Friday, January 24, 2020

Business Spotlight: Elbow Room Bistro

https://elbowroombistro.com/"What’s going into the old Bomb Diggity space now that they’ve closed?” “Is that new café/eatery/pub/restaurant open, yet?” These questions have been the fodder and focus of the greater Windham community in the past couple of months. Today – we have the answers:

The Elbow Room Bistro is now occupying the former Bomb Diggity café, located at 781 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. It officially opened on December 18th and is serving high end, specially prepared and chef-inspired cuisine at local prices.

“We’ve had a quiet and slow opening and it has been intentional,” stated owner, Nick Kalogerakis, “My son Luke, who is the chef, and I wanted to take it slow and grow in the most authentic way. We wanted to get it right and have happy customers the minute we opened the door.

When you walk into the former breakfast/lunch café that now serves lunch and dinner, you will be immediately received by welcoming and friendly staff who will promptly accommodate your needs.

Nick, who was born and raised in Massachusetts, began cooking at the age of 17 and moved up the food service industry ladder quickly. Eventually, his father and brother collaborated with Nick, owning a couple restaurants in towns surrounding the Boston area. However, it wasn’t until Nick moved to Florida that he learned to cook in ways he hadn’t been exposed. “It wasn’t until I moved to Florida that I learned how to prepare foods in a variety of traditions as well as learning regional preferences and cultures. This is when I really learned the art of cooking.”

Nick eventually returned to the Northeast, landing in Maine in 2005. He purchased and co-owned Texas Roadhouse in Scarborough for several years before retiring as a business consultant. He now makes Windham his home.

Following in his dad’s footsteps, Chef Luke knew the culinary arts was his calling. He started cooking four-course meals at the age of 13 and, upon graduation from high school attended the prestigious Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island until a cancer diagnosis changed his course in life.

“I always promised Luke that I would help him open a restaurant after he obtained his degree,” Nick explained. “His cancer diagnosis sped up the process.” Nick quickly added that in one more year, Luke will be considered cancer free. “So, when this space became available, we decided to take action.”

Nick stated that the father and son team began experimenting with different dishes inspired by his son until they felt like they got the balance of ingredients just right. “What we serve today are dishes that we have tested and tasted ourselves,” began Nick. “Additionally, every cut of meat is inspected 
individually, and all foods are made from scratch on a daily basis. Everything we serve is fresh.”

In the short time the Elbow Room Bistro has been opened, there have been many happy customers. The many testimonials you will find on Facebook include the following:

“I'm so happy the Elbow Room came to Windham. We've been waiting for ‘the go to place.’ We stopped in for lunch. I had a portabella burger and sampled [my husband’s] fish tacos. Both were delicious, reasonably priced [and not to mention] great staff and ambiance. They have also done a good job with seating given the space. Looking forward to stopping by for dinner next!”

Kevin and Lori Hammond who recently purchased a small farm homestead in Windham and have made this town their home have rave reviews about the bistro. They both lived over 30 years in Portland, and thus have the palate that aligns with TripAdvisor’s top 10 restaurants in the nation (of which Portland was in that top ten).

“Before we moved to Old Orchard Beach three years ago, we were longtime residents of Portland,” began Lori. “While living in Portland, my husband and I were exposed to many upscale restaurants serving high-end foods. So, I must admit, my husband and I – who were both born and raised in rural Maine, have developed the taste for fine foods. When we tried The Elbow Room Bistro, we were ecstatic that there was a restaurant in Windham that served highly selected and chef-inspired cuisine. What makes it even more amazing is their prices are average – while their food is not. We feel like we hit the jackpot with The Elbow Room.”

The fact is, they have been receiving five-star ratings since their opening three weeks ago by the locals in the greater Sebago Lakes Region area. Although both Nick and Luke have worked hard to meet the high ratings they have received since opening, they recognize they couldn’t have done it completely on their own without the help of Derrick, DJ, Susan and the rest of the Elbow Room Bistro team.

