Meet Austin Holsinger

Like many great businesses, Great Lakes Proud started with an idea, and took many nos before it turned into a yes. Founder Austin Holsinger was living off friends’ couches when he first came up with the concept for Great Lakes Proud, and it took over 50 rejections before he found is first retail partner, Roast and Toast Cafe in Petoskey, Michigan, who agreed to carry his product.

Today, the original Great Lakes Proud decal and products are sold in hundreds of retail locations throughout the Midwest and has had high-profile partnerships with companies and groups like Moosejaw, Patagonia and the NCAA.

“I always knew I wanted to do something to give back to the community and help preserve the natural beauty of Michigan and its Great Lakes. The fact that we’ve been able to help so many organizations propels me to want to do even more,” Austin says.

When he’s not coming up with innovative ways to expand the company’s reach and impact, Austin enjoys traveling, is an avid outdoorsman and peanut butter aficionado.