Inspire us with your Northern Michigan INVENTION!

Meet: Brittany Luea

Inventor. Entrepreneur. Architect. Owner of ComenityMED, LLC.

Brittany Luea, inventor of medical women’s foot supports, produced by ComenityMED LLC. Photography by Scarlett Piedmonte Photography.

Meet Brittany Luea: Inventor, entrepreneur, architect, and owner of ComenityMED, LLC

Brittany Luea is looking out for females across the country with her latest invention, silicone foot supports. Sounds glamorous, right! Well, she invented these foot pads to make your yearly woman’s visit a little bit more comfortable. Find out more about the details of her story and process in the interview below. In addition to her impressive professional endeavors, she is a wife, a mom, and a dog mom of two. She always makes time for yoga, loves to read, and is an avid volunteer in the community.

Brittany Luea’s Foot Supports, produced by ComenityMED LLC. Photography by Scarlett Piedmonte Photography.

Brittany, what is your 30 second elevator story of who you are and what you do: I’m always fascinated by the question, “What do you do?” By trade, I’m an architect, but recently shifted gears to focus on co-founding comenityMED®, an innovative medical accessories company aimed at Pursuing Patient Comfort. comenityMED® manufactures patent pending Resilient® Professional Foot Supports for exam table stirrups that provide patient comfort and are easily sterilized between patients.

What makes you passionate about your product? I’m passionate about our product because it solves a simple but broad reaching problem in healthcare. Often times, medicine is not associated with comfort. Our products offer an alternative to traditional medical design that focus more on ergonomics. I love to make things and solve problems and by teaming up with a physician, we’re able to utilize our skills in medicine and design to provide innovative medical solutions. 

How did you develop your idea? It’s kind of a funny story, but it all started with a simple dinner conversation. My friend, Autumn Bridger DO, shared an idea she had for exam table stirrup covers and we spent the evening brainstorming about materials and how it could work. I was excited that she wanted to team up with me to make it happen! Although it took a few years to bring it from concept to product, we knew that evening what we wanted it to be. We utilized 3d modeling and printing for a few of our prototypes, then eventually made a steel mold that we now use for our finished silicone products.

What is it like to run a small business out of Northern Michigan? I love it! I absolutely love living in Northern Michigan. Our products are available online and our distribution center is here in town. The best of both worlds! 

Tell us about what you are looking forward to in the future. I’m looking forward to life after the pandemic. It’s been a great time to reflect and consider what direction we want to take going forward as a business. Based on the success of our first product, we know that our idea of providing serializable medical equipment that focuses on Pursuing Patient Comfort is here to stay! 

How do you balance family and running a small business? It’s definitely a balancing act. My primary focus is always my family, but I’ve set up my work life in a way that allows me to enjoy the benefits of both. 

How have you handled the current pandemic and Michigan Stay-at-Home orders? During the pandemic, my partner, Autumn, and I raised money to help provide over 700 masks for our community.  Juliette at Posh in Traverse City helped to sew the majority of these (she deserves tons of credit here!) along with my business partner, Autumn. I gathered materials locally and along with Autumn, worked on fundraising. A team effort with great results!

Brittany Luea is a licensed Architect in the State of Michigan. She received her Master of Architecture with Distinction as well as her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from The University of Michigan. Brittany loves all things creative and innovative. Find more information about her Traverse City based company,  ComenityMED, LLC on their website: www.comenitymed.com  Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: @comenitymed

A few places to spot
Petoskey Stones: 

  • Anywhere along the shores of Lake Michigan. 
  • The stones can sometimes be found near the inland lakes and beaches, including one of my favorites, Crystal Lake! 
  • This spring I found three walking along a dirt road on Old Mission Peninsula (in the dirt!).
  • You can find some great stones inside jewelry stores across Northern Michigan! And lots of fun rocks, home accessories made of rocks, and rock jewelry at summer art fairs! 
  • A great spot to rock hunt is on the shores of Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, however since this is a National Lakeshore, visitors are not permitted to take stones out of the park.
  • Once you have your rocks, make your collection even better by polishing them! There are some great rock tumbler kits available: 

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Petoskey Stone Hunting 
in Northern Michigan

Petoskey Stone hunting is one of my personal favorite past times, it gets you outside, enjoying the serene shores of Lake Michigan. I especially enjoy a spring hunt, when the weather is still a little chilly for other outdoor activities, but you are aching to get outside! 

