Lost Appalachia Trading Co.: an online lifestyle brand with proud West Virginia roots.
Graphic designer Nicholas Tankersley had his eye on creating a personal clothing and lifestyle brand for years, but he wasn’t sure quite how he should get started. He entered a design for the New River Gorge’s 2017 Bridge Day poster competition and won. Part of his prize was booth space at the October event that draws more than 100,000 people each year. He decided the time was as good as any and took action to unveil his clothing designs to the world from that trophy booth.
Tankersley hoped the Lost Appalachia Trading Co. brand would reflect the spirit, natural beauty, and history of the region. The crowd loved what they saw. Word of mouth spread from the lively event beyond the borders of West Virginia and across the oceans.
A year after that pivotal Bridge Day, Tankersley launched a website where customers could purchase his designs. His inventory has grown to include cozy tees and sweatshirts, home decor, gear for the outdoors, and other items that proudly convey Mountain State pride. He’s received orders from faraway states and even European countries.
While his love of West Virginia provides endless inspiration, it’s also important to Tankersley to highlight the region’s craftsmanship, so he strives to keep all production within Appalachia. “Fiestaware does our mugs in West Virginia, our bandanas are milled in South Carolina, and our stickers and pins are done in New York state,” he said of his supply chain. “I guess it’s important for me because it’s home, and keeping money in the economy and cycling back to the same areas is important.”
Check out Tankersley’s goods at lostappalachia.com.