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Featured Small Business - Beedandy!

Featured Small Business - Beedandy!

We LOVE Summer!  

Tourism is starting to increase in our beautiful state of Maine and we're back to seeing smiling faces of local friends, and NEW, visiting from all over the country.  As we adjust getting back to our new normal, we couldn't be more excited for a summer filled with small business and maker "Pop Ups"!  <Watch for our Events Calendar coming to our website soon!>

We're always seeking to carry quality coastal home decor and natural apothecary that's 'good for the soul' in our Candle Bar and Boutique.  And, as I wish we could offer it all, we just don't have the space.  In efforts to still support and promote products I use (and LOVE!), we hope you enjoy reading about my friend Wendy and her Made in Maine products!  Her Body Butter is the best ;)   

  • Tell us about your business and what you do (name, location, type of business).

Our business is Beedandy.  We are located in Sanford, Maine.  We handcraft all natural small batch products for body, bath & home.

We purchase all of the individual raw ingredients and personally weigh, measure and mix every recipe and hand pour, fill, seal and label each and every item we sell. Ingredients include: beeswax, botanicals, dried herbs, hard butters, liquid oils, naturally colored clays, pure essential oils. We use only basic ingredients that you can pronounce and trust, resulting in safe, effective, affordable and eco-friendly products.

 

  • When did you open your business and how did you get started?

 We started in 2014 with no intention of starting a business. I was hooked on another company’s clove lip balm and they stopped carrying that scent. So I researched how to make my own. I called those lip balm Wendy Beeswax (play on my name Wendy Bee) Lip Balm, printed labels on my computer onto sheets of address labels. The recipe I made created so many lip balm that I took the extras to work and started handing them out. The response was so positive and included lots of “You should sell this. I would buy this”. I realized this could be the start of something and decided to research what other products I could make for us. Before I knew it the idea had taken off and I was a business owner. 

  • What is your favorite part of being a store owner? Least favorite?

 My favorite part is simply being a part of the small business community. It’s a remarkable group to belong to. The support, friendships, camaraderie are beyond compare to any other group of people I’ve ever been associated with. Running a small business is not for the faint of heart, and being able to be a part of such a large social network of like minded individuals that truly understand that is so valuable. 

My least favorite part is wearing all the hats. I just want to do the fun stuff: make and sell products. I don’t always enjoy being the buyer, bookkeeper, social media manager, accountant, shipping department, delivery woman, advertising director, bill payer, etc.  

  • From where do you draw your inspiration and decide on the products you want to offer?

We only create and sell products we use. If we aren’t going to use it, we aren’t going to make/sell it.

Our primary goal is to make products that are safe to use. Minimal ingredients. Yet effective. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and absorbs the products you put on it in 27 seconds (don’t quote me on that exact number haha!). So many people watch what they eat yet continue to use traditional store bought skincare products full of toxic ingredients. We’ve been grateful that we’ve been able to educate so many people over the years on the importance of reading labels on their self-care products as thoroughly as they do the ingredients label on their food. 

  • What values does your business embody?

We are a small business started on the belief that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body.

Our biggest core values are kindness and positivity. On our social media platforms we do: Shop Share Sundays, Dance Moves Mondays and Feel Good Fridays. We sell shirts and stickers with our custom Bee Kind logo. We really try to be a bright light, both on a personal level and through our products. We want our business to make people feel good. 

  • Is your business a full time or part time venture? Do you have plans to grow/expand?

Part time. I have a few per diem jobs as an OT, and my husband works full time for the city. I would love to grow and expand, especially in the wholesale/resale market. But jumping all in is very scary. And I honestly do love that balance that working from home some days and going to work some days offers me. It’s healthy to get out of the house and use the degree I worked hard for. And there is definitely such a thing as too many days in a row working in my basement making products and filling orders ;) 

  • There are many challenging that come along with running a small business. What is your biggest challenge and what is your biggest reward or success?

My biggest challenge is wearing all the hats and managing my time. I don’t delegate well. And I’m a bit of a procrastinator. Especially because I work from home, so sometimes I get sidetracked doing laundry or emptying the dishwasher (or let’s be honest, sitting outside in the sun on a nice day). When I have too long of a to-do list I end up getting lost in it and instead of being super productive I flounder and do little bits of many projects, but don’t actually get anything done. And then I beat myself up over it. It’s hard to be your own boss and not judge yourself.  

My biggest reward/success is still after all these years, that I create something that people enjoy. People actually get excited to use products that I’ve created. They get so excited and are so happy with the products that they tell other people. That’s mind blowing and I don’t think I will ever get used to it. I make it and people want it. 

  • How do you spend your time when you aren’t in your store or creating your product?

I work per diem as an OT both in a hospital and in an acute neuro-rehab hospital. I help people relearn how to perform daily tasks to be able to care for themselves after an injury or illness. It’s an extremely rewarding profession that I’m honored to be able to do.

We keep bees. We are up to 5 hives this spring. This is our 4th season as beekeepers.

In our apiary we have an ever expanding orchard with peaches, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, elderberries and soon to include pears. We also have 11 chickens.

Spend time with my husband, family, friends and our dog Jane. We enjoy being outdoors (hiking, paddle boarding, gardening) and working on projects on our little homestead we’ve created (which are endless).

