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Yooper Steez (Bugsy Sailor)

Justin “Bugsy” Sailor a true Yooper at heart grew up in Baraga, Michigan. His parents native to the Lower Peninsula found themselves living in the U.P., after both of which attended Michigan Tech to study Forestry, to raise a family. Through high school Bugsy spent a lot of his time playing hockey, skateboarding, and snowboarding. Then after graduation he went to Michigan State University. After five glorious years at State, and before deciding to move back to the U.P., he spent the next year traveling to all of the 50 states. Between his time at MSU and his travels he realized his great pride in the Upper Peninsula. It seemed to him that once he moved away from here that is when he truly learned to appreciate what this place has to offer. As he traveled across the country people everywhere would ask “Where are you from?” As he told them about the Upper Peninsula they would ask more about it. The further he traveled away from home the more likely people were to have never heard of the Upper Peninsula. Each and every conversation about his homeland his pride and love for the U.P. grew more and more.

Bugsy SailorOn his traveling tour he decided to collect a t-shirt from nearly every state. As he collected them, in one state then he would later wear it in another state, he began to notice a trend, he realized how much of a conversation starter they were. People would approach him and ask if he was from said place, had he been there? or simply say it was one of their favorite places. He realized quickly that if he had been wearing a generic shirt those conversations would have never existed.

For all the times he educated people on his trip about what a “Yooper” is, how big the Lake Superior really is, or what a pasty is, he became motivated to come back and start a new project all about the Upper Peninsula. He thought that the Upper Peninsula needed an iconic but simple shirt that would allow people to represent their love for the Upper Peninsula. The simplest way to do that was to show the silhouette of the Upper Peninsula. People who love the Upper Peninsula would recognize it immediately and those who didn’t would often ask what the shape is. He hopes people will be able to experience similar stories he has and simply be able to point to their shirt to show people where they live.

And this is how Yooper Steez came to be in 2008. Steez meaning style with ease. Their focus is to provide original Upper Peninsula products; tee shirts, hoodies, skateboards, etc. They use fresh content through their blog for people who appreciate what the Upper Peninsula has to offer. They strive to connect Yoopers across the world and give them a way to represent their love for the Upper Peninsula. They hope to provide style with ease so people can proudly show their love for the Upper Peninsula. They want to create products that haven’t been seen before, and their skateboards are a great example of that.

As a Yooper Steez customer himself, he will wear the signature Yooper Steez silhouette U.P. tee and people approach him all the time and ask if he’s from the U.P., tell him how much they love the U.P., or simply ask what the shape is on his shirt. This always allows him to take pride in where he’s from and tell people about it at the same time. It’s good to be a Yooper.


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