I love the state I live in. I was born and raised in metro-Detroit, went to school and have family roots in the UP, and live and raise my children in a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan. Of all the places I have explored and traveled, I am always proud to be from the Midwest and happy to come home to Michigan. I love all four seasons that we have. I love how we are surrounded by water and that lakes, rivers, and streams are always minutes away, no matter where we are. And who doesn’t love pulling out your mitten and showing where you live or where you’ve been?
My orange tandem bike first came into my life when my sister took me on a 100 mile yard sale road trip across the Midwest. One of the last stops was a farmer’s barn and in it I found my 1968 Montgomery Ward tandem bike. I had to have it and somehow managed to add it to an overflowing pick-up truck. We cleaned up that orange tandem bike and it became the main mode of transportation for me and my young daughter throughout our small beach town.
Tandem For Two got its start in 2013 and the logo was born when my son suggested the name, complete with our orange tandem bike. This bike, that went from a Midwest farm to a small beach town, sums up all that we love about where we live. Its basket has carried veggies from our farmers’ market, towels for the beach, picnic dinners to the park, and even our dachshund gets an occasional ride!
As Tandem For Two has grown, our tandem bike has become a great symbol of how we ride in this life together. I have realized that part of celebrating where we live is making the products in our communities and involving others on this journey. This one woman, part-time business has grown from sewing pillows at my kitchen counter into a full-time crew. I love working with people that need experience, income, or flexibility and are able to put their talents to a purpose. We are single and stay-at-home parents, retirees, the underemployed, and students who need first time job experience. I also partner with other small, local businesses that employ even more individuals where we live. As every year, 10% of our profits are given back to our communities, particularly those torn apart by natural disasters, refugees fleeing from their communities or those living without a place to call home.
Tandem For Two is not only a creative outlet for individuals, and a champion of our communities, but also provides an avenue to celebrate the everyday activities of where we live with handcrafted products that we take pride in creating.