Bringing Woosah to the Art Coast

Woo-sah. Take a moment to say it out loud and enjoy a moment of relaxation. When Rae Lang was in college, that word became a meditative mantra and an inspiration for her illustrations and wood prints. Working into the wee hours, when she should have been sleeping or studying, Rae parlayed her creativity into a brand that celebrates nature, community, and individuality. Today, Rae and her wife, Kelly, own Woosah Outfitters and Outside Coffee in Douglas, along with locations in Grand Rapids and an online store. The coffee shop, just a few miles down the road from Oval Beach, is beloved by locals and visitors for its relaxing vibes, delicious drinks, and welcoming spirit.

Outside of Woosah Outside Coffee. Bikes are in the foreground.

What’s the inspiration for your design brand and store, Woosah?

In college, nature and making art were the two things that helped me calm down, stay grounded, unplug, and lose track of time—that “Woosah” feeling. I started signing all my work Woosah, and that’s how things took off. Now, our storefront, Woosah, is where I sell all my original prints, digital prints, apparel, hats, and accessories I design. We also carry some third-party brands that fit into what we are doing, like bags from Topo Designs based in Colorado and Good and Well Candles from Washington.

What made you decide to open Outside Coffee in Douglas?

All throughout college, when I needed escape, I would drive out to Saugatuck—usually the Saugatuck Dunes State Park—and hike the trails. It felt like such a special place to reconnect, get grounded, and slow down. And the community is so kind. My wife and I would also drive out to Oval Beach to watch the sunset. We’d always pass this store nearby, and I would say to my wife, if that space ever opens up, it’s meant for us. And two years ago, on Mother’s Day, we were driving by, and there was a “For Lease” sign in the ground. We built the shop in 24 days and were open in time for the summer season.

Rae Lang, Co-Founder and Artist of Woosah
Goods at Woosah
Kelly and Rae. PC: Leigh Ann Cobb Photography

What would you want people to know about being an LGBTQ business owner in Saugatuck/Douglas?

To be honest, I was a little nervous to open a store because I’m not a local. We live 40 minutes away in Grand Rapids. But everyone was so welcoming and excited—it’s been such a warm embrace. It feels like it’s rare to find a lakeshore town that’s so LGBTQ-friendly. I feel like I belong there and am a part of the community. I look forward to June and Pride Month and seeing so many people come through the community. It just feels like home, you know?

What’s it like co-owning the coffee shop with your wife, Kelly?

She’s the best partner I could ask for. She helps run the businesses and has more of a focus on operations and logistics. She has a finance background, loves a good spreadsheet, and is great at fixing equipment and training new team members. So, it’s nice because I get to focus on the creative side of the business, and she can do what she’s good at. We complement each other.

Hammocks at Outside Coffee
Outside Coffee. PC: Leigh Ann Cobb Photography
Outside Coffee cups

How would you describe the vibe at Outside Coffee and Woosah Outfitters?

It’s super relaxed. There are hammocks and a fire pit. Our staff is super friendly and down to have conversations and connect. We hope people just kind of stumble across us on the way to the beach, and it’s everything they didn’t know they were looking for. We also rent beach chairs and umbrellas, so it’s a super convenient place to stop.

What are some of your favorite items on the Outside Coffee menu?

Our Campfire Cold Brew is our most popular summer drink. It tastes like a s’more. We roast a marshmallow and put it on top. All of our syrups are homemade, so everything tastes really fresh and unique, and we change up our menu based on the season. Our managers also come up with drink ideas, so it’s really fun to try what each location offers each season. We do beach slushies, too, which the kids love. Also, each quarter, we pick a different partner and do what we call a Community Cup. That drink is tailored to the partner, and a hundred percent of the proceeds go to them.

Pennyroyal Cafe & Provisions in the fall.
Pennyroyal Café & Provisions
People relaxing on the shoreline of Oval Beach.
Oval Beach
Mt Baldhead (Baldy)

What are your go-to recommendations for friends and family visiting Saugatuck/Douglas?

I love Pennyroyal Café & Provisions and that they grow a lot of their own product. I pop in there for lunch when I’m in town or take my family there for dinner. I like Oval Beach, which is great for families, but I go to Douglas Beach way more often. It’s a small beach that’s sort of hidden. I also love hiking Crow’s Nest and Mt. Baldy, which is a fun place to climb up the stairs and get a good view of Saugatuck from the top. And I love going downtown, seeing what’s new there, and walking around the docks. It’s such a nice contrast when you live in a bigger city like Grand Rapids, getting the vacation town vibes with the boats and the water.  

Cover image by Leigh Ann Cobb Photography

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