  • How did you discover Sea Love Candles & Company?

I met Stacy when she came up a shopper to the Maker’s Market and was so kind and friendly and made sure to introduce herself. Instagram has allowed us to better get to know each other on a less personal level. And living just a town apart, we’ve been able to meet up on occasion to “talk shop”. Sea Love Candles are a featured product in one of our curated gift sets (self-care themed set). 

  • Where can people go to find more about your business (website, social media accounts)?

beedandy.com (no www at the beginning)

IG: @beedandy_shop (most active)

FB: @Beedandy (rarely haha!) 

Thanks for spending time with us Wendy!  I'm so happy we can share you and your Story with our Sea Love Tribe!  I can't wait to visit you and your bees soon! 

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May Featured Small Business - Erin Chisholm, Realtor®

May Featured Small Business - Erin Chisholm, Realtor®

“And hope, if it had a scent would smell like spring, like rain, like something new and alive.” 

-  'Jennifer Rush, Reborn'

Spring is finally upon us – YAS!  It is time to throw open those windows and doors, clean out the cupboards and pack away all of those heavy blankets and throws (well, apart from us Maine Folk, we should probably keep a hold of those for a while longer!) and SPRING CLEAN.  The warmer weather is a definite motivator to remove all of that stale stagnant air and energy and welcome the new!

Another pastime for many brought with this season is readying ones home for sale – I mean it's picture perfection with blossoms, green grass (sometimes) and the sweet springtime sunshine, who wouldn’t want to buy (or sell!), amiright?!

A question I am asked quite often is – what fragrance should I burn during open houses and inspections?

Now, let’s remove the pressure (because there is a lot of emotions flying around when we sell our homes, as well as deadlines; and if you have kids, trying to keep rooms tidy is probably the HARDEST thing to do – I get you friends, it’s an anxious nerve wracking time!) so along with my top tips on scenting your home, I’ve also been chatting with our favorite local Realtor®, Erin Chisholm of EXIT Oceanside Realty in Wells, Maine, to give you her run-down on readying your home.

It’s going to be quick, easy and we are all about less drama and MAXIMUM impact for all the senses.

Presentation is KEY to selling your home. You want your home to have the best first impression of buyers as they walk through, just as you do when you meet someone new."  Says Erin, who has grown up in the real estate industry all her life - going to closings with her mother who is a real estate attorney, and assisting her in her business before starting her own.  She has an eye for detail and a knack for presenting homes to their fullest and most beautiful potential. "My favorite part of being a Realtor® is being able to help amazing families find a home that they love and that makes their lives so much better.  I work with a lot of out-of-state clients who are looking to escape other New England cities and have a place to come and relax on the weekend or to make a permanent lasting relocation. The look on my clients’ faces when they find and get the home of their dreams is one of my favorite things in the entire world!"

"Real Estate right now is nothing like anyone has ever seen, low interest rates and low inventory of homes on the market have made us have to get creative for buyers. For sellers, it has been nerve-wracking during a pandemic to feel comfortable letting strangers into their homes. I always tell my buyers to get pre-approved before even thinking about looking for a new home, to be ready to go see any home that they are interested in as soon as it hits their email box (courtesy of a custom listing alert that I send every morning) and to be open to looking at homes they might not have originally thought they wanted because sometimes those end up being the best ones!"   

"When I work with sellers, I stress that the staging is KEY.  When a buyer walks into their home we want them to be able to envision themselves living there. This means removing your personal photos, making sure the home smells amazing (this is where Sea Love always comes in), the home is clean and the décor is up to date and enhances the home and does not detract from it."

Awesome advice, Erin!  With the initial aesthetics handled -  let’s get down to scent.  It is an important feature of any home, being open, inspected or lived in.

  • Firstly (and most importantly) make sure you aren’t masking any BAD smells that live anywhere, from moldy/musty smells.  Find it at the source because people can smell the candles and fragrances but it is guaranteed they’ll SMELL you trying to cover up something, too!
  • Light those candles at least 1-2 hours prior to the open home.  It will give your candle enough time to heat and melt the wax and the scent to filter through your designated areas
  • Go with subtle and gentle – the sensory glands are in overdrive anyway and rather than adding to that go with only a few candles placed in the larger areas of the home or at the door, the middle and back door to create the flow, the scent will travel at its own pace and delightfully so.
  • Choose one scent – keep it simple.  There is only a short time frame that your prospective purchaser will be walking through the home and possibly with other people doing the same, accessorizing rooms with scents is fun but with traffic and movement this feature can definitely be jumbled all into one and cause a negative impact if not an impact at all.
  • When in doubt – choose citrus, it can be a blend such as lavender and lemongrass or just the straight lemon, but citrus scents have a lasting and positive effect on people which adds to the effect you are wanting to create in having open houses/inspections. Its fresh, clean and pleasant and will leave them with an everlasting positive effect long after they’ve left.

Now you have all the know-how and go-to steps to readying your homes for sale and opening them up to purchasers; below you will find our recommended Sea Love scents, all of which currently are the best sellers! 

