The Big Lake is a Great Lakes lifestyle blog and online shop by Chelsea M. Bromley, lifelong Michigander and artist behind The Big Lake.

Welcome! I’m delighted you’re here. I hope you’ll follow along as I share and celebrate the Great Lakes area through this blog, which features some behind-the-scenes photos of my creative work, new products, and shop updates, along with micro-adventures and lifestyle pieces about things to do + see in the Northern Midwest. (That’s a thing, right?).

For those interested in my online shop, view featured items on my shop page and be sure to visit The Big Lake on Etsy. If you are a retailer interested in wholesale orders, please visit my online shop to view current offerings and contact me via the Wholesale page on this website. I look forward to hearing from you!


Hi! My name is Chelsea, pictured above with my best friend and partner, John. We’re native Michiganders living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, sharing a passion for the Great Lakes and a Northern outdoors lifestyle.

A few years ago, I started The Big Lake with a few watercolor paintings and prints of Michigan and the Great Lakes. At the time, John and I were busy studying and working in grad school, and I began running my online shop as a side business to help with the cost of books. As time went on, I started adding new paintings, designs, and products, and was contacted by a few Michigan retail shops interested in carrying my pieces. I absolutely loved meeting people from all across the Great Lakes region and beyond who connected with my work and this special place, and decided to expand my offerings and brand.

Nearing graduation, we made the decision to move to the U.P. from the lower peninsula. I left my teaching position and put all of my creative efforts in The Big Lake while John began his professional career. Together we’ve committed to celebrating an “Up North” lifestyle through our work and mini-adventures (read more about those through John’s blog, The Flannel Dispatch). We absolutely adore it here in the U.P., and it is our mission to write, create, and share our Northern, outdoorsy, and Great Lakes lifestyle.

We hope you’ll join us in “living the Great life,” thanks for stopping by!


Featured Products + Shop Preview:






Cold Water

If more people spent a quiet hour along a river, listening to the currents run and break and bubble over rocks and washed-down tree limbs and branches, and reaching in, feeling the cold streams icy on fingers and toes, I believe we, collectively, would treat our water, trees, land, and selves, better…(click to read more)

This Art Helps Protect U.P. Land

This is my first art endeavor for the UPLC, and I’m excited to share this piece with you! 10% of each online sale of my “Superiorland” art print and greeting card is donated to the UPLC!…click to read more



Amazing Petals
Lake Orion, MI

Anchored Designs
Onekama, MI

Apple Blossom Merchantile
Houghton, MI

Bay Antique Center
Bay City, MI

Bijou Lovely
Iron Mountain, MI

The Brass Anchor Co.
Saugatuck, MI

Canvas & Paddle
Mackinac Island, MI

Catching Fireflies
Ann Arbor, MI | Berkley, MI | Rochester, MI | Royal Oak, MI |

Coyer Candles
Midland, MI

Craft Handmade
Adrian, MI

Okemos, MI

The Eyrie
Ypsilanti, MI

Half Mile Handmade
Bay City, MI

Literati Bookstore
Ann Arbor, MI

Little Lion
Milford, MI

Little Luxuries Artists Market
Mackinac Island, MI

The Made in Michigan Store
Grand Rapids, MI | Mackinaw City, MI | Saugatuck, MI

McLean & Eakin Booksellers
Petoskey, MI

Michigan Pantry
Holland, MI & Grand Rapids, MI

Midland Center for the Arts
Midland, MI

My Secret Stash
Traverse City, MI

Purely Michigan
St. Joseph, MI

Rebel Reclaimed
Grand Rapids, MI

Seasons of Mackinaw
Mackinaw City, MI

The Wave
Newberry, MI


Seattle, WA

Handmade Toledo
Toledo, OH

“Made” on Mass
Lawrence, KS

Paperish Mess
Chicago, IL

Silver Creek Gifts
Two Harbors, MN


The Outpost General Store
Manitoulin Island


The Big Lake on Etsy

The Awesome Mitten

I’d love to hear from you!
Fill out my Wholesale Application and let’s chat!