Picture this, four dudes in their senior year at Gustavus Adolphus College, passionate about their Swedish roots, but bummed they can't find gear to show it. Meet Stephan Quie, Aden Letcher, Anders Gilyard, and Tyler Bishop. These guys decided to take matters into their own hands and start their own business designing Scandinavian inspired clothing people love to wear. Gustavus stepped in with a little investment support and Midsommar.co was born launching their first tee in the Gustavus bookshop.
Left to right: Stephan Quie, Anders Gilyard, Aden Letcher, Tyler Bishop
These guys work together as a team, each having defined roles that help move the business forward. Tyler is the Social Media Master, Stephan is the Business Manager while Aden is the Operations and Supply Chain Manager and Anders is the House DJ and Culture Extraordinaire. Although they have separate roles, they still work together on some aspects such as clothing design drawing on each other's strengths and inspiration for ideas. It is worth noting that all four of them hold full time jobs as well which means they do all of this as a side hustle managed out of their living room.
Christina Swenson and Allie Krings
Right now they offer five shirts, one for each Scandinavian country all long sleeved with the exception of Sweden also coming in a short sleeved. They are currently working on a new t-shirt design and a ball cap too. I met with Stephan recently to better understand their business and when talking about the products he said, "We're trying to get a good base of products here in MN, but are looking to expand further." That offers hope to other Midwest states like Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas, which also have a strong Scandinavian population. Their items can be purchased at Ingebretsen's Scandinavian Gifts, American Swedish Institute, and Norway House all in Minneapolis, MN. Their gear is also available on their website.
If you're interested in learning more about Midsummar.co, follow them on Instagram and Facebook. They often hold sponsored events to bring the community together. They believe brands continue to get more and more disconnected to their customers "just creating t-shirts" as Stephan said. In order to counter that they want their brand to stand for having "fun with a community aspect". In case you were wondering, this is where Anders House DJ skills come into play and I believe where the idea of "koselig" ties in nicely as well. It seems everyone I meet that is involved in their Scandinavian roots have this sense of togetherness and pride for their heritage. Even if we don't all know the meaning of koselig or hygge (Danish version of koselig), we all seem to embody its spirit inside nonetheless. I look forward to watching this business grow!