 

Unique to Up North Michigan is the Petoskey Stone- known for its unique markings which consist of small six-sided corallites, which are the skeletons of the once-living coral polyps. Petoskey stones aren’t just found in the Northern Michigan town of Petoskey… Unique to the Great Lakes region, it can be found along the shores of Michigan’s lower peninsula, and even inland sometimes as well. Technically, it is fossilized pre-historic coral fossilized rugose coral, Hexagonaria percarinata. The stone is not only unique to Michigan, it’s the state’s official stone. 

Abundant along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, visitors to the National Lakeshore are not permitted to take the stones out of the park. This should not detour you from looking, simply snap a picture and leave the stone for the next visitor! Officially, it is illegal to take any natural thing from a National Park, even rocks, flowers and sticks, unless explicitly permitted.

My favorite rock-hunting time of tear is Spring: You can find Petoskey Stones year-round in Northern Michigan. However, if you are really looking to score BIG I suggest heading out in early spring… When the stones are fresh after the winter weather has moved them. Head out just after it rains (or during) so the stones are wet and easier to spot!

Keep an eye out for the rare “Pink Pets” Petoskey Stones have a pink hue that is due to iron that permeated the coral as it was calcified. Happy Hunting!


  1. Kristy’s Secret Spots! I have found a lot of Petoskey Stones on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay in front of my friend’s house (I won’t reveal the address)- no one has ever looked there, so they are plentiful! 

  2. Do you have a secret Petoskey Stone spot? Share below in the comments section. Don’t worry, the exact location is not necessary, just let us know you have one!  

Treasure Hunting Tips:

The unique stones can be hard to spot for first-time hunters, but we have some tips to help you discover your first Up North treasure: 
-Take your time and be patient! Try not to get frustrated. 
Hunt just after a light rain, the stones will still be wet and easier to spot. 
Early Spring is a great season to search for newly uncovered stones as waves and ice from winter have uncovered new stones. 
-Seek an area of Lake Michigan shoreline that is not heavily visited
Carry a bucket to collect your treasures! 
-If you are searching on the shore of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, remember, visitors, are not permitted to take the stones out of the park. You can still hunt, just snap a picture and don’t take the stones home! 

 

 

Welcome to StylishUpNorth.com

Northern Michigan
Style & Adventure   

Welcome to StylishUpNorth.com. This is your premier spot for the style-conscious visitors, vacationers, and year-round Northern Michigan fans! What began as a humble little corner of the mitten state has turned into a hot spot for entrepreneurs and adventures alike. This region is overflowing with new restaurants, stores, places to visit and things to see. We can’t wait to share it with you! Click on our BLOG to see the latest that UpNorth has to offer, and coming soon: TRAVEL GUIDES  to the area!

Stylish Up North’s owner of KPO Creative LLC, Kristy Kurjan, is based in Traverse City. She is author of four children’s board books, mom to some adorable kiddos, and freelance writer for various publications. For more information on her Creative Kids Board Book series check out www.kpocreative.com  Thank you for supporting local! 

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meet kristy

Kristy is a creator, writer, author of four children’s board books, entreprenuer, and a small business owner from Traverse City, Michigan. She is passionate about travel, style, food, beauty, writing, small business, and an advocate for supporting local. She is a wife and mother to three amazing kiddos. To learn more about how you can collaborate with Kristy contact: kristy.kurjan@gmail.com

 

Share Some Local Love
for #upnorth #traversecity #northernmichigan

With all that is going on in the world and in our local communities, the push to support local is more needed than ever! I am a huge advocate for shopping small and local. The good news is that there are SO MANY great ways to support local right now: Consider buying your groceries from a local store instead of a big box grocer or online supply. The same goes for household supplies. 