If you haven’t tried The Elbow Room, then you should check it out for yourself. Their hours are Sunday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closed on Mondays. For more information or further questions, contact Nick and Luke at www.elbowroombistro.com, or call 207-572-1039.







Thursday, January 16, 2020

Business Spotlight: Karma Hair Studio

https://www.facebook.com/KarmaHairStudio04062/At Karma Hair Studio (recently located to 815 Roosevelt Trail, between The Thai Place and Sticky Bud Farms) stylists Billie Jo Keith and Jeanne Ross treat their customers like family by providing a relaxed professional atmosphere and offering premier “Portland” hair care services at “Windham” prices.

With over 55 years of accumulated experience and five-star reviews, the skilled and educated beauticians are dedicated to transforming their customers’ hair as requested.

“We pride ourselves in listening to what our customers ask of us,” stated Jeanne. “And, if we don’t get it quite right the first time, we ALWAYS encourage people to let us know immediately or come back later so we can tweak as need be. We want happy customers – or what we prefer to call those we serve – ‘family members.’”

In fact, Karma Hair Studio strives for the old-fashioned and small-town community gathering place that was once popularly known and loved over 30 years ago. “We really want to be known as the small-town beauty parlor,” began Billie Jo. “We want our customers to stop by anytime – even just to chat and to be a part of a social and fun community hub.”

A laid-back ambience is so important to both stylists, they bring in their friendly dogs, Mister Bentley, a border collie, and Miss Olivia, a miniature collie, to greet their customers and provide a form of happiness and joy therapy. “They are our official greeters and HR department,” joked Billie Jo (in a semi-serious manner). “Mister Bentley and Miss Olivia really do make our customers relaxed and are a source of fun conversation and laughter…just as you would experience with any other family gathering.”

Jeanne Ross and Billie Jo Keith
Both Billie Jo and Jeanne are committed to constantly learning the latest techniques in order to provide the high-end professional services they offer.

Billie Jo, who has 22 years of experience, is a level five color designer, which is the highest level one can obtain in the color design field. Jeanne, with 33 years of experience, specializes in high-end hair cutting techniques. Together, they can accommodate any haircare request and service that is needed and preferred.

“We offer a complete package of hair care options for the whole family,” stated Billie Jo. “There is nothing Jeanne and I cannot offer. If you ask, we have the experience to provide it. If there is that one in a million chance that we don’t have that experience…we will let you know and suggest other options. That’s how much we care about our customers.”

But what is just as – or perhaps more – important, is Billie Jo and Jeanne strive to provide these services with the knowing it is their calling and mission in life. “I knew from the age of eight or so that I wanted to cut hair,” Jeanne said. “I had a Tiffany Taylor Doll when I was young. I would cut her hair in the latest fashion on one side, and then ‘flip’ her head and shampoo and style her hair on the other side.”

Jeanne was about ten years old at the time and she knew then her vocation ‘when she grew up’ would be in the hair business. “I couldn’t help myself”, Jeanne began.  I would cut Tiffany’s black hair short in the style that was popular of the 1970s and when I would rotate to the blonde side, I would blow and style it as if she was Farrah Fawcett. I knew when I was a young that I wanted to be a hair stylist.”

Billie Jo also knew at an early age that her life’s calling was in all things hair and when she met Jeanne four years ago, they realized they were “kindred spirits” of the hair styling business.
“We provide every service requested of us,” began Billie Jo. “But we do so with the health of our customers in mind.”

Billie Jo explained that many amenities offered at other salons, such as hair straightening and other products, contain cancer causing agents. “Services such as the Brazilian Blowout to straighten an individual’s hair can be detrimental and uses cancer-causing products – not only to the customer receiving the service but to the stylist and everyone who happens to be in the shop that day,” 
explained Billie Jo. “We are very aware of that; we offer services that are pet and health friendly. For example, we only provide Framesi Salon products as they are not only considered a European top of the hair care product line, but the franchise does not test on animals. The other products we use in the shop do not expose the customers to any potential cancer-causing agents or hair care products. We are adamant about that.”

