Our Utica Story

When I was young my father owned a beautiful Tartan 30 sailboat named 'Fire Girl'. Along with his close friends and crew of six, he would race her off the coast of Rhode Island near Barrington and Block Island. My mother would bring my brother and me to the beaches where we would watch his boat sail by. At seven years old it seemed possible he'd hear our cheers and see our waves from miles offshore. Our home had a small corner cupboard that housed a handful of trophies and silver cups from victorious races. Sailing - the boat, the crew, the sea - was an important element of my childhood.

Fast-forward twenty years to Northern California, weeks before Tradlands opens to the world ...

Our limited edition Utica shirt is given its name by Laurie Lion, founder and owner of Hawthorn Boutique in Oakland. Laurie was our first store account before we launched our website, when she went looking for locally made goods to include in her store. From our tiny studio on Nob Hill we scrambled to put a semi-professional looking purchase order and invoice together for our very first order. Later we celebrated and called to tell our parents. It was small wins like this that gave us the energy and support to grow.

Laurie is down-to-earth and kind. She has become one of our mentors; always offering uplifting advice and making us feel like our products and mission really matter. Every season we ask for her advice on upcoming fabrics and fits. She loved this offbeat sailboat number and was confident it would be a hit. We added it into our Spring/Summer lineup and asked Laurie to give it a name since it's conception was a collaborative effort.

Lake Utica is located in Northern California, perfect for boat-in camping, hiking, and exploring. On a warm day you'll find the reservoir and its shores populated with adventurers. The abundant forest surrounding the lake offers a peaceful escape and views of the starry sky that can only be found out in the wilderness. In Laurie’s words, "Utica is one of my favorite places on earth - beautiful, granitey, and hands down some of my best moments have been on that lake."

If you find yourself in Northern California, wander through Lake Utica. If you find yourself on College Avenue be sure to check out Hawthorn Boutique.

What will your Utica story be?