The Fresh Exchange began in 2010 when Megan Gilger hit the publish button on the first blog post. She was simply looking to create a space that allowed her creative freedom while working on Graphic Design projects from the basement at her parent’s home that were far from inspiring to her. Mike Gilger, her husband and her were fresh out of college in the recession with creative degrees and simply trying to find a way to make ends meet. The blog allowed them both space to create, define their path, and connect them with a creative world beyond their front door.
In the last 8 years many things have happened that have shifted The Fresh Exchange into what it is now. Megan and Mike began working together after Mike working for an agency felt he needed a new perspective. Megan’s graphic design work had picked up and the blog grew as they shared lifestyle content about traveling, working, and building a life as two creatives. They together built a design business and built award winning lifestyle brands for various types businesses. At the same time they worked with brands of all types on the blog to create social content on their Instagram, blog, and Pinterest. During this time they traveled often and were based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
When they had their first child, they made the decision to head home to Northern Michigan. Megan left the design portion in their business and Mike carried on with his own clientele. They each supported each other in their endeavors but took time to figure out how their life looked as parents and creatives working for themselves. Megan carried on creating content with brands and building The Fresh Exchange. Moving back to Northern Michigan, Megan narrowed her content to focus on what life was like for her as a mom and creative in a seasonal place. Northern Michigan has always been her heart as it is where she was born and raised. Coming back here, she found solace in the seasonal rhythms while they built their home on 10 acres in Leelanau County. Raising a baby and finding new directions in her career, she began to write content focused on eating with the seasons, living amongst the seasons, and the culture of gathering in a seasonal climate. She spent a year cataloging their journey of building their home on a hill in the countryside of Northern Michigan.
Now, Megan and Mike are venturing into new areas of creative work with The fresh Exchange and opening an online store focused curated handmade products from Northern Michigan focused on seasonal living and the culture of living on the shore of Lake Michigan. Launching at the end of October 2018 they hope to use the store to shift our perspective of consumption and to start moving our eyes toward the impact of local and our communities whether near or far. Megan works directly with each maker to design products that she loves and believes complement a life of seasons. It has been her dream for years to work with makers directly and to create products with deep meaning while doing good for the community that inspires her most.
The Fresh Exchange has shaped dramatically through the years just as any creative business should, but the thing that stays true is that this space continues to always inspire Megan and Mike Gilger and always shows the true heart they have for living with intention.