If one peruses their Facebook page, there are many positive testimonials that include such feedback as, “Amazing quality and really good prices for the service! Very inviting and personal!”

Kristy Quatrono has been a customer since Karma Hair Studio opened shop in 2016. “I’ve been their customer for about three years, and I have had the greatest experience,” she began. “I love the girls who run this shop. In fact, I love them personally…but in terms of their business, I love the atmosphere and their professionalism as well as the animal friendly product they offer. They are just all around amazing.”

For more information and to receive laid back and professional service, contact Billie Jo and Jeanne at (207) 892-3526 or message them on Facebook. In fact, ‘like’ their Facebook page today!






Thursday, January 9, 2020

Business spotlight: Jonathan Priest, MetLife

https://www.facebook.com/JonathanPriestMetLife/On March 24th, 1868, a company dedicated to providing working-class Americans with financial protection opened its doors for business. Since then, MetLife has helped generations of customers around the world protect their property, finances, families, and futures. In fact, MetLife has been so successful at maintaining their mission and dedication to those they serve, that the company has been recognized in the Top 20 of Newsweek’s most reputable companies across all industries…out of 300 companies nationwide!

Contributing to that success is local and trusted Property and Casualty Specialist, Jonathan Priest. 

Jonathan, whose office is located 57 Tandberg Trail in Windham, works with MetLife to custom-build insurance packages for everyone regardless of where they are in the game of life.

“Anytime you’re making a change is a good time to review insurance,” Jonathan said. Getting a new car, getting married, getting divorced or having a baby are all great reasons to reassess your needs or learn about insurance.

Priest has been working in the banking and insurance industries since he graduated from college with a degree in education. The education degree has served him well in his career because he is able to turn insurance jargon into plain English. “If I could spread one message,” Priest stated, “It would be that Life insurance is never cheaper than right now. Don’t wait. Ninety-nine times out of 100, the rate is less expensive than you think.”  Priest also has life insurance policies available that don’t surcharge for marijuana use. “We are very competitive, and aware of the changing needs and realities of the marketplace.” he said.

Jonathan Priest
MetLife offers many things that other companies don’t, Priest said. When a client has an accident with a rental car, the rental agency will charge the driver for “loss of use” of that vehicle. MetLife covers that charge as part of their standard coverage, where no other insurance companies will! If an all-wheel drive car needs new tires due to a covered loss, MetLife will replace all four tires, as the tires need to be the same outside diameter to prevent damaging the car’s transmission.

When it comes to home insurance, MetLife has the option of uncapped insurance, Priest said. If a house is insured for $500,000, but it will cost $750,000 to rebuild, they will provide the bigger amount. “No one else is actively writing new policies that do that,” he said. Priest likes to work with first-time home buyers because they are like a blank slate. They need protection for a huge investment and need to be educated about which coverage is right for them.

When he meets with clients, he asks the right questions to find out what they need, be it homeowners, auto, disability, life, event or even pet insurance. Priest can also broker through many agencies to find the best policies for his clients. The face to face contact with Priest allows him to make a personal connection. When something happens, the clients call him. “If you have a claim, do you want to be working with someone who doesn’t care or that you’ve never met?” he asked. “I want to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need.”

The claim center for MetLife is in Rhode Island, and Jonathan makes sure to follow up if there is a claim made. “It is always best to check with your agent before filing a claim…one new client of mine had an agent who filed one homeowner’s claim as three different incidents, which got her policy canceled! I was able to save her over a thousand dollars on that policy alone!”  Priest has been able to find savings for many clients, going so far as to say that “More than 8 out of every 10 folks I quote, I am able to save money while maintaining or improving their coverages.”

Jonathan started with MetLife two years ago and hasn’t looked back. He earned recognition as the second-year agent writing the most new business in New England. With 18 years of experience in the insurance game, he knows a good company when he sees it.

