Area siblings Keegan, Tucker, and Riley Krantz love going to the Boundaries Waters. They have a family cabin along the Gunflint Trail, right along an area of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northeastern Minnesota.
“We’ve just grown up going up there. And if you’ve never been there, it’s just like one of the best places on Earth,” Keegan said. “It’s so peaceful. You’re so cut off. It’s so beautiful. And so we wanted to give back and help protect that area, because we think it’s just one of the coolest spots ever.”
They found a way to give back thanks to straws. A few weeks ago, the Krantz siblings started an online store business called Sucky Straws. They talked about this business, including the products sold, the influence behind starting it, the way it impacts the Boundary Waters, business so far, and the future potential ways they look to expand the business.
The Krantz siblings may have started the business a few weeks ago, but have been talking about opening up a business for a long time. In about January 2022, they knew they wanted to start an eco-friendly store, starting the groundwork for it at that time. Although the three siblings own this new online store, they have received help from their family behind the scenes.
They currently sell over 50 products. This includes stainless steel and silicone straws, and silicone tips.
“They (silicone tips) go right on the end of the metal straws, so that they’re more comfortable,” Keegan said. “So that you don’t have like metal on your lips or on your teeth or anything like that, especially if you’re drinking something cold like a smoothie.”
The metal straws come in a variety of colors and styles, such as black, rose gold, gold, blue, purple, silver, holographic. The silicone straws and tips also come in various colors, such as pink, green, blue, yellow, purple. They also sell a cotton bag to store everything in and cleaning brushes. For more information on this business and their various products, visit www.suckystraws.com.
Their products are eco-friendly, Keegan explained, thanks to the reusability of their straws versus the single use plastic straws. They’re trying to be part of a trend that Keegan is seeing.
“There’s a lot of places that are going toward not even allowing plastic straws anymore,” Keegan said. “I think Minneapolis is actually one that I’ve been to that you have to use a reusable straw or eco-friendly straw like the paper ones that people don’t like a lot.”
They also use all recyclable packaging to cut down on waste.
They’re not exactly sure how they chose straws as the main product, but do know why they decided to go in the reusable direction: the passion to preserve nature’s beauty, particularly the Boundary Waters. Part of that reusable spirit came from their decision to donate two percent of all sales to the Save the Boundary Waters, an organization working to protect this area.
“We just have that love for the Boundary Waters and… I think always we’ve all tried to be, whether it’s like recycling or whatever, we’ve always kind of had that wanting to do more,” Riley said. “And so this was a good starting point was the straws.”
As Riley explained, the Boundary Waters is a well-protected area, as many things are already being done to preserve it. She mentioned, for example, how no motorized boats can be out there.
“I think it’s eye-opening all the little things that can affect an area like that,” Riley said. “… It’s like an untouched place and I think that’s really cool.”
Tucker mentioned how Save the Boundary Waters is always fighting against laws to keep mining out of the North Shore.
“They’re always needing donations and money to keep doing that,” Tucker said, “to protect the Boundary Waters.”
To see the complete story, read the August 4 issue of the North Star News in print or online.