My love for Minnesota goes so deep I think it flows through my blood. From the pine trees of the Iron Range’s Northwoods to the sprawling metropolis that lies in the confines of the 494/694 loop, I can’t get enough of our incredible state. Though there is one problem, I don’t quite love any of our sports teams enough to rep their gear. Don’t get me wrong, I love sitting in Target field and cheering on our Twins, but at best I’m a recreational fan. And when it comes to the Vikings, unfortunately I’ve been seduced by the dark side of football since childhood and the only team I’ll ever have true love for wears the dreaded Green and Gold.
That being said, for years I had the dilemma of not knowing how to display the pride in where I’m from, without the struggle of defending the merits of whatever team I have on display. And let’s be real, our state is way more than just sports teams. Other states have to rely on their teams to have any sort of cultural identity, but from my experience we Minnesotans have a unity beyond a common team. Just the way we talk causes us to stand out! The amount of times I’ve been called out for being Minnesotan just for stressing the letter “O” or saying “hafta” instead of have to. And even though this caused me to be the butt of some jokes, it never gets to me because I just have too much pride in where I come from for it to ever be used against me. And I’ve seen that as a common attribute of Minnesotans; we have pride in where we’re from, and we’re not afraid to show it.
Which is where sota clothing comes in. Instead of having to represent only one particular team associated with our state, I get to show my love for the whole state. Minnesota love goes well beyond sports, but expands deep into the beautiful nature we are surrounded by. Having lived both in the Twin Cities Metro and the Northwoods I’ve seen firsthand much of what our state and fellow Minnesotans have to offer. And what we have is exceptionally diverse. Our Twin Cities is a hotbed of artistic and cultural energy. We are the O.G. Hipsters. The originality, and creativity of The Cities are exciting to be a part of. But up north the outdoors shape the culture. Everyone is excited by camouflage and fluorescent orange, and that’s a great thing too! So even with such a diverse populace, sota clothing appeals to it all. I am excited to rep my MN Paddles wherever I go. I’ve worn it out camping on the north shore of Lake Superior, fishing for walleye on Mille Lacs, and hammocking in the peaceful pines looking out over Big Sandy Lake. The design connects me to the nature that defines what being a northerner is about. But I’m also more than comfortable wearing it out on the town. Whether I’m just sipping coffee in one of the fine coffee shops of NE Minneapolis, enjoying a show at the Excel, and even screaming my lungs out cheering on our Twins I know I’m expressing what is best about our metro life: We support and care for our own. I have the joy to say that I know the owner of sota clothing, Spencer, and his family, and I know their love for our state, and for creating designs that connect with all of us. And I am proud to support him in his endeavors to continue to give us opportunity to express our deep love for the place we call home.
*To read more from the author visit his website at www.lukestocker.wordpress.com