Erin would also like to extend a little DISCOUNT code below!  For any additional home buying/selling questions you may have, you can connect with Erin at www.erinchisholmrealtor.com, Instagram @erinchisholmrealtor, Facebook @ facebook.com/ErinChisholmRealtor, by email: erin@exitoceansiderealty.com and by phone at 207.337.3270

"My goal is for my business to be an extension of myself and my values as a human being. I want all clients to feel heard, valued, and respected. I want them to know that I work with honesty, integrity, and only their best interests in mind."

** For the month of May you can receive 10% OFF STOREWIDE **

Use Code: "ERIN10" at checkout! 

Endless Weekend - lavender leaf, lemon verbena, lemongrass

Seaside Mimosa - grapefruit, tangerine, ginger

Sunshine - lemon verbena, white currant, vanilla

Salt Air - sea salt, linen, freesia

 

 Photos Courtesy of Elizabeth Ivy Photography

 

 

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April's Featured Maker - Petalage Florals

April's Featured Maker - Petalage Florals

April is here...and we couldn't be more excited to welcome spring!  We've opened the doors to our new Candle Bar and Boutique in Dock Square, Kennebunkport, Maine and loving the space and incredible natural light shining in.  We're also in love with the increased opportunity to see more people!  Folks getting out and traveling, taking in the sites, and connecting.  It's been a great time already helping our customers create their custom candle (and now, reed diffuser) scents and the summer calendar is packed with local business special events, and 'Saturday Pop-Ups' every month with New England made products and small businesses!  

So, we all know how the saying goes...April showers bring May flowers!  And, with this being mud season around here, we just don't want to wait any longer.  This months featured small business is all about FLOWERS, and may I say, not just any flowers.  We welcome Michelle Glassman from Petalage, based in Portland, ME.  Michelle's beautiful floral wraps and wedding arrangements are unique, stunning, and a lovely work of art.  She created the most stunning bouquet and personals for our daughter's wedding (pictured below!)  So, I personally feel a special connection to her and her small business...but read our Q & A and meet her for yourself!

  • Tell us about your business and what you do (name, location, type of business).

I am the owner of Petalage.  Petalage is a boutique home based floral design studio based out of Portland, ME.  I specialize in high-end floral design services for weddings and private events along with daily florals and artisanal gifts.  

  • When did you open your business and how did you get started?

When my husband and I moved to Maine from Boston, the iconic image of a fork in the road appeared to me.  I had to ask myself, “What am I willing to sacrifice in order to pursue something I love?”  This was a difficult and scary question, not only for me but also for my husband and our future goals ---- a career change wouldn’t just impact me.  So it’s hard to explain how I decided upon flowers.  I didn’t grow up with gardeners in the family nor did I have a particular affinity for them.  I really wish I had a more romantic story for you.  However, it really just started with my appreciation for various artistic forms, which lead me to take a 5-week botanical program at Maine College of Art.  I believe I truly started pursuing flowers around spring 2018 and my passion for flowers continued to organically develop as I taught myself floral design.  I staged some amateur photo shoots with my little sisters, put myself on Thumbtack, and began a one-year online mentorship program with Emma Lemmke, an Australia-based floral designer.  The rest is history!

 

  • What is your favorite part of being a business owner?  Least favorite?

I currently work out of my large detached garage studio.  To be honest, I am in the midst of deciding if I want to invest in a studio/shop space.  I have been looking at spaces for two years but just haven’t felt secure enough to take the leap.  This decision just like the decision to leave my corporate career is another fork in the road that I need to figure out as an entrepreneur.  I love that I have the control and power over my own professional journey, but I’d say this is also a negative because sometimes it can feel really alone & scary in the midst of decision-making!! 

  • From where do you draw your inspiration and decide on the products you want to offer?

I pull my inspiration from fragments of my own childhood like growing up with my Nana telling me fairytales.  I also grew up with a mother who always allowed me to express myself whether that was dressing up in any way I desire or painting my bedroom yellow and purple.  There were no limitations around being myself.  My mother also dabbled in art and always had a knack for interior design.  I sort of grew up surrounded by artistic influences.  I believe growing up in nature on a lake always draws me back to the beauty & freedom of Mother Nature.  I really try to keep my business streamlined in a world where technology is dominant.  I primarily focus on my wedding design services & wildflower wraps.  I am self-taught so I like to remain as focused as possible on refining my design capabilities and being the best designer for my clients & customers. 

  • What values does your business embody?

I believe in respect, mindfulness, being yourself & real, honesty, exceptional custom service, and professionalism.   I’ve learned along the way that passion isn’t merely about picking a lane.  Passion is about building a community of people around you that motivate and uplift you.  Passion is about giving back by sharing your creativity with the world in whatever form that may be.  It’s really about sharing I guess!  It’s allowed me to emerge into a better version of myself in ways that I never felt I could achieve in my corporate life.  I always say I am 50% creative and 50 % business and this is very significant to the success of my business and the relationships I’ve formed with my flower clients, customers, and community. 

  • Is your business a full time or part time venture? Do you have plans to grow/expand?