He also has many local business owners as clients, all of whom have different, specialized requirements. “I enjoy getting into the commercial side of things, but a lot of personal lines agents do not.” he said.

Priest offers free consultations, reviews and quotes. “If I can’t do better for you, I’ll tell you.”  

He enjoys face to face meetings, but is in and out frequently meeting with clients, so getting in touch with him is best done by phone or email. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the office at 893-8184, message him on Facebook at Jonathan Priest MetLife Auto and Home, or email Jonathan.Priest@MetLife.com.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Business Spotlight: Bio Organic Market + Juice Bar

https://www.facebook.com/BioMarketME/Located in the Windham Shopping Plaza at 771 Roosevelt Trail, Bio Organic Market + Juice Bar will be opening the doors to its juice bar on Monday, January 6, with the market to open in the following months. Bio’s promise is to deliver “All Organic All the Time,” sourcing as much as possible from local organic farmers. This is expected to be a welcome and exciting addition to the Sebago Lakes Region.

Fueling the body with high quality food and products is something owner, Charles Hawkins has strived to do since he was young, while inspiring those around him to do the same.

“I grew up eating organic and even back then I recognized the benefits and not because I was told, but because I could see it. I always had more energy than those around me and I never got sick like my friends and classmates. Even as we’ve all aged, I’ve still noticed a difference, especially when I’ve strayed.”

His passion only grew further when he began working with a local organic grocery store in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. “This was the first job I had where I really felt like I was making a difference. I wasn’t just helping the customers. I was helping local farmers, distributors, vitamin companies, and so many more I didn’t know about…all the way down to the individual.” It was during this time of his life he developed the dream of one day opening his own community based organic market.

Hawkins believes when an individual decides to shop organic, it is the responsibility of the store to ensure they are buying the freshest, most honest, clean products possible, a lesson he took from his job in Virginia. That’s why Bio is committed to doing its homework when it comes to the quality of the products entering the store and, in turn, the customer’s home.

“It’s not just about the look and taste of the products,” he said, “It’s about how it’s grown, harvested and stored before it comes through our doors. If we don’t do our due diligence, there is no guarantee our product standards and those of our customers are being met. This is where a lot of grocery stores and markets fall through.”

He continued “As insufficient regulations emerged, and stores became accustomed to carrying more products with labels containing ‘fresh’ or ‘natural’ the meaning of organic in your everyday grocery stores has been lost.” Bio plans to bring real, fresh organic choices back to the Sebago Lakes Region.
As with his other Windham business, Maine’s Alternative Caring, Hawkins also has plans to use Bio as a means to do good in the local communities it serves, ultimately allowing Bio customers to do the same. “Just by making the choice to buy local and organic products people are already taking steps to improve the local community,” stated Hawkins. “Even one juice from the juice bar gives back. It gives back to the farmer who raised the fruits and vegetables for it, the employee who picked them, the driver who delivered them and the employee that made that one juice.”

In the last year and a half, Hawkins has frequently given back to the Sebago Lakes Region through Maine’s Alternative Caring, with monthly donations, fundraisers and scholarship programs. It’s his hope that Bio will allow him to give even more back through charitable giving, donations and educational programs aimed towards leading a healthy lifestyle while learning about nutrition.

Bio also has plans to go a step further to get involved and be socially engaged with the Sebago Lakes Region by hosting events and being a leading supporter of causes that align with the company’s mission and core values in an effort to not only give back, but bring real change.

Through shopping with Bio Organic Market + Juice Bar, customers will not only get to be part of something bigger with the charitable and giving spirit of the store, but they will be taking part in enriching our community on multiple levels.

“I really am so grateful for the opportunities Windham has given me, and I am beyond excited to give back in a way that I am passionate about,” said Hawkins. “Our team can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.”

