With time to spare between graduating from college and starting a full-time job, Nick Yoder decided to kick up his feet and spend a lot of time catching up on sports. But the novelty quickly wore off and boredom set in.
“I got sick and tired of watching ‘SportsCenter’ all day, so I started reading a lot of fashion blogs,” said the 25-year-old, who graduated with a degree in marketing.
The more he read, the more he learned about several small, independent apparel brands based in the South, hose clothes epitomized and celebrated the Southern lifestyle. But he noticed there seemed to be fewer retailers geared towards a Midwestern experience. So he got to work creating his own company: Flyover Press.
“I saw all these great things from Southern brands that were really cool, but didn’t necessarily resonate with me,” Yoder said. “I don’t know anything about growing up in a cotton field.”
What he did know about was growing up Midwest, where a lake was never more than a few miles away, where a pick-up game of basketball could last the afternoon and where big cities still feel like small towns. Yoder decided the Midwest needed a brand of its own to show what was so great about living in a flyover state.
“When I went to college, that’s when I really started realizing how much I loved being from the Midwest and how much it was really something I was proud of,” said Yoder, who grew up near South Bend, Ind., along the Michigan border. “I really wanted to make things to show people that pride.”
Last spring, Yoder launched his company with a line of prints, t-shirts and koozies, all made in the U.S. and designed to give Midwesterners a way to show their pride.
“It’s something we have a hard time showing,” said the Butler University graduate. “I think we’re all brought up to be very humble and we don’t necessarily brag about ourselves.”
Thanks to Yoder, Midwesterners now have a classy way to show off.
Want to rep your state? Head over to Flyover Press’ website to shop the Midwest pride they’ve created in t-shirt and print form. You can also find Flyover Press at William Rogue, an online curated shop based in Minneapolis. Yoder’s company is one of nine Midwest lines the store carries. Over the next few months we’ll bring you their stories.