My business is sort of always part-time because the floral industry especially in New England significantly slows down in the “off season”.  My wedding season runs from about May-November.  December-April is more quiet and I fill my time with administration, conjuring up new ideas, marketing, organizing, proposals, etc…Right now I am just trying to stay focused on my big first full season of summer 2021.  With that said, as I mentioned above I am always contemplating where I want my business to go.  It’s hard because I love the freedom of working from home and just focusing on floral design but I also see so much opportunity in expanding into workshops and retail.  We shall see where Petalage take me! 

  • There are many challenging that come along with running a small business. What is your biggest challenge and what is your biggest reward or success?

I am currently struggling with indecisiveness.  I have a lot of trouble making decisions on my own.  I need to talk to everyone close to me before I can make a decision or NOT.  Also the off-season is really trying because it can be really slow.  I need to remind myself to remain focused, disciplined, and set priorities & schedules.  With that said, my biggest rush is simply celebrating the success of having actually left my corporate career and building my own creative business.  I actually did it!  I never thought that I would be where I am now.  I have so much hope for what’s to come.  I am obsessed with marketing my business and creating a community by just being myself and providing a beautiful product that brings happiness and joy.  It beats my old property management job where I was a quarter of my truest and best self. 

  • How do you spend your time when you aren’t in your store or creating your product?

Honestly, I spend the majority of my time doing simple life things with my husband and dog.  We like to go out to eat, work on the bungalow, conjure up future plans, discover Maine, read (I just finished where the Crawdads Sing) and hang out with family & friends.  We like to travel but that’s been a bit on hold.  We have a week planned in Harpswell this summer, which is my favorite spot in Maine.  I wish I had crazier pastimes to share but any free time we have we typically set aside for our family & friends because their the most important people in our lives! 

  • How did you discover Sea Love Candles & Company?

I met Sea Love Candles when I worked at Antiques on Nine in Kennebunk upon first moving to Maine.  I think we met via Instagram & we just started chatting about our creative business ventures.  I mentioned she should bring her candles into Antiques on Nine and we just stayed in touch from there.  Stacy has been very supportive and I’ve enjoyed getting to know her as we both have grown our businesses from scratch and have confided in both the good and challenging parts of the journey.  

  • Where can people go to find more about your business (website, social media accounts)?

You can visit petalageflorals.com, Insta @petalageflorals, or email-petalageflorals@gmail.com

Thank you for taking time to chat with us, Michelle! :)  

 

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Alison Rose Vintage

Alison Rose Vintage

It's already the second month of 2021, wow!  Since having unexpected back surgery recently, it’s been hard to perk myself up and truly feel like ‘myself’. However there are things that have kept me feeling good, and that I really feel grateful for lately.  I’m sure I’ll feel much better soon, but for now, here are 5 things I’m grateful for during this winter recovery (and 'discovery'). 

1. Things to look forward to – Staying positive is easier when good things are on the horizon. We have our big move to look forward to, our sixth Summer living together in Maine, outdoor improvements on our home, our grandsonshine Cruz turning the big ONE, and lots of little adventures to come.

2. Barry – I’m always grateful for B, but especially lately he’s been my rock. Always willing to do anything to make me smile, and nothing is ever too much trouble. I’d be absolutely lost without this man.

3. Contribution – When I’m feeling down, doing things for others brings me joy. So I’ve tried to keep that in mind and do a variety if things to spread some love and kindness if possible.  Raising awareness about self care and self love, getting more involved in local fund raising, and planning to volunteer somewhere will all be the focus this year, and I’m so grateful to be able to do so.

4. New inspiring (feel good) products – If all else fails, retail therapy!  I have only bought one or two bits here and there; but it feels nice to treat myself something for once, because I so rarely do. You’ll probably see some reviews popping up soon of my new buys!  So keep an eye out.

5. Friends – So many lovely people to thank, I’d be here all day.  Special shout out to my sweet neighbor & friend Tracy for both dropping off her amazing Body Frost Sugar Scrubs tub soak (that I desperately need) and her best homemade chocolate chip cookies, just to make me smile!  It’s so important to have a good support system and I truly believe that.  We all have our ups and downs so talking really does help in so many ways, don't be afraid to keep it real.  

February is also known to be full of romance and food...two things that make the world go 'round, am I right!  Sea Love had welcomed Alison Rose Vintage prints and cards to our boutique this past year and getting to know her has been inspiring in many ways.  Alison is one of my favorite people - always honest and transparent and genuinely a lovely person.  It seems appropriate for the time of year to feature her unique designs because I also prioritize love, memories, and moments over “stuff”.  Read our Q & A and meet her for yourself! 

  • Tell us about your business and what you do (name, location, type of business).

Alison Rose Vintage is a shop filled with thoughtful, vintage-style word art on beautiful handmade paper and cardstock. The core purpose of my business is to spread love and hope, giving people words or mantras to look at each day that encourage, inspire, and comfort. 

It’s just me, my Chief Cuteness Officer Shiloh (my doggy), and my parents helping out here and there. I recently moved from Sudbury, Massachusetts to Sevierville, Tennessee, but my shop is on Etsy at www.alisonrosevintage.com.

  • When did you open your business and how did you get started?

