Meet the 'Real Women of Namakagon'

Posted at: 09/25/2013 6:26 PM
Updated at: 09/25/2013 8:07 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

The Northland is full of tourist destinations. There is the North Shore, the Boundary Waters, the Apostle Islands, and so much more. But the women of Wisconsin's north woods want to make sure people know everything they have to offer and they're doing it by returning to the WWII era.

The Real Women of Namakagon are on a mission to share the home that they love. Their 2013 calendar was a surprise success, they sold 1,000 copies across the U.S. in their inaugural year. Now they're back, introducing 13 more women, including Sara Balbin.

Deep in the north woods is Dragonfly Studio. There, Balbin often plays with fire. She's a painter, a sculptor, and now a calendar girl as Ms. September 2014.

"I became a subject, a model, and what an honor being an artist to be invited to be someone else's art," said Balbin.

The Real Women of Namakagon calendar showcases everything there is to do in the Cable area by highlighting the diverse women that live and work there.

"It showed the huge talent, intelligence, compassion, personalities that exist among the women out here," Balbin said.

One of Balbin's sculptures is in front of The Brick House Café. Owner Heather Ludzack is Ms. December 2013.

"Kind of a fun part of it was showcasing a lot of the businesses, a lot of the people, and all of the really fun yearly activities we have here," said Ludzack.

This year, she's passed on her title and her shoes to her daughter, an aspiring singer in New York. Sidney Reynolds is Ms. December 2014.

And over on Lake Namakagon, family tradition continues. At just 28 years old, Amanda Staudemeyer runs Fours Seasons Resort, a business in her family for nearly 50 years. She's the 2013 cover girl.

Staudemeyer sells many of the calendars at her resort, and all those proceeds go back to local groups. She said she doesn't often get all dolled up, but it was worth it to send their message.

"The women around here aren't only really hardworking with their jobs, but they also like to have fun, they hunt, they fish, they snowmobile and they ride motorcycles," she said.

The women are selling their 2014 calendars for 15 dollars. The proceeds go to the Namakagon Trail Groomers, CARE, Namakagon Lake Association, and Cable Area Lions Club.

The calendars are sold at the following businesses: The Four Seasons Resort, The Loon Saloon, Evergreen Tavern, Pioneer Bar, Whispering Pines, The Brick House Café, Rondeau's Grocery Store and Hardware, Mulberry Street, and Sawyer County Record.