Bio Organic Market + Juice Bar is a cannabis free company and will be open to the public on January 6. For more information visit www.BioMarket.me or find them on Facebook.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Business Spotlight: Lake Region Animal Hospital

https://lakeregionanimalhospital.com/Providing full scale and professional veterinary services since 1976, Lake Region Animal Hospital,
located at 554 Roosevelt Trail, is still going strong and growing with one celebratory change to announce. Dr. Doug Griffin, who has owned and operated the clinic for the past 43 years, has recently retired and handed the reins of ownership to Dr. Andrine Belliveau to continue the expert and compassionate care to our four-legged friends. Dr. Belliveau purchased the clinic on November 27, 2019.

Dr. Belliveau, who grew up in Bolton, MA knew from a very early age that working with animals was her calling. “I grew up on a farm and I loved being around and taking care of the animals,” Dr. Belliveau began. “As I got older, I was involved in 4H, working with our goats and sheep. At the age of 15, I started as a kennel assistant at a clinic in Lancaster, MA, eventually working as a veterinary technician until I was 25 during school breaks and summer months.”

Dr. Belliveau received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at Cornell University within three years and went on to obtain a DVM degree from Tufts University in 2011. For one year after graduation, she worked at a small-animal clinic in upstate New York.

Wanting to be closer to her family, Dr. Belliveau moved to Maine and began working at Lake Region Animal Hospital in 2012.  A few years later, she transitioned to emergency medicine.  “I have seen almost every situation imaginable,” she explained. “The experience of working in an emergency vet clinic taught me many things that I wouldn’t have ordinarily seen if I had only worked in a general practice veterinary hospital. The experience exposed me to the depth and breadth of the many extraordinary situations that occur. This helped me expand my experiential knowledge I wouldn’t have otherwise gained. There are very few emergency situations I can’t handle now as a result.”

Although customers will no longer see the caring face of Dr. Griffin, they will continue to see all the other familiar, talented and friendly staff that have been a part of the Lake Region Animal Hospital Team for quite some time.

Dr. Andrine Belliveau with Chief Doggo, Bennett
In fact, many customers have expressed their loyalty and satisfaction. “I have been taking my animals to Lake Region Animal Hospital in Windham for over 15 years,” began Jinja Rosendahl. “I have been seeing Dr. Belliveau for my latest two dogs. While one of my dogs, would be happy with most people, my other dog is leery of most. He wears a muzzle into the office, both for his protection and for others. He has known Dr. Belliveau since I first adopted him at about three months of age. Dr. B has one of the techs take him out back and while they are treating him, they remove the muzzle and he is fine. For that seemingly simple act, I am forever grateful. I would highly recommend Dr. Belliveau for your pet’s needs [as well as] the entire staff at Lake Region Animal Hospital.”

Another customer, Julie Largay concurs. “My family has been taking our dogs to Lake Region Animal Hospital since at least the 1980's. The front desk staff is friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable.  We talk to Paula a lot and the techs are amazing and make you feel like your pet is their's.  I have known Leah for a number of years, and she is smart and dependable. A few years ago, we were paired with Dr. Seavey.  As our basset hound got older, we started seeing her more and more. She was always very honest with what his issues were, and she always gave us a few plans for care, in case one was too expensive. It was nice knowing that if we didn't want to pay a lot of money for a test, there was always another direction to take. Towards the end of our basset's life, she would email regularly to check in on him and even made a special trip to our house to drop off medication he needed. We have taken our pets to other vets now and then, but you cannot get the customer service, knowledge base or compassion that you get from the team at Lake Region Animal Hospital.”

You can expect the same great service by the same friendly faces. “Dr. Griffin owned this business for 43 years,” stated Dr. Belliveau. “He did a wonderful job and we are going to continue in this manner in his honor.”

For more information about Lake Region Animal Hospital, check out their website at www.lakeregionanimalhospital.com/ or call 207-892-7575.




Friday, December 6, 2019

Business Spotlight: Bob’s Seafood

http://www.lobstersshipped.com/Located in North Windham on Route 302 as one enters the greater Sebago Lakes Region, residents and visitors alike will find a seafood gem. Bob’s Seafood has been a local favorite and vacationer destination since 2002. 