I opened my business a little more than 3 years ago. I started out making word art for my own home. The very first definition prints I made were for the words “Admire,” “Adore,” and “Cherish.” I started to get questions from people asking to buy my work, so I spent about 3 months researching opening an online shop and making products. I launched my Etsy shop in October of 2017. Shortly after I started selling at craft shows and wholesale to local shops.

  • What is your favorite part of being a store owner?  Least favorite? 

I love working closely with customers to create something that is personal to them and their loved ones. I get to read the most beautiful wedding vows, hear fun facts about siblings and grandchildren, learn about cancer survivors and those battling depression, and grieve losses alongside people I’ve never met. I truly value being a small part of these life moments, sharing in the joy and the pain.

I also love buying from and collaborating with other artists and small businesses. The handmade paper I use is made by Kelsey Pike from Sustainable Paper+Craft, and all of the illustrations I use are painted by artist Patricia Shaw. I can’t even count the number of amazing shop owners I’ve met through this business and how blown away I am by the words of encouragement and support. 

If I could outsource some things for my business they would be accounting, taxes, and photography.

  • From where do you draw your inspiration and decide on the products you want to offer?

There are so many sources of inspiration for me. I’ve been mailing letters and cards to my 96-year-old Great Aunt and my childhood best friend for 25 years. I’ve formed very special bonds with them as well as other family and friends that I write to, and I want other people to be able to connect in the same way. My customers and other artists inspire me over and over with ideas. And I look at my own passions for inspiration—like my family, my dog, reading, snail mail, volunteering, flowers, and antiques—and I make art that reflect those passions.

Because I print on-demand, I can make pretty much anything without worrying about whether I’ll sell through inventory, so I usually pick words and quotes I love, and hope others will love them too. 

  • What values does your business embody?

The core purpose of my business is to spread love and hope, in good times and bad. Our loved ones, neighbors, colleagues, caregivers, and teachers all deserve appreciation, even for the little, everyday things they do to make our lives better. And they especially deserve it when they are in the thick of hard times or grief and need extra comfort and support. Even on our worst days, there can be a sliver of hope when each of us is responsible for delivering it. And what better way to deliver it than with a thoughtful keepsake.

Giving is core to who I am, not just gifts, but also volunteering my time and donating my money to social justice and mental health initiatives and non-profits. I also try to give a piece of myself through my social media posts and with every order from my shop. I’ve experienced a lot of joy and pain just in the 3 years I’ve been in business. I always want others to feel comforted by my humanity, vulnerability, and giving spirit, and to also remember that we can always love ourselves and others a little bit more.

  • Is your business a full time or part time venture? Do you have plans to grow/expand?

I am leaving my full-time job next month to focus solely on Alison Rose Vintage! I AM SO AFRAID, but I’m also super excited. There are so many things I could be doing to promote my shop, but I just haven’t had the time. Ultimately, my dream is to open my own gift shop filled with other small business makers and artists. Gifts are my love language and I can’t imagine filling my days with anything better than helping people shop for gifts for their loved ones. We’ll see!

  • There are many challenges that come along with running a small business. What is your biggest challenge and what is your biggest reward or success?

The biggest challenge is having no idea what I’m doing. I’m learning as I go, but it’s completely overwhelming when I think about it too hard, so I try to center myself on the rewards. The rewards are endless: phenomenal customers, wonderful wholesale partners, and a wildly talented artisan community that all keep me motivated and inspired. 

  • How do you spend your time when you aren’t in your store or creating your product?

I love spending time with my parents and nephew, walking, exploring, and snuggling with my dog, reading non-fiction and poetry, writing snail mail to my friends and family, and working on remodeling my new home—I like to think of myself as an amateur interior designer! I also love to travel so I can’t wait to do that again. 

  • How did you discover Sea Love Candles & Company?

A year and a half ago, you saw my “Profound” definition print at the pro.found market in Mary’s booth from On the Road Again, and you reached out to me on Instagram. You then sent me a couple of amazing candles and I made you a custom “Sea Love” print… and the rest is history! I’m so happy we met and sincerely cherish our friendship and wholesale partnership.

  • Where can people go to find more about your business (website, social media accounts)?

My Etsy shop can be found at www.alisonrosevintage.com or you can follow me @alisonrosevintage on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

  • Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like readers to know? 

Yes, I would love to add all the small shops where you can find my products besides the lovely Sea Love Candles shop! 

  • Avenue C in Framingham, MA
  • Bird and Bear Collective in Medway, MA
  • Burncoat Center for Arts & Wellness in Worcester, MA
  • Decor & More in Westwood, MA
  • Five Crows in Natick, MA
  • Framed in Time in Framingham, MA
  • Gracefully Restored in Holliston, MA
  • Home and Garden Vermont in Burlington, VT
  • Kitchen Sink Candle Company in Bolton, MA
  • Laurel Grove in Sudbury, MA
  • Lewiston Love in Lewiston, NY
  • Locally, Yours in Plymouth, MA
  • Neatly Nested in South Boston, MA
  • Proud Mary Gifts in Needham, MA
  • Salt and Branch at saltandbranch.com
  • Sudbury Historical Society Gift Shop in Sudbury, MA
  • The Cozy Cottage in Troy, NH
  • Vintage Whimsy at Mill 77 in Newburyport, MA
  • Wildflower Flower & Gift Shop in Wellesley, MA
  • Willow in Windham, NH

If you have a favorite local shop, mention Alison Rose Vintage to them, and maybe you’ll see my products there next! Thank you so much for all of the love and support. Xo.

