Shop Talk

Lovely Little Surprises

Leandra Fremont-Smith needed a change of scenery. For years, she had loved running her successful design business from the barn attached to the back of her home in Yarmouth. As she recalls, “I could have my kids get off the … Continue reading

Of Cigars and Stars

Thomas Michaels and his wife, Nora Hattman-Michaels, are showing me some of their work. On the velvet trays in front of me lie hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry. Michaels picks up a diamond ring for me to … Continue reading

That’s a Wrap

When prompted, most people can recall their childhood blanket clearly: the smooth satin of the edging on a machine-made blanket, say, or the bright palette of Grandma’s crocheted squares. But not everyone’s blanket can say it inspired a thriving company. … Continue reading

Tanja Cesh of Mulxiply and Kristen Camp of Ember.

Fanning the Flames

Not all Valentine’s Day stories have romance at their core. For Tanja Cesh of Mulxiply and Kristen Camp of Campfire Studios, a Valentine’s Day encounter a few years ago led them to enduring friendship, fruitful collaboration, and now a retail … Continue reading

Jan Haedric, designer and founder of MME.MINK at home in Wiscasset

Style and Substance

Handbag and accessories designer Jan Haedrich has been cultivating her classic style for decades, from studying in France and England to working for fashion brands JOOP! in Germany, Hermès in Paris, and Ralph Lauren in New York. In 2001 Haedrich … Continue reading

A Whole New World

Erin Flett had a feeling about this building. Located just three minutes down the road from the designer’s home, the 1800s Victorian stands at the junction of Routes 202 and 114 in downtown Gorham, so it was on Flett’s way … Continue reading

Here’s the Men’s Section

More than two hundred years ago, something happened to men’s shopping in the United States. The sophisticated men of the 1600s and 1700s had worn bright colors, jewelry, frills, elaborate wigs, and high-heeled shoes; they had refined taste in wine, … Continue reading

Lending a Hand

It was a quilt, or the desire for one, that started it all. “It was February of 2019,” recalls Jessica Thomas, founder and owner of Handiwork in Portland. “It was a sunny Sunday morning, and I was drinking my coffee … Continue reading

A Perfect Match

When former investment banker Michael Fortier and photographer Samuel Strickland flung open the doors of Portland’s Venn and Maker in 2017, they had one goal in mind: to showcase Maine-made goods in a new way. “I’ve traveled all over the … Continue reading

Handmade, Made Accessible

The name for Jasmine Clayton’s line of small-batch handmade leather goods was inspired by her Polish grandmother, a mother of ten and farmer’s wife in Central Maine. “She never learned to drive a car, but she always had her hair done. … Continue reading