March 1, 2017

Continuing our series of reviewing new or relocated business in Downtown Petoskey, we visited Tony Cabana’s new store, “dunworkin”, at 208 Howard Street.


Somethings in life are easy to understand. As you walk into “dunworkin”, not working is the theme. As an entry placard adroitly states:

“dunworkin is about what you do with your time off, whether you are dunworkin for the day, the week, or the rest of your life. enjoy your day, enjoy your life!” [sic]

The store’s silver trimmed façade, awning, and sculpted door handle in the shape of a tree branch add a new flavor of urban relaxation to a touch of small Northern town Americana. Earthy green, blue and burnt orange painted walls bring calm as you browse t-shirts, sweatshirts, and assorted hats dedicated to a chosen lifestyle.

“About 20% of the people think the brand is about retirement, but it is a relaxed lifestyle brand describing what you do with your time off,” notes Tony. “There was a young teen in recently with his mother on a ski trip. She told me he had to come back to this store to get more shirts.”

Expanding the brand’s demographic is paramount. Some of the favorite shirts include, “flyswatter” for the fly fisherman, “board meeting” with skiers and snowboarders on a chairlift, “bucket list” depicting a basket of golf balls at a driving range, and a local fav, “daily planner” where each day of the week sits atop its own beer tap. For the relaxed time in life, many a shirt is festooned with Adirondack chairs, hammocks, and campfires.

Tony has a long relationship with retail enterprises and includes in his repertoire a working history with Daymond John from the popular ABC network television show, “Shark Tank.

“I worked with Daymond’s line for 8 years out in Los Angeles. His trademark wear, ‘FUBU’, went from $3 million in sales to over $500 million in just three years,” Tony says with hope for his own store brand.

“We’ve expanded as well,” Tony continues. “Our new store in Blue Ridge, Georgia, is carrying a new line of fleeces and hats soon to make an appearance here.”

The pigment dyed, prewashed shirts come in women’s sizes X-Small through XXL, and men’s sizes from Small thru some XXXL.

“We use really high quality blanks, and the prewashed effect allows a customer to purchase the product knowing it won’t lose size out of the wash.”

Nothing to do when in Downtown Petoskey? Pshaw! If you’re “dunwokin”, saunter into Tony’s shop and find your flag. In fact, I challenge anyone to find a weekend, vacation, or retirement theme not etched or sewn into material as you parade around the store - shopping and not working.

Working hard at dunworkin: New clothing line celebrates leisure pastimes

PETOSKEY — It’s sometimes said that people are more than their jobs — and clothing-industry veteran Tony Cabana is banking on that point of view with his new dunworkin brand.

Cabana, a Petoskey resident, has developed a shirt and accessory line paying tribute to a wide range of leisure-time activities, and said its sales are turning out “way above” expectations so far. He’s selling the products from a recently opened shop downtown at 208 Howard St. and via the brand’s website at, and also has started offering them to other clothing stores on a wholesale basis.

“The whole dunworkin philosophy is, whether you’re done working for the day or the week or the rest of your life, then what are you going to do?” Cabana said.

The line’s shirts and hats use illustrations and lighthearted sayings to convey wearers’ interest in a hobby or pastime. One design, for example, depicts several paddleboarders moving side by side above the caption, “board meeting.” Guitarists can opt for a shirt that displays their preferred instrument with the expression, “don’t fret.” For those who enjoy simply sitting back and relaxing in an outdoor setting, one strong-selling design displays an Adirondack chair along with “ctrl + alt + esc” — a play on the keystrokes that can open a computer’s task manager.

“My intent is to kind of have you look at them and chuckle,” Cabana said.

The dunworkin line’s mainstay T-shirts incorporate pigment-dyed, garment-washed fabrics, aimed at providing a deliberately faded look and comfortable feel. Cabana makes use of local printing services and mostly U.S.-made blank shirts for these. The line also includes hoodie shirts and embroidered caps. Cabana noted that Anica Presley, an employee with a degree in fine arts, has helped in developing a consistent design focus for the line.

Cabana has spent nearly 30 years working in the clothing industry. Among his jobs have been regional sales management positions with the hip hop-oriented FUBU clothing line and with Pepe Jeans London. A sizable share of his industry experience came while living in California, but he has remained involved after his return to Northern Michigan — where he resided full-time during his teen years.

The bulk of Cabana’s efforts to launch his dunworkin brand have happened in the last year or so, but some of the inspiration for it began to take root much earlier. When he told California acquaintances of his plans to purchase a home in Michigan — and later to move back there — he was met with the question, “What, are you done working?” At one point, he distributed shirts with the saying to friends as a joke. On a trip through California’s scenic Big Sur area, he spotted the expression — stated in the same single-word way he now uses for his clothing label — on a sign outside a cottage, and would ultimately trademark it.

Cabana made an arrangement with the previous occupant of his Howard Street retail site — an outlet specializing in the Life is Good clothing line — to provide him with some sales-floor space to try selling dunworkin merchandise. After that operator decided to wind down business, Cabana pursued a lease of the site for his own venture. With downtown Petoskey drawing vacationers from wide-ranging locales and backgrounds, he sees it offering good test-market potential for a up and coming clothing line.