Bob’s is a small family owned business now operated by second generation siblings Travis, Derek and Tarah Mathieu. Bob’s original concept was to provide Windham and surrounding areas with a fresh seafood market and offer some fried local favorites. It’s been a vision of Travis, Derek and Tarah over the past 10 years to expand on the business their parents began.

In September of 2018, their vision became a reality as Bob’s Seafood was transformed into a full-scale restaurant, bar and seafood market.  An additional 2,000 square feet was added which permitted a large kitchen expansion, dish room, restrooms and a taproom. 

The design was to give customers a modern industrial look while providing them with a casual, warm and cozy atmosphere. The original building was completely remodeled, but some of the original charm and quaint atmosphere was persevered for the guests that prefer that New England style, too. 

Bob’s new expansion added more than 25 new jobs for seasonal, part-time and full-time positions.


One of the missing components of Bob’s in the early days was adult beverages. With the addition of the Taproom; beer, wine and spirits offer another stream of revenue that has not been part of the equation in the past.  The Taproom is very spacious with an eighteen-seat u-shaped bar as the focal point and nine additional tables accommodating up to 38 guests. 

Sibblings Travis, Tarah and Derek Mathieu are
second generation owners of Bob's Seafood
The tap lines consist of 8 hand-picked craft beers, many of which are local to Maine. Maine Beer Company Lunch IPA, Allagash White and Bells Amber are amongst the most poured beers followed by the rotating IPA. There is a rotating specialty cocktail menu that changes with the seasons. Bob’s Seafood is currently highlighting Tiramisu Martini, Pumpkin White Russian and Maple Walnut Old Fashion.

We are also proud of our outdoor patio which displays a beautiful natural granite wall and a custom-built natural gas fire pit.  It’s the perfect spot to “wine” down and enjoy a great outdoor dining experience during those warm summer nights. 

Although the addition of beer, wine and spirits has brought in new customers, the food quality keeps people coming back for more. Previously recognized for their award-winning lobster roll, Bob’s is also known for their fried clams, scallops and haddock dinners along with hand cut fries and onion rings. 

As the building took on a new look the menu did much of the same. With a much larger kitchen, the menu now boasts baked stuffed haddock, sautéed scallops, teriyaki salmon, lobster mac-n-cheese, fish tacos, salads and much more. All menu items are homemade including appetizers, chowders and daily specials.  All food is locally sourced, fresh and made from scratch.  Bob’s Seafood takes pride in preparing all their guests’ food by hand and as ordered.

A one of a kind, eco-friendly lobster tank was custom built which includes a deep end holding tank and a waterfall to hold and sustain over 1,000 live lobsters as needed.  Bob’s sells live and cooked lobsters ranging in size from one to four-pound jumbo, in any quantities.

Bob’s Seafood takes pride in the seafood selection - offering wild caught, chemical free, local, natural and organic seafood. The fresh seafood case is stocked with fresh haddock along with Wester Ross natural salmon fillets, fresh swordfish, dry sea scallops, day boat halibut, lobster meat, crab meat, homemade crab stuffed mushrooms, stuffed clams, native steamers, mussels, oysters and more! 

Bob’s Seafood can bring in special order fish or customize an order with advance notice.  There is a Frozen market as well offering Alaskan king crab legs, native shrimp, clam cakes, crab cakes, crab meat stuffing, shrimp cocktail, tiger shrimp, local smoked mussels, and chopped sea clams. Bob’s Seafood has all the supplies in house and the ability to pack fresh seafood for road trips and overnight traveling trips whether the customer is flying or driving.

