Entrepreneur's clothing line shows North Shore pride

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After trimming trees near Toimi, 30 miles north of Two Harbors, Ethan Casady drove back on County Road 2, trying to imagine a logo for the clothing company he dreamed of starting.

He wanted something that would embrace the North Shore area.

As the sun sank below the treeline, he found what he was looking for.

"The sunset was just behind so all I saw was the silhouette of the pines, white pines and tamarack ... I was like, 'Man, that would be cool,'" Casady said. "You could see the lake in the background."

When Casady, 25, got back to his office at North Harbor Services — the Two Harbors landscaping, tree service and snow removal business he owns — he drew the design on paper and digitized it. He stuck the logo — the shape of Lake Superior layered on top of that outline of trees — on the front of a trucker hat. He ordered 24 of the hats and sold them all before they even arrived.

NorShore Clothing Co. was born.

That was back in September 2017. Now that logo has been transferred to T-shirts, sweatshirts, trucker hats and beanies.

When he started NorShore, he saw it as a way to keep busy during the winter, especially since the last few winters have been so light on snow. But this year is an exception.

When he met with the News-Chronicle on Monday, Feb. 26, at the NHS garage and office, he was in between snow-clearing jobs.

Although he's reaching many of his customers through Facebook, Casady would like to display the clothing at more craft shows and sell it in a few shops along the shore. But he doesn't mind keeping NorShore small.

"I didn't want something that there was a huge expectation for," Casady said.

Two Harbors resident Ben Redden, a NorShore customer who's purchased several NorShore products, was first drawn to the company by the hats.

"It's classy enough, but still holds that down-home value," Redden said. "You feel comfortable representing your area."

That's exactly what Casady envisioned for the brand.

He was inspired by yearly trips to the Minnesota State Fair, where he was drawn to Sota Clothing, a clothing company started by University of Minnesota Duluth students that uses images of Minnesota in its designs.

"Why doesn't somebody do that specifically for Lake Superior stuff?" he remembered asking himself.

What he didn't want was another generic, touristy clothing line.

"I'm trying to stay away from the 'I Love Washington D.C.' shirt kind of idea," he said.

The clothing company is a way for locals to represent their area and, Casady hopes, not forget about the North Shore's natural beauty.

"People who live here kind of take for granted the lake or just the area in general," Casady said.

NorShore Clothing Co. sells its merchandise at norshoreclothing.com.