By Shayna Mace | From left: Forward Apparel Co., Girl Wonderful, Lake Effect Co.
FORWARD APPAREL CO.
Forward, the state’s motto, was the inspiration for Joe and Kelly Leschisin’s company, founded in 2016. With items for men, women and children ranging from apparel to drinkware to prints, the brand celebrates “the beautiful state of Wisconsin and honors all of the things we’re surrounded by — nature, history, sports and so much more.” The enterprising couple also own KELLA in Mount Horeb, an inspirational shop that showcases — of course — Forward’s apparel, but also other local artists’ work as well. forwardapparel.co, madebykella.com
A line that’s called GIRL WONDERFUL is already a win with us. Verona-based mother-daughter duo Deb Kusmec and Elizabeth Medina run the company, which was started in 2014. Medina’s motivation to start the company came when she was pregnant with her daughter. “I decided I wanted to create something for girls that came with a different kind of message — a meaningful one that was focused on their real-life potential,” explains Medina. Shirts like “Girl President,” “Girl Astronaut” and “Girl Artist” proudly showcase every girl’s capability. girlwonderful.com
LAKE EFFECT CO.
In the Midwest, we love our lakes, and so does Hartland-based Katherine Gramann, which is why she founded Lake Effect Co. in 2016. The robust brand has tanks, T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats, plus an entire line of home goods. Her “Chase More Sunsets,” “So Cold” and “Lake Day” branded merch are her signature pieces. Part of her proceeds also benefit charitable organizations, including DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project and the NAACP. lakeeffectco.com
Madisonian Apparel was born in 2016 out of Jon Siebrecht’s love of his native city. “We are a very proud, kind community with very quirky and regionally-specific attributes. I try and pull the most relatable bits and translate those to apparel graphics,” he says. That means a cropped black T-shirt emblazoned with “Madisonian” in edgy font hints at Metallica’s logo or a burgundy sweatshirt with the cheeky “Midwest Nice” phrase. We dig it. madisonianapparel.com