Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Business Spotlight: Erin Flett, Textile Designer 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  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 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.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Business Spotlight: Lice Clinics of America® - Portland word, “lice” conjures up many stigmas and fears which contribute to a parent’s worst nightmare; discovering their son or daughter’s scalp is populated with the head-scratching bug the size of a sesame seed. Because CDC reports between six to 12 million cases of headlice are diagnosed in children between the ages of three and 11 every year, Lice Clinics of America in Portland is here to educate, inform, prevent and demystify many of the assumptions and false information surrounding this most feared childhood pest.

Located at 640 Brighton Avenue in Portland and serving all of southern Maine including Windham and Raymond, Lice Clinics of America in Portland (also known as Nits End) works to empower parents with the safest, most successful methods to clear the family of head lice and provide education and prevention.

“It is our mission to not only offer a lice removal service option that is 99 percent effective, but to be a community resource to inform parents, and the public in general, on scientific and factual data to prevent or rectify lice outbreak,” stated Owner Christine Cherry. “But perhaps more importantly, we want to be here for parents who feel isolated and don’t know who to talk to or where to turn during this often-frustrating time.”

Christine knows this feeling all too well. As a parent of small children, she found herself working tirelessly trying to rid her child from headlice. “Everything I tried, from chemical shampoos to organic methods, wasn’t working,” she began. “I opened this clinic because it was the option I wanted for myself but could not find in my area. I was spending so much time trying to eliminate the headlice but to no avail, it was extremely defeating and frustrating. I also was nervous to talk to other parents about my situation because of the stigma that comes with headlice. I didn’t want to isolate myself or my child.” 

The fact is, lice is an equal opportunity bug, choosing anyone from all social and economic backgrounds as its host. Also, poor hygiene does not play a role in infestation. In fact, clean hair is what lice prefer as it is easier to climb from one hair strand to the next.

But whatever the circumstance, remaining quiet about a headlice situation due to embarrassment only perpetuates the problem. “This is where Lice Clinics of America in Portland comes in,” Christine said. “We are here to help parents with an empathic ear – guiding and helping them choose the best option for their personal situation.”

Education about lice prevention is the first and foremost measure to keep lice from spreading. Close interactive play, a hug, sharing clothing or hair items and that ever fun-loving selfie are examples in which headlice can crawl from one host to the other.

To rectify an infestation, Lice Clinic of America in Portland provides a variety of options that includes a medical device; the AirAllé®. It is an FDA-cleared medical device that blows heated air through its applicator tip along the scalp and hair shafts. “It is a dehydration process that kills lice and their eggs,” began Christine. “It is a quick louse removal method that is 99 percent effective and is non-toxic with no pesticides or other chemicals used.”

AirAllé® has been proven to be such a success that the clinic guarantees this service for 30 days after treatment.

There are other options available to meet individual needs and situations. They include the following:
Screening - Clinicians will carefully inspect the hair and scalp. If an active case of head lice is confirmed, an individualized treatment plan is chosen.

The Signature AirAllé® treatment - This is a three-step process which includes a 30-minute AirAllé® treatment, a 30-60-minute comb-out to remove the dead lice and eggs and an oil application. Due to the success of this option, the clinic offers a 30-day service re-treatment policy provided all family members have been checked for head lice and treated as necessary.

Express AirAllé® treatment - This option includes a 30-minute AirAllé® treatment and a 10-minute comb-out to remove some of the dead lice and dehydrated eggs.

Comb-out treatment – This is a strand by strand traditional comb-out to remove lice and eggs using only non-toxic products.

Do-it-yourself lice removal kit – This option includes all the topical treatment products you will need, a professional lice comb, and detailed instructions on how to properly perform the comb-out.
There are many five-star reviews for Lice Clinics of America. A Portland parent recently stated, “Christine answered my questions before we even came for our appointment. They are cheaper than their competitor and offer the same exact service! I hope I don’t have to go back but I would if I need to!”

Lice Treatment of America also offers complimentary educational presentations for teachers and parent organizations/associations.

Whether you are in doubt about lice infestation, need someone to listen, looking for factual information, or wish to make an appointment for a professional screening or treatment, Christine and her staff will provide the service that best fits your needs. Call 855-648-7363 for an appointment or visit their website at for more information.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Business Spotlight: Veteran Tree Care, LLC ten years of experience under his tree climbing belt, Jonathan Wood of Raymond is making a
name for himself in the professional tree care business. Wood, who is a licensed utility and landscape arborist and owner of Veteran Tree Care, LLC provides knowledgeable, safe and professional tree care expertise – and provides it with a fast, reliable and personal touch.

