Ydstoti In The News


Is it a business or is it a movement? Y’dstoti

encourages taking the road less traveled

By Earl Horlyk – ehorlyk@siouxcityjournal.com Sioux City Journal | Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 12:00 am | No Comments Posted

SIOUX CITY — Does Melanie Olsen want to start a movement or does she want to start a business?

Well, if you ask her, the Sioux City woman would tell you she’d like to do a little bit of both.

That’s why Melanie, along with her husband Roy Olsen, started a small business called Y’dstoti – pronounced yid-STAH-tee — in spring 2010.

Selling shirts, caps, backpacks, water bottles and other accessories, the business’ distinctive name is an acronym of a phrase the Olsens frequently use as they travel the backroads of the country: “You Don’t See That On The Interstate.”

“We love to travel and have gone on many memorable driving trips in the Ford Model A that Roy restored himself,” Melanie explained. “In the past 10 years, we’ve discovered it is more fun avoiding the interstate so you can see all of the local diners, state park resort lodges, beds and breakfasts and historic hotels.”

The Olsen especially appreciate the quirkier discoveries made along the ways including eccentric small town slogans like the one found outside of Peculiar, Mo. — “Where the odds are with you.”

Or a sign announcing “Roosters Livers for Sale.”

“We thought it seemed strange that the farmer was singling out rooster livers,” Roy said with a smile. “What, were hen livers not good enough for him?”

In other words, the Olsens advocate taking time to smell the flowers and literally taking the road less traveled.

“There have been several times when we’ve turned around, go back and take a second look if we drove by something interesting,” Melanie said. “You can’t do that very easily on the Interstate.”

Nor can you SEE that on the Interstate.

All of the Olsens’ merchandise comes with the distinctive acronym Melanie coined herself.

“When people see it on a T-shirt, they’ll ask if it’s a Swedish expression or a Scandinavian word,” Melanie said, laughing. “More often, people assume it’s Yiddish for something.”

“Then, we tell ‘em what it really stands for and then a lightbulb goes on,” Roy added. “They get the concept immediately.”

“People have become programmed into using the Interstate, eating in chain restaurants or staying in chain hotels,” Melanie said. “Why not rediscover the joy and the adventure of travel? After all, it’s the journey that’s the destination.”

Although most of the Y’dstoti merchandise is meant for summer, Melanie is hoping to expand the line to include warmer wear like hoodies and sweats.

Melanie is also keeping her fingers crossed, getting her made-up word to be included in the dictionary.

“Who knows?” she said with a chuckle. “Y’dstoti can be a business, a movement AND an actual dictionary definition.”


The details

What: Y’dstoti, pronounced “yid-STAH-tee,” which stands for “You Don’t See That On The Interstate”

Merchandise: Shirts, caps, backpacks and bags, water bottles and coozies, along with other accessories, all boasting the “Y’dstoti” insignia.