Thank you for taking time to chat with us, Alison! :)

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January's Featured Maker - Ceramica Co.

January's Featured Maker - Ceramica Co.

Happy New Year to you, our amazing candle tribe!  Thank you for a record breaking 4th quarter for Sea Love Candles & Company.  We hustled so hard and survived on lots of coffee to get caught up on wholesale and all of your orders!  To say the least, the past several months have been stressful with backorder of supplies and shipping delays, if it wasn't one thing it was another - but we so appreciate your patience sticking with us!   Thank you for supporting small businesses like mine this year.  We can't thank you enough! 

To continue celebrating small business and our valued creatives, this month we had the pleasure of interviewing Hannah from Ceramica Co. located in our beautiful coastal state of Maine.  We currently sell her wax warmers which she exclusively designed and handcrafted just for Sea Love.  I love checking out Hannah's posts on social media to get design inspo and her newest items are giving me all the vibes to offer more of her beautiful pottery in our NEW Candle Bar and Boutique opening in March.  Read our Q & A to learn a little more about Hannah! 

  • Tell us about your business and what you do (name, location, type of business). 

My business name is Ceramica Co. I am a ceramic artist and I make functional small batch pottery with a minimalist aesthetic.

  • When did you open your business and how did you get started?

I started getting serious about pottery in 2018, and would sell my work at art walks and farmers markets. From there I started selling at larger scale shows and pop ups. This year my main focus has been online sales and pushing my website and instagram due to the pandemic. I was nervous and hesitant at first, but I am so grateful for the traction and growth this year has brought despite all the craziness. 

  • What is your favorite part of being a store owner? Least favorite?

I don’t have a physical store (yet!), but being my own boss and running my own business is something I have always dreamt of doing. I love the flexibility, creating my own work schedule, and being a part of an incredible makers community here in Maine. I work from home, so that brings about its own challenges. It’s hard for me to “clock out” and take a break from the endless to do list. 

  • From where do you draw your inspiration and decide on the products you want to offer?

I draw inspiration from spending time in nature- being surrounded by textures, shapes, and colors. Also from the desire to make a sustainable product that will last and be utilized during everyday life. 

  • What values does your business embody?

My number one priority as a creator is to be as environmentally conscious as possible. From the materials I source, to recycling and reusing clay, to packaging and shipping, I try to make the whole process as low waste and environmentally friendly as possible. 

  • Is your business a full time or part time venture? Do you have plans to grow/expand?

My business is a full-time venture. I am hoping to expand into a larger studio space / retail space within the next year or two! 

  • There are many challenges that come along with running a small business. What is your biggest challenge and what is your biggest reward or success?

I think my biggest challenge would be knowing my own limits when it comes to how many orders to accept at once! I often take on a bit more than I can chew being a one-woman-show, and it can leave me feeling exhausted, and questioning my love for the job.

On the flip side of that, I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of orders and appreciation I’ve received over the past few years. So in the end, it’s 100% worth the blood, sweat, and tears, and I wouldn’t change what I do for the world. 

  • How do you spend your time when you aren’t in your store or creating your product? 

I love getting outside and exploring our beautiful state, collaborating / networking with other creatives, and adding new ideas to my long list of products I want to make! 

  • How did you discover Sea Love Candles & Company?

I discovered Sea Love through connecting with the owner Stacy via Instagram! So thankful I’ve gotten to know her and her amazing candles!

  • Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like readers to know? 

It has understandably been one of the most difficult years for many small business owners, and I just want to encourage everyone to keep supporting and shopping local every time you can. It is so important now more than ever to do so. You’re not only supporting the local economy, you’re helping people make their dreams a reality, and that’s the coolest thing ever. I appreciate everyone who has shown their support despite these crazy times, and bring on 2021!

If you love unique handcrafted pottery, be sure to check out her Instagram @ceramica_co and website: www.ceramicaco.com!  Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Hannah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall Featured Small Business - S. Lynch Knitwear!

Fall Featured Small Business - S. Lynch Knitwear!

Wow. It's been a hot minute since our last post (about 2 months, but, um who's counting?!) Okay, okay, Barry is counting ;)  2020 has been a complete wash out so far and we are quite ready to be through this chapter, and you know what, we are making the best of it and getting through it. Together.

Whilst unsure how to treat this space, but with the feeling to nurture it and grow it - we want to share so much know how, tips and tricks about our products, the behind the scenes stories AND most of all, stories of the people we consider family to share with you. Stockists. Friends. Lovers of Sea Love Candle & Company. Our people. Our community. 

And to be quite honest; if anything through this time, has created space for contemplation and creation which we now believe it is time to do something special and crazy and share, starting with well, us. So here it goes.   

I feel like you know us quite well already.  Or me at least.  I've always meant to introduce Barry and well, I never actually have. So we'll definitely share the story of Us, him and me, me and him and the business.  But this month, as we move into our New England Autumn season (my fav!) and continue to share our love for small business, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Samantha!

