Located two miles south of Elk Rapids at 11672 US 31 South, Rooted to Nature is packed with clothing options from around the world, with fabrics made from renewable resources such as bamboo, soy, hemp, cotton, merino wool and other natural fibers.
But thats not all: natural materials are married to artful, imaginative ideas, such as as line of t-shirts died with different colors of clay. And youll find childrens clothing, including wool-knit sweaters in earth tones that are adorable as well as durable.
Were also bringing products from India and Nepal, says Cody Montgomery, who backpacked through both countries recently, bringing back exotic hand-made apparel with workmanship thats impossible to mass produce.
A recent photo school graduate, Cody is the son of Buck and Cathy Montgomery who run the store with nephew Nick Cassell. Rooted to Nature opened in February of 2007 and is a family effort that combines many talents.
Nick was the one with the idea for the store, Cathy says. He had been working in outdoor retail for eight years and thought the time was right for an outdoor casual apparel boutique in Northern Michigan.
Originally from Royal Oak, the Montgomerys have summered in Northern Michigan for years on Deepwater Point in Acme and Torch Lake. We always wanted to come back here to live and thought that this would be a good area for this kind of concept -- natural fiber clothing made from renewable materials, says Buck, who was formerly a consultant in the Detroit area for family-run businesses.
Buck is an ardent booster of the merino wool products at the store. A cyclist, he says nothing beats the sheer, silky wool from New Zealand for sports apparel. Product lines include SmartWool, Ibex and Icebreaker. Merino wool is antimicrobial and wicks water away, he says. It does everything that polyester synthetics do, only better.
Cathy says the family would like to create a scene of like-minded retailers at their location south of Elk Rapids, kind of like an eco-mall. In the meantime, the family is doing their best to spread the word on the value of renewable, natural fiber clothing, including a website at www.RootedtoNature.com.