dawn patrols and swimming holes.
From Mountain tops to surf spots,
if you dream about it, odds are we do too.
Tuck Life was literally born on the beach. One hot August day in the summer of 1974, Mike Johansen’s mom went into labor and nearly had Mike right there on the sands of Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Back on the beach the next day he grew up running, surfing, and spending every moment he could at the beach, the salt and sand became a part of his DNA. After high school Mike was ready to explore more. A close cousin inspired him to come to Nantucket Island, and he instantly felt at home on this sandbar 36 miles out to sea. Discovering every corner of the island and surfing every wave he could kept him connected to this source of inspiration that brought about Tuck Life. This lifestyle of the beach, ocean, and coastal community became a way of life.
In school Mike’s passion was always art - after getting a project highlighted in the town newspaper in second grade, he realized people enjoyed the art he was creating. Wanting to take his art further after high school graduation, Mike loaded up his Jeep and drove west to California, where he attended the Laguna College of Art and Design. In Laguna, he studied graphic design and in his free time sought out the many iconic surf spots up and down the California coast. Eventually, the East Coast called him home. On a ferry back to Nantucket, Mike came to the realization that by combining this love affair for the outdoors and his passion for design, he could make something meaningful for people who had a similar appreciation for the coastal lifestyle.
Mike decided he wanted to make products that he would want to wear - comfortable beachwear for the active outdoor lifestyle. With a focus on quality gear and designs that were connected to the outdoors. He started researching names that were inspired by Nantucket and the root word of “Tuck” kept appearing in all the Native American names throughout the region. Digging deeper he came to find out this root word of “Tuck” meant tree, it was a perfect fit to root Tuck Life to the local region and the outdoors. Mike got to work and started Tuck Life in the basement workshop of his Nantucket rental home. From the very beginning it was vital for him to source the highest quality suppliers to create fun yet simple designs appealing to both children and adults alike.
Mike began selling Tuck Life locally at the Nantucket Farmer’s Market. For him, it was critical to establish roots in the local community. Tuck Life has always carefully considered its social responsibility and the importance of contributing to the framework of local communities. With a particular focus on children, Tuck Life does events with the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club to promote living a healthy lifestyle emphasizing both exercise and education. We admire the Club’s mission: "To empower the youth of Nantucket to realize their full potential.” We believe this parallels Tuck Life’s own mission of being “Kid Driven” in pursuing our own company goals.
Tuck Life is a proud nglcc certified owned businesses and Mike strives to be an Ally to the LGBTQ+ community. After loosing a close friend to suicide and seeing the the effects of mental heath and what LGBTQ+ people struggle with truly hits home. Tuck Life donates to the Trevor Foundation every year to help with LGBTQ+ people that struggle with Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or overall mental wellbeing. Tuck Life tries to bring happiness to our customers and audience with fun products and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
After 2 years of growing the brand on Nantucket, Mike decided to widen his scope, bringing Tuck Life to people throughout New England. As the slogan says; “From mountain tops to surf spots” Mike came up with 3 designs to relate to each season and/or sport the Sun/Wave, Sky/Trees and the Sun/Mountain. With help from his friends Kate & Jeff they came up with the fun Tuck Life slogan (at top) that summed it all up. Early fans of the brand were embracing the products online and through social media that connected to their favorite season or sport. 2019 was a year of successful appearances at larger events such as Festival at the Farm, River Fest, and The Wicked Good Festival. Mike summed up the busiest year in Tuck Life’s history thusly: “We have witnessed an amazing response to our brand and mission! I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!”
The brand is now also available at select stores from Maine to South Carolina. Our top selling designs are the ones that everyone can connect to. Tuck Life is excited to expand our line to feature new Golf and Dog-inspired designs this spring, consisting of unique performance polos and hats. Buckley, Mike’s adored golden retriever, who loves to stand-up paddle, is the inspiration for a line of pet products including the essential Tuck Like dog bandana, leashes, and collars.
Mike Johansen will always attribute his love of the outdoors, ocean, land, and mountains as the natural motivator for his brand. Tuck Life is committed to its respect of a healthy, productive, outdoor lifestyle for all. Mike asks his family of customers to share their stories and adventures, he selects the stories that connect the Tuck Life mission to be highlighted on the Tuck Life blog and social media channels.
You live the life, we'll supply the gear!