THIS IS S. LYNCH KNITWEAR

  • Tell us about your business and what you do (name, location, type of business).

My cozy small shop is called S. Lynch Knitwear. It is a small apparel/accessory company currently located right outside of Louisville, Kentucky. 

  • When did you open your business and how did you get started?

I opened my business in the fall of 2017. I have been crocheting since I was seven, a skill that was taught to me by my Nana that I will forever cherish. I taught myself to knit by watching YouTube in the summer of 2017 and launched SLK that fall. 

  • What is your favorite part of being a store owner?  Least favorite?

My most favorite part about being a small business/shop owner is seeing where my knitted pieces end up. I have shipped items all over the US and even to Belgium! I also love the relationships I have made with store owners from wholesaling as well. My least favorite part of being a small business owner is the book keeping end of things- I am not a math person, so my husband helps out a lot with that! 

  • From where do you draw your inspiration and decide on the products you want to offer?

Most of my inspiration comes from my travels and adventures, more specifically in New England. I have always been drawn to NE- the coast, the mountains- there is just so much beauty and I’m often found exploring up there any chance I get. I am also a huge fan of autumn and Halloween so I knew I wanted to produce cozy products people can wear on their autumn/winter adventures. 

 

  • What values does your business embody?

When I started SLK, I knew I wanted to build a brand based on passion and adventure as well as honesty and trustworthiness. I want to continue to build a brand that my customers go to time after time and continue to provide products of the upmost quality.  I want my customers to be inspired by my stories of adventure behind every product and hopefully make them want to get out an explore too (and not forget to pack their favorite beanie!). 

  • Is your business a full time or part time venture? Do you have plans to grow/expand?

SLK is definitely a seasonal, part- time gig. I work full-time as a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and am happy with having SLK as my side-hustle. There is just something about being a small-handmade business that customers love and I don’t want to change that vibe. As far as plans to grow, I would love to see more of my hats in store! 

  • There are many challenging that come along with running a small business. What is your biggest challenge and what is your biggest reward or success?

One of my biggest challenges right now is being a seasonal brand. From March-August no one is thinking about knitwear, so I am trying to branch out into other apparel/accessory outlets to offer my customers something in all 4 seasons. My biggest reward or success is all of the networking and relationships I have made with other small businesses. Instagram has such a great community of small business owners/entrepreneurs who I have been introduced to and now call friends. A lot of great opportunities have come up for me through the platform and I just love connecting with other shop owners (and of course getting to meet them in real life!).  

  • How do you spend your time when you aren’t in your store or creating your product?

As stated earlier, I LOVE to travel, especially in New England. I love creating travel content that other businesses can use through my photography and freelance writing. When I am not traveling or working, I love spending time with my family, 2 dogs, and friends. 

  • How did you discover Sea Love Candles & Company?

I believe we found each other through Instagram and started supporting each other through the platform. I then had the idea to host a giveaway with you and the rest is history. I so enjoyed finally meeting you in person and getting to visit your AMAZING store and participate in your candle pouring experience- definitely a trip I will never forget! 

  • Where can people go to find more about your business (website, social media accounts)?

I am on Instagram @slynchknitwear and my knitwear can be purchased on Etsy and also in store at Daytrip Society in Kennebunkport :) !

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Summer Featured Small Business - Salt and Branch!

Summer Featured Small Business - Salt and Branch!

Happy June, and WELCOME to Sea Love Candles & Company (and our very first blog post!)  I'm excited, nervous, and humbled to have the opportunity to let my hair down, get real, and connect our tribe with inspiration.   So, I'm going to dive in and introduce myself with some background of our little candle company and the recent creation of our NEW scent studio in Kennebunk, Maine.  I am Stacy, co-founder and lover of the ocean, boho coastal vibes, and well, anything L-O-V-E-!  I've always had a passion of style and design and creating ambient spaces.  Candles have always been a constant in my life and super passionate about the way a candle can add to a space, enhance a gathering and help to create special moments.  I believe that a home is special and needs to be a place where the soul is rejuvenated.  My husband Barry and I are also lovers of a good cold beer on the backyard deck or community bar, walking the beach with our two adopted dogs Chewbacca and Cleo (you'll see Miss Cleo around the studio!)  We enjoy new vegetarian cooking, traveling and exploring the beautiful coast of Maine...and of course, valuable time friends and family is everything.   

The name for our little candle business came from my love of sea and the "& Company" was recently added when we opened the scent studio to custom candle making.  We wanted to welcome the local community and enjoy the company of our frequent travelers that visit our little coastal town . Supporting small businesses is something that I am passionate about and are grateful for people like you who take the time to listen to our story and support our product. 

I'm very excited to launch the first blog post in our series called "Featured Small Business."  We wouldn't be where we are without the love and support of our 200+ retail stockist family all over the US and all the amazing makers we have been blessed to get to know, support, and call friends.  Melissa from Salt & Branch is our very first featured business and she is just the sweetest!   Each month we will be featuring a different small business or artisan success story.  Our goal is to introduce you to a new business that you will love, like we do!  We appreciate YOU and hope you keep reading to learn more about Salt & Branch - enjoy our Q&A with Melissa ;)

Cheers! xo

Stacy

Q&A

  • Tell us about your business and what you do (name, location, type of business).

