You don't have to go much further than any social media channel as of late to see the buzz that has accrued about our sweet, little, humble hometown. Recently referred to as a "mini-Portland" of sorts, our quaint yet ever-growing Chippewa Valley is receiving accoloades-- ones we have been feeling for quite some time.
Image found via medium.com
Many have been surprised, deeming some of the nods as eye-roll worthy or incomprehensible. When you have spent enough time in any given place, you garner a sense of ownership over that space; a badge of honor for being an original. We too have felt that way, being born and bred Eau Claireians ourselves, but having moved and stepped out of the town for a better part of our 20's, coming back to the progression has been eye opening.
We've both lived in large cities with access to endless resources and talent bursting at every seam. We've watched careers flourish in our respective creative fields and others hustle to no avail in a cut-throat industry and time. And if we're being completely honest, neither of us thought after our Old Abe days, our ties to Eau Claire would extend beyond the place we came home for holidays to visit family and meet friends shoulder-to-shoulder at the Joynt. That is until we stepped foot back on this soil and witnessed the palpable energy taking place. We could hear ourselves think, we could see the community as a buoy for our ideas and collaboration taking place. And like the rest of the patrons, we continually saw the most talented humans–of all mediums– continuing to dig the roots deeper, regardless of the trajectory in which they were growing.
Like the name linyage suggests, our brand is often about creating some new from something old, whether that be the actual material, or sewing on the vintage Elna that was handed down to Lindsay as a little girl from her grandfather. When we sat down to make our vision boards about the company four years ago, we were in the throws of the somewhat imminent guilt that comes with saying "I'm coming back home", as it were some kind of regression. Overtime as our love letter to EC has grown, it has become more and more apparent as to why there's simply no other place for linyage to be based out of, even when many of our clients hail from other parts of the world. This community is insular, the ground feels a bit easier to stand as entrepreneurs, and there is something comforting in the juxtaposition occurring between this city's steady growth and yet simplistic nature.
Everyone has a hard time with change in some capacity, even though we fight for it, go to therapy for it, and know innately it's what is necessary. But for some reason, Eau Claire, WI feels like one of the few places on earth that allows you to have a grip on necessary revisions while taking pride in keeping the core steady. We're not sure we would ever be able to do what we do, or at the magnitude in which we see it evolving, anywhere else in the world. Not because we haven't had the opportunities, but because we have been given enough first-hand examples from others of just how and what is possible. Are there still issues to be dealt with? Of course. Is there still growth to be had? Always. But thank goodness for not remaining stagnant, right?
On the steps of our first studio, over 2.5 years ago.
Reap what you have sewn, grow where you were planted : finding comfort in these notions with no guilt attached.