Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis

100 Air Industrial Park Drive
Boyne City, MI 49712

The legend of Shaggy’s literally begins in a barn, according to Jeff Thompson of Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis. There the family found an old pair of hand-carved wooden skis, and learned that their great-grand-uncle Sulo “Shaggy” Lehto had made skis for family members and friends in the early 1900s. Fast forward one hundred years and the Thompsons decided to carry on the tradition by launching their own ski manufacturing business, naming it after Shaggy and their beloved Keweenaw Peninsula, best known as “Copper Country.”

“Each and every pair of our skis is hand-crafted here in Michigan from the best materials, including locally sourced ash and poplar. And our business model is as unique as our skis: unlike most other ski manufacturers, we’re not trying to break into retail. We offer our skis directly to the consumer, and this allows us to offer custom options and match the skier to the perfect ski for them. When you buy a pair of skis from us you really do become part of the Shaggy’s Family,” said Jeff. 

When Jeff wanted help with the company’s business plan and marketing, he found the Michigan SBDC through an online search. He completed the request for consulting form and was matched with Business Growth Team Manager Jim McLain, who also shares a love for the sport. Together they fine-tuned the business plan and carved out the marketing strategy. 

“It’s very helpful to have an outside perspective and advice,” said Jeff. “With Jim’s broad and deep marketing background, he’s a tremendous resource for us. The Michigan SBDC team helped us with international SEO and ideas to go after new markets and customers.”

What’s next for the Shaggy’s? For starters, closing the shop for a quick Shaggy’s Family Vacation trip to Mount Bohemia to chase powder, and then establishing deeper relationships with industry influencers and like-minded lifestyle brands. Because as some unknown skier once said, “Skis are not just pieces of wood, steel and fiberglass. They are tools for escape, a medium for personal expression, a way to challenge fears, push limits and share incredible experiences with your friends.” 


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