We are Salt and Branch, an ecommerce store that focuses on curating Coastal Farmhouse goods for your home. My name is Melissa and I run the business with my partner, Adam. Adam helps with lots of back end tasks that it takes to run the business. It’s just the two of us so it’s a very small operation right now. We live just south of Boston and currently we are only online, no physical store presence.

  • When did you open your business and how did you get started?

We launched our business on January 1, 2020 but started working on getting the business model together several months prior. Having a home goods store has been an interest of mine for quite some time. I’ve wanted to have a small boutique store in a coastal town; the kind that you always want to go back to because they have unique and handmade items that you can’t find elsewhere. I’ve always been a beach girl at heart and love everything blue. The name Salt and Branch came from combining our love of the ocean and nature.

  • What is your favorite part of being a store owner?  Least favorite?

My favorite part of being a store owner has been discovering small businesses and connecting with these makers. I wasn’t sure how the process of curating products was going to go, but everyone I have interacted with in the past 6 months has been so helpful and supportive. I also enjoy sharing the amazing products with our customers.

Least favorite so far has been limiting the amount of items we can sell due to financing.   We are hoping to add more items to the store in the near future but needed to start  very small in the beginning.

  • From where do you draw your inspiration and decide on the products you want to offer?

I call my decorating aesthetic Coastal Farmhouse drawing inspiration from natural fabrics like jute, burlap and linen and colors in nature. I don’t think my style fits neatly into Coastal or Farmhouse, hence the hybrid name. I enjoy color palettes that include white, navy, turquoise, light blue, and teal. I like to add in some older unique furniture pieces that have character as well. Deciding on the products to sell in our store has been very fun for me. I have been mostly choosing products that fit into that aesthetic. So far, we’ve had some hits and misses and it’s been a part of the learning process for us. 

  • What values does your business embody?

When starting the business, I knew that it was important to feature small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of our country and I would much rather support someone’s livelihood versus supporting a CEO’s purchase of their 5th vacation home! We feature handmade, small batch items that are not mass produced or manufactured. I find it very satisfying knowing that the items we sell aren’t things you can find at your local big box stores. Most of the businesses we support are woman owned business which is also very important to us. A few of the items we sell are made in other countries. We make sure that the businesses are practicing fair labor standards and that their artisans are making living wages.

  • Is your business a full time or part time venture? Do you have plans to grow/expand?

It’s currently a part time venture that feels full time! I’m a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Program Director at a local non-profit as my “real job.” Running our business would not be possible if I didn’t have Adam there by my side filling in when I can’t. We do have a long-term goal of opening a Brick and Mortar store in the future—somewhere down the line. Fingers crossed!

  • There are many challenges that come along with running a small business. What is your biggest challenge and what is your biggest reward or success?

Our biggest challenge to date has been shipping! Before we launched I thought our biggest challenge was going to be creating and maintaining the website because neither of us have IT backgrounds. Navigating the shipping landscape has been Adam’s domain, and it is something we are continuing to figure out since it’s a huge part of an ecommerce business like ours.

I think that our biggest reward has been connecting with new makers and growing an awesome customer base. We have had some amazingly supportive customers from day 1 and that continues to propel us forward when we are having a bad day. 

  • How do you spend your time when you aren’t in your store?

Well, that has changed in the past few months during our stay home advisory. I’ve been spending a lot of time tackling home renovation projects and craft projects. Typically, we both enjoy working out at the gym, taking hikes at our nearby state parks and beaches and spending time with families and friends.

  • How did you discover Sea Love Candles & Company and why did you choose to offer our candles and home fragrance to your customers?

I discovered Sea Love Candles & Company on a wholesale website. Choosing candles without smelling them can be a challenge. Thankfully, the amazing descriptions and pictures that Stacy has were helpful in choosing the candles. We first chose Seaside Mimosa and Maine Pine which are both divine. Our customers are head-over-heels about Seaside Mimosa! We’ve recently added Sunshine and Sun Kissed to our store and they are getting a huge reception as well so I’m sure we will be ordering more in the very near future. The candles smell great and they remind me (and our customers) of the beach. 

  • What is your best-selling SLCCo item and what are your customers saying about it?

Seaside Mimosa by far!  They love the energizing clean scent and don’t tire of it. It’s a scent that can be burned year round. My mom is obsessed with it! 

  • Where can people go to find more about your business (website, social media accounts)?

You can check out our website at www.saltandbranch.com. We are on Facebook @saltandbranchdecor. We are on Instagram @saltandbranch. We are on Pinterest @saltandbranch1. We’d love for you to follow us and share with friends if you like what you see!

  • Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like readers to know?

I’m incredibly honored to be interviewed by you, Stacy. Thank you for thinking of us!  We’ve only been in business for such a short amount of time and really feel the love from others in this community.  I can’t wait to come visit your candle bar in the near future and meet in person.

 

Thank you Melissa!  We appreciate your kind words and support. We'd love to read your comments about this blog series below. If you enjoy the blog please share on social media and tag @sealovecandles!

Go check out the rest of Salt and Branch's beautiful coastal merchandise at saltandbranch.com

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