THE ORIGINS OF BIG WATER APPAREL
By Adam “Allister Champagne” Wagner
Whether you’re having a Saturday afternoon beer with your curling team, or wrestling black bears in Iron County, Big Water Apparel makes the clothing designed to keep you comfy in any situation. Each print is silkscreened by hand onto the highest quality tees made in the good old U.S. of A. The shirts are so soft, they cry at the end of Twilight movies.
Do you spend your free-time combating child-labor laws in China? Fantastic! Every Big Water shirt is hand-printed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with environmentally friendly, water-based ink, that makes the kickass designs look and feel as awesome as possible. The artwork on Big Water Apparel is originally hand-drawn in pen and ink, inspired by the great mistress Michigan, the lakes that surround her, and the fun stuff to do in and around them. Every penny spent on Big Water Apparel stays local, and probably goes directly to Stucko’s Pub in Marquette, not China. So the question becomes: is your conscious ready to deal with not owning any Big Water Apparel?
Native Americans call Lake Superior Gichigami, which means “Big Water.” They are right; it’s effing big. It’s so big that Gordon Lightfoot writes songs about it, and it’s so fresh that it has an auntie and uncle in Bel-Aire. During the Gales of November, Gichigami ravages her southern shores with 20 foot waves and t-shirt logo inspirations.
Since its establishment in 2011, Big Water Apparel has made people look as amazing as a Marquette Harbor fireworks display. When people wear Big Water shirts in public, they’re subject to questions like:
- Would you mind opening this pickle jar for me?
- What is the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?
- Can I buy you a drink?
- Can I take you to Paris?
- Do you know Liam Neeson?
- What’s the view like from atop Everest?
- How hard can you throw an axe?
THE ORIGINS OF COLIN
Sometime in the early 1980s, when the earth was closest to the sun and the moon glowed fire-red, an alpha-male grizzly bear came down from the mountains in search of a mate worthy of his heir. Somewhere in the great state of Michigan he happened upon a female komodo dragon that had set upon the land of the Great Lakes for the skiing and the bountiful fishing. The two fell madly in love, and five moons later the one named Colin Clancy broke free of his leathery, serpent shell.
The man we know as Colin charged into this world, as hairy as his grizzly bear father, with but one thing on his mind: hand-printed Michigan tees. After a few years of ski-bumming Colorado and acquiring degrees from both Western and Northern Michigan Universities, he launched Big Water Apparel, his poly-cotton homage to the great state of Michigan.
Escanaba born and raised, Pete is our designing, printing, shipping, rockin’ Operations Director. He’s got an Art & Design degree and lots of badass tattoos. He’s our native Yooper, plays in a ska band, and is pretty much the coolest person you know. He says, “I enjoy the process of taking something that is blank and creating something on it.”
Lewie is a native Yooper, born and raised in Escanaba and currently residing in Marquette. He’s an alumni of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and he has warning track power and hot corner reflexes when it comes to coed slow pitch softball. Lewie is Big Water’s sales rep, getting us in touch with great shops and retailers throughout Michigan and the Great Lakes region.
In addition to being Colin’s wonderful mom, Stacey is Big Water’s seamstress extraordinaire. She has sewed hundreds, nah, probably more like thousands, of Halloween costumes, Christmas stockings, class projects, tote bags, Big Water prototypes, etc. She enjoys the process of designing by trial and error, of putting her own touch on projects, and of knowing how much the recipients will love the end products. She’s a lifelong Michigan resident and an alumni of Gull Lake High School in Richland and Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. We hope she wasn’t too offended by the komodo dragon reference in Colin’s bio.
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