  I would like to tell you a little secret that may surprise you after reading my love letter.  When I went to college at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, I joined a sorority.  Most of the girls there were from the East coast.  They were a pretty tight group and I wasn’t a part of that.  I actually wasn’t accepted to the group.  They looked at me as if I was a farmer wearing overalls and bare feet (not all East coast girls felt that way of course).  They were amazed that people were actually lived in this state voluntarily.  I ended up feeling ashamed of being from Wisconsin and would make fun of the state just to try to fit in.  “Oh yeah, we all drink beer starting in our baby bottles.”  “Wisconsin, the only place where the cows outnumber the people”  “Beer, brats and cheese runs through our blood.”  None of that witty banter helped of course, but I felt like if I distanced myself and laughed with everyone else, people might see me as the exception. 

Fast forward to many years past the stupidity of my college years.  I have lived in other big cities in other states.  They were nice places and I met some nice people.  I’ve called Cedarburg in Wisconsin my home for 24 years now and I’ve raised two children here.  I’ve traveled all over Wisconsin, camping, hiking, boating, kayaking, shopping, and exploring.  I’ve also traveled all over the world and in many of the fifty states. 

Let me say this really clearly for everyone to hear…I love this state.  It is stunningly beautiful.  That love letter is real.  I have met some of the nicest people in this state.  When our kids were little, we took many trips around the state, trying to show them how gorgeous and fun this state really was. I didn’t want my kids to feel the way I felt in that college sorority house.  I feel like I need to offer an apology for the way I acted. It’s important to admit when you’re wrong, right?  I was wrong.  This state is a fabulous place to live, explore, raise kids, and vacation.  I’m proud to call it my home and I hope my kids always say that as well.

So why do I tell you this embarrassing story after all these years?  When I started this business about 4 and a half years ago, I started it with only Cedarburg products.  But I always knew that I would add in Wisconsin products.  I bet you understand now why I felt so strongly about that.  I love this state and every single design on my website is a reflection of that. I preach about how healing it is to get outside and to explore and I really mean that. I hope that telling you my embarrassing college story helps you to feel a little bit more love and appreciation for the lovely state of Wisconsin.  I do have to run, my cheese curds are only squeaky for a little while longer.

Explore Wisconsin paddle campfire mug in green


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