Hi. I’m Michael. I was fortunate enough to grow up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a small mountain town in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Not only is Steamboat surrounded by magical wild spaces, but also a lifestyle that embodies the western outdoor culture and a laid-back attitude. High value is placed on adventure and time spent outside over countless hours in the office. The West is where people trade in their suit and tie for a comfy t-shirt and ball cap and the morning rush hour is spent on a bike path or a trail instead of a freeway. It’s where you walk into a business and you’re greeted by a dog rather than a salesman.
Growing up in Steamboat, I developed a love and appreciation for the outdoors and wild places. I care deeply about our environment, our collective future, and the wild areas that remain, especially those close to home. The western half of North America is unique with its majestic snow capped peaks and dark timbered forests. This wild country creates the headwaters of the Colorado River and its flow winds its way through the desert canyons of timeless red rock until it eventually meets the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean. The colors, the journey, the flow…they all inspire me and the artwork I create for West Lyfe.
The West is awe-inspiring and it draws many visitors, some educated in conservation and some not so much. The national parks, monuments, wilderness areas and public lands in the West are treasures that should be shared, but they must also be safeguarded and protected.
I’ve watched my home town grow and change over the years as more and more people seek what the West has to offer. It’s gone from a sleepy, ski bum kind-of-a-town, to a busy, tourist destination in my relatively short lifetime…a common story/theme throughout the west’s outdoor communities. Steamboat is still a magical place, with a lot of wild to explore, but I’ve witnessed firsthand the negative effects of “human progress” on nearby wild places, and all this ‘“progress” has got me thinking...
A WILD Idea
In the spring of 2018, the initial concept of WEST LYFE came to mind. While on a short hike I had a vision to create a company that affected real change. The products I’d sell would be inspired by the rugged beauty of the Western United States AND sustainably produced and committed to safeguarding its wild spaces for future generations…easier said than done.
The truth is mainstream business practices do not always jive with the needs of the natural world; the very same world that supports our own well-being and prosperity. I think many of us find ourselves at an ethical crossroads that is difficult to navigate. It’s hard to know what to do, how to act, and how to live when our values don’t align with existing infrastructure and economic forces. It is this cross-section of forces that drove me to create something different. Something I call the WEST LYFE.
I invite you to learn more about our mission. My hope is that West Lyfe will inspire and provoke more people to think differently about the small choices we can all make to move us all toward a new paradigm and a more sustainable future.
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