Up North University, UNU, is one of those hidden retail gems in Price County. Its name sounds scholarly, but this is not a brick and mortar place of higher learning. Rather, UNU is a concept of embracing the life of the northwoods and learning from the rich experiences the great outdoors has to offer.
According to its founders, "Up North University was born out of an idea to capture the unique essence and romantic notion of the northwoods and to celebrate its regional culture. To many people 'Up North' conjures up thoughts of fresh air, clear lakes, running streams, starlit evenings, Northern Lights, wildlife, campfires, rustic cabins, family fun, and lasting, lifelong memories."
Wanting to have a physical way to hold onto those memories, many visitors of "up north" take home a memento, often merchandise that is branded with the name of the area or some designation of their time spent "up north." Locals also want a way to show their pride for their hometown and often wear apparel with their town's name proudly emblazoned. That is where Up North University comes into play, creating both their own designs and custom-made apparel celebrating life "up north."
Along with apparel, anyone can also receive a fictitious "Bachelor's Degree in Advanced Northwoods Studies" upon successful completion of a fun on-line exam.
The founders, who live in Price County, love celebrating this area and "believe Highway 13 from Marshfield to Ashland should become a 'Corridor of Opportunity.' Price County is right in the middle and already features a solid industrial base. Our local economy has improved since The Great Recession of 2007-2009 and signs indicate it will continue to grow over the next several years. Highways 51 & 53 developed to the east and west of us, and communities along those routes have benefited significantly. We believe that whatever happens in Price County will benefit communities along the Highway 13 'Corridor of Opportunity.'"
When asked what should be improved in Price County to foster this growth, they said, "A major impediment to further growth in Price County is the lack of true broadband service. Once that becomes a reality, Price County will grow in population, retail shopping, and entertainment possibilities."
"Price County is on the verge of becoming a unique combination of a more vibrant hot bed for entrepreneurship and an icon of legendary Northwoods beauty," and this is why the UNU founders feel young people should feel drawn to Price County. Adding broadband service, continued economic growth, business incubation, new and affordable homes being built, and more cultural and shopping experiences are things the founders believe will draw the younger generations.
"The road to success is always under construction" is both a business and personal motto for Up North University and its founders. The duo says the best piece of wisdom they can impart on future generations is to 'Pay attention in class!' "The classroom is life all around you," they added.
If you would like to "pay attention in class" and show your love of the northwoods, stop by http://www.UpNorthUniversity.com to browse their merchandise and support a local business that pledges 10% of net quarterly profits will be tithed, going to charitable causes and organizations to foster further growth.
To view beautiful photos of the northwoods and other fun information, like their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/upnorthuniversity/