Bob’s Seafood is now open year-round. Winter dining hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. Summer hours from Memorial Day through Labor Day are Monday through Saturday 11 a.m to 9 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The fish market opens daily at 9 a.m. or by appointment. If you’re traveling for the holidays or need a great gift idea, Bob’s Seafood also ships live lobsters and fresh seafood via Fed-Ex next day air anywhere in the United States.  For more information call Bob’s at 207-893-2882 or visit their website at lobsters-shipped.com




Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Business Spotlight: Erin Flett, Textile Designer

https://erinflett.com/From a small start in her basement to a thriving studio, showroom and manufacturing operation in the heart of Gorham, designer Erin Flett has grown her business tremendously over the past ten years. Flett was a successful graphic designer when she began creating illustrations on some of her design projects.  “I’m an artist, an illustrator, at heart,” Flett said. 

A visit to New York city opened Flett’s eyes to the realization that people were willing to pay for
pattern design. She started to make a name for herself designing patterns for others, including Pottery Barn. But these bigger companies didn’t use some of the patterns Flett felt were special, instead choosing safer styles for their lines. That’s when Flett realized she wanted to sell her work on her own.

Flett began drawing and hand printing designs on pillows in her basement at night with her husband, when her daughters were two and five. After two years of hand printing and using local sewing talent, Flett’s business was featured in a full page profile in O Magazine as part of a spread called “Women who make beautiful things.” 

This exposure caused Flett’s operation to quickly grow out of the basement, moving into a space at the Dana Warp Mill in Westbrook. In each of the first four years in her new location, Flett’s business doubled. Flett gained national and international exposure and has been featured in over 60 magazines in the past decade.

Four months ago, Flett opened a retail and manufacturing location in downtown Gorham.  “It is the first time people have the opportunity to buy something and walk upstairs to see how it is made,” Flett said.  The shop showcases Flett’s work with one-of-a-kind products not available online, including wallpaper, rugs and wall art.  Flett believes it is important to have a price point for everyone, so the shop contains items priced from $5 and up. 

Flett also has a thriving online business at www.erinflett.com.  The company has over 200 wholesale customers, including many hotels. Flett said they are beginning to branch out to interior design companies and become a lifestyle brand. They recently received an order for custom, exclusive patterns from LL Bean. 

“Pattern and color is what we do best,” Flett said.  “Everyone is bringing their joy and energy to the piece you are buying.”

Flett said the company prides itself on their American woven fabrics that are handprinted one at a time and sewn by a team of extremely talented local stitchers. The company employs about 15 people, including stitchers, manufacturing staff, and customer service/shipping representatives.

Every year, Flett holds two big sales in the community.  The 2019 annual holiday sale will be held on Sunday, December 1, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Robie Gym, 42 South Street in Gorham.

The sale will be a festive affair, with a large tree, music, and hundreds of hand-printed textiles perfect for gift-giving, including many items designed specifically for the sale.  This event, Flett said, is about celebrating the year they’ve had, and giving local people a chance to find one-of-a-kind gifts. Buying at the sale means giving a unique, locally made gift rather than something mass produced in China, Flett said, as well as supporting a Maine business. 

Erin Flett favorites will be on display, along with new surprises and new ornaments priced at just $5 while supplies last.  The new retail location at 2 Main Street in Gorham will also be open to the public on the day of the sale.  This is an event for everyone, and families are encouraged to attend.

On her website, Flett describes herself as “a visual collector of dreams, thoughts, ideas, funky vintage gems that capture my heart and bring a bold sense of color and design,” she added, “I think about what brings me joy and I try to work that into my drawings and compositions. I want things to be happy, peaceful, mindful and truly a reflection of inspired living.”

Flett personally designs all the bold, unique patterns for the products she sells.  All printing is done in their studio, and local stitchers put pieces together.  Our goal is to continue the long tradition of making and designing here in Maine. The energy here is just different—from the old cobblestone streets and brick buildings to the trees that speak to you on long walks in the woods,” Flett said.

To learn more about what Flett has to offer, peruse her website at www.erinflett.com or call 207-839-2814. Her studio shop is open Tuesday through Friday 10a.m. to 2p.m. and weekends from noon to 4p.m.