 

For those that want to splurge, order take-out food once a week from a local restaurant that is providing curbside service. Bagels from the NEW Bubbies Bagels @bubbiesbagels , Soup from 9 Bean Rows in Suttons Bay @9beanrows , Vietnamese Dinner from The Good Bowl Eatery @goodbowleatery , dinner deliciousness from The Cooks House @cookshouse or Alliance  @foodforalliance Looking for more casual take-out option? Try the mouth-watering burgers from Slabtown Burgers @slabtownburgers They are one of my favorites and have the option of a low carb bun, which actually tastes good! #eatlocal #traversecitytakeout 

 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! So why not buy a Mother’s Day gift from a local boutique– A cute bag from Cherry Hill Boutique @cherryhillboutiquetc or The Exchange @theexchangeboutiquemi , a necklace from @beckythatcherdesigns  or Silver Fox Jewelry @silverfoxjewelrytc or give her your favorite book from @brilliantbookstc . West Bay Handmade @westbayhandmade in #TraverseCity carries ALL local artisans and is all about #supportinglocalmakers They have curbside pick-up! A few of their local makers include: @creativebabybook @lakesoapco @herbnmeds @3moonknits @foxnbun @venturingheadbandco @sugarnsnailstoys @kehrerberrycrafts  I also LOVE Northern Nail Polish @northernnailpollish its local, non-toxic, and has bright colors for spring!

 

You can send a care package full of yummy kitchen goodness and oils from Fustini’s @fustinis and throw in some wine from any of our great area wineries! Here are a few: Bonobo Winery @bonobowinery , Mari Vineyards @marivineyards , and Bowers Harbor Vineyards @bowersharborvineyards Another idea is to purchase gift certificates to give for future use when Stay-at-Home orders are removed!  

 

For those that are looking to do, even more, consider donating to local support efforts.Here are a few: The Traverse City Downtown Development Authority (DDA) @downtown_tc “Buy Local, Give Local Fund,” The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, and The Good Bowl’s Hospitality Relief Fund. And there are many more…

 

But, even more important is the fact that you can support locals without spending a dime…. Follow and support your favorite local businesses on social media- no purchase necessary! Comment and share their posts- this means a lot to small local businesses and organizations!  Here are a few more local social media tags that are fun to follow: The State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay @stateandbijou , Sweet Pea Baby Boutique @sweetpeatc , Crooked Tree Arts Center @Crookedtreetraversecity , The National Writers Series @National_writers_series , Modus45 @modus45 and just about a million more. On yes, and me, on Instagram @StylishUpNorth – I ALWAY appreciate your shares, comments, and love! As always, thanks for supporting local in Northern Michigan!  #upnorthlove

Kristy on
9 & 10 News

I just finished a zoom interview with 9&10 New of Northern Michigan@9and10news about my four board books- (Find them on Instagram @creativebabybook) Click here for the link to the digital interview. See below for links to find all four books! I am honored to be included in their local author initiative. Thank you for sharing the love of early reading with your viewers! Watch tonight for the full interview- eek! #supportlocal#localauthor #traversecity#upnorthmichigan #thankyou#readearly 📚💗#booklove

 

Here is the direct link to a digital version on 9 & 10 News!

 

 

Hike The Old Indian Trail: Empire, Michigan

The Old Indian Trail: Empire, Michigan

Distance: Two loops, each about 2.5 miles long

Terrain: Black Arrow Loop has sections of steep hills and sharp curves.

Vegetation: Evergreens and hardwoods, sand near Lake Michigan. 

This trail rewards it’s hikers with spectacular views of Lake Michigan and it is on my list of recommended loops to check out! Enjoy a hike outside on The Old Indian Trail- found just off M-22 between Empire and Frankfort, north of Crystal Lake and Point Betsie Lighthouse. My family and I did the trail last week, early April 2020, so the leaves were not quite out yet on the trees. Yet, it was still a wonderful hike and I would highly recommend it! The trail starts off next to the woods, there is a large parking area and a sign next to the road that says “Old Indian Trail” (see image below). You will then take one of two loops that lead you towards the water. Before you hit the beach, you will come upon about a quarter-mile of sand dunes, until you arrive at the Lake Michigan beach. Look North and South to the stunning untouched shoreline of Sleep Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore. The entire trail provides beautiful scenery and about a mile and a half to the water where you can rest along the Lake Michigan shoreline. See the map below to find out how to drive to the starting point.  And in the Winter months this is a great trail for show shoeing and cross country skiing.  Happy Hiking!