"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has" - Margaret Mead

It's been said that you are the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time. Yeah, makes sense right? Well, that's how we feel about business. After all, we eat, sleep, live, and dream this company... it's our life, so it's full circle, really. Simply put, we work with people we enjoy, respect, and who challenge us and we publish the stories and carry the products of those who inspire us. Essentially that collaboration has determined the culture and undertone of absolutely everything we believe and create. It's all about the people. We call it "keeping good company." And, for us, that little phrase makes all the difference.

Let me throw a buzzword out there and see if it resonates. If it does, keep reading. If not, put the magazine down and slowly walk away.

TRIBE

There, I said it. The word that has been buzzing like a persistent mosquito. It's in social media, casual convo, and on hats and t-shirts everywhere. But I don't think 'tribe' is what the buzzword craze has spun it out to be. It's not a simple synonym for "groups" or "friends." I don't think it's far off to say that the meaning has been lost. Sure, many have it figured out, naturally... but what is the difference between say "tribe" and a... "club," for instance?

I needed to know more, so I went digging.

Here's my quick synopsis: 

Historically, Tribe was a group of people represented by a village. A community that lived together, worked together, and survived together. If everyone were the same, the village would have failed. Hybrid systems are stronger, and a Tribe is a system of people. Tribe isn't about uniformity. It's about diversity. It's not about appeasement. It's about authenticity. It's not to conform, but to keep individual integrity. 

Straight forward right? 

One of my favorite philosophers, Alan Watts, once said, "The one implies the many, and the many implies the one... All the variety in front of you... means one. The more different everything is, the more it proclaims its basic unity with everything else..."

Opening up that concept in a way that we can use it now, Tribe is a collection of people shining their true selves and skills; true unity through variety, together. And this, I believe, is why the buzzword has taken full force. This is the spark that pulls us in while we're thinking of our friends, our supporters... heck, even our Instragram followers.

This is why 'tribe' grabs at the strings of our souls. We know, on an instinctual level, that a tribe is what we're after; that this is what we want.

The trick is finding Tribe in its truest form and it's one of toughest challenges our communities face today. It's complex. Attention is scattered. Roles are matrixed - sometimes it can be hard to find our place. But the beautiful thing about it all is that when we all come together, we start to understand that we are far more alike than we ever realized. By nature, especially in MN, we tend not to share what our fears and struggles are or whatever the story is that we carry - but we all know... everyone has a story. Sharing our stories makes us vulnerable, yet there is a lot of power in this. We need people. It's in our DNA to want to be a part of something, something we believe in. Something real, integrated, and tangible. Something that deepens and refines our sense of place, brings out the best in us, and helps us recognize, unquestionably, that we belong. 

Sharing stories brings us together and, in our experience, it has allowed us to find our tribe (you!). Authentic people, engaging stories, and a sense of community are the very pillars upon which Lake + Co. are built. For all these reasons and more, we believe community has the power to nourish and sustain us in countless ways - some of which even science can't explain. Yet, we know it's worth building, maintaining, and holding dear.

The past couple years we've built a community of storytellers. A place where people gather to connect, inspire, and empower one another. Our tribe is made of hunters, homesteaders, bakers, and builders. We have web designers, marketing specialists, photographers, craftsmen, managers, and entrepreneurs. And like that infamous Minnesota modesty, our tribe is subtle, but serves up a whole lotta diversity and human spice and, yeah... it's where the magic happens.

Every day we are amazed by our community who use innovation, ideas, and service to create impact from the local to the global level. We are inspired. Every time we read and edit a story, we're empowered and comforted by the fact that there are people out there fulfilling their own mission to turn a story into a message. By doing what you do, we get to fulfill our mission by delivering the message that we all have a voice and the power to make a difference. We recognize the pioneering achievements of today's individuals who are forging a path for others to make their mark. Unwavering in their course, we celebrate the unabashed contributions of our elders and those before us who represent, with all their being, this pursuit.
BECAUSE BEING BRAVE AND GOING FOR IT GIVES OTHERS PERMISSION TO DO THE SAME.
We believe the real change makers are the people who aren't always recognized but continue to do good, little-by-little, day-to-day. These are our heroes and the people that have made the greatest impact. The people who DO. These are the people who have earned the stories and these are the stories we set out to tell.

I'm so proud of the tribe we're creating here at Lake + Co. From issue to issue, our pages are filled with real stories from different stages of life, business, and passion, and this magazine is co-created by all the people who carry the values and ethics of the north - a global community, all drawn together for the love of the lake.

It's our absolute privilege to be able to promote and share our state with the world, to be representatives of our home and culture, and to showcase its wonders and authenticity. This is our community, where we celebrate the stories of people doing exceptional things in the north, and we invite you to be a part of it.

Stand up, speak your mind, take the lead, and tell your story.

Start building where you want to stand.

Make an impact and most of all, be the company you want to keep.