Officially opening his entrepreneurial debut five months ago this past June, Wood is already at the helm of success as a tree “surgeon” and expert, answering many calls and requests that have come his way in the recent months. “I’ve been amazed and honored at how many requests I have received,” stated Wood. “Since I began my company in June of this year, 70 percent of my business has come from word of mouth by my customers who are elated by the work I’ve provided for them.”

Although Wood believes his ability to deliver high-standard customer service will win the hearts of his clients and prove his level of professionalism, he also knows that branding his skill, competence and dependable expertise will set him apart from the rest. “I have noticed recently that there are other tree care companies that are forming their own small enterprise efforts,” Wood stated. “I applaud them because I know what it takes to start a new business on your own. But I wish to set myself apart from the rest by proving my ability as a trustworthy, ethical , honest and professional business owner and arborist. Because - that is who I am.”

Jonathon Wood doing what he does best
There are many reasons why Wood stands out from the rest. First, it takes courage to start a new business and Wood knows a thing or two about courage. “I was always intrigued by the GI Joe enthusiasm of my youth,” stated Wood. “As soon as I graduated from high school in 2000, I joined the Maine Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Battalion in Westbrook and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for basic training and A.I.T (military job training).".  Within four years after his training at Fort Leonard Wood, Wood was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He returned to Maine a different man. He tried to find himself and his calling by exploring a variety of job opportunities. Wood discovered what that vocation was when he worked for a well-known tree company. “I was hooked as soon as I climbed my first tree,” Wood stated. "Once I decided this was the career I had been looking for, my focus turned to educating myself in all aspects of  the job with the aspiration of owning my own tree care business one day."

“Between my love of climbing trees and seeing how happy people are when they see the completed job. I knew I had found the profession I was meant to do. I really love what I do for a living.”
His passion translates in doing the best, most professional job possible. But just as importantly, as a husband and father of two children, he appreciates today’s busy lifestyle and does his best to accommodate his customers. “I understand busy lives,” Wood said. “I am flexible and do my best to meet the needs of potential customers. I work with future and returning clients to schedule meeting times for free quotes and do my best to provide fast, professional services when it’s needed most.”

Then, of course, are the Maine winters. They are notorious for cold temperatures, ice, snow build up and wind. These factors make winter a stressful time for trees, bushes and shrubs. Veteran Tree Care, LLC will help customers prepare for the winter by offering the following services and providing advice to protect property from tree damage.

Wood offers the following advice as we head into the winter months:

•Be mindful of pine trees near or over your home and driveway. Wet, heavy snow and ice buildup could cause limbs to break, potentially causing property damage.

•Does the heating fuel delivery truck touch the branches over your driveway? They will hang much lower with snow and ice on them. Consider having them pruned back and raised over your driveway to help prevent scratching your vehicle.

There is so much more that Jonathan Wood of Veteran Tree Care, LLC can offer. “I am already booking for the spring,” Wood explained. “I am making appointments to meet with customers now to prepare for the spring and summer months so that homeowners can enjoy their yards all summer long – or to help them prepare to sell their homes.”

Whatever the case may be, Jonathan Wood of Veteran Tree Care, LLC can improve the safety and beauty of your landscape and help homeowners reach their tree care goals. For more information, contact Wood by phone at 207-939-3839 or email at

Friday, November 8, 2019

Business Spotlight: Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg in the heart of Sebago among eight quaint cottages you will find the community’s newest  
food and drink hot spot, Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg restaurant. Although the restaurant is new this year, Paul and Rocco Severino, the father and son owners, are no newbies to the industry. Longtime area residents may remember Paul, who owned the well-known Sportsman’s Grill in Portland for many years with his father and uncles, closing the doors in late 1999.

The Severino’s have taken the same passion, dedication, creativity and family recipes that made them successful then, to the new Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg. Their menu boasts eclectic dishes you won’t find elsewhere in the Lakes Region. Their “upscale pub fare with Italian roots” includes mouthwatering appetizers such as crispy pork rinds, mini Maine lobster rolls in three varieties, scrumptious crispy brussel sprouts and wild west egg rolls with siracha ranch.

Choose from dishes like handcrafted burgers and pulled pork sandwiches to perfectly cooked steaks, lamb or seafood. If Italian dishes is what you crave you won’t be disappointed. They bring their family’s made from scratch Sicilian red sauce recipe to top entrees such as their chicken, eggplant or veal parmigiana, which has become a local favorite.

“We serve a fresh variety of creative dishes,” began Paul. “In fact, we offer just as many home-grown and locally produced, high-quality food options that one might find in Portland – but without the drive and crowds.”

Rocco added that the crave-worthy variety of foods and drinks served at Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg meet the everyday budget - without breaking the bank. “We offer an opportunity for those in the area to eat at our kitchen every day or several times a week while eating good, locally produced and healthy foods at reasonable prices.”

As they enter the fall, the restaurant provides a “wild game” menu. The wild game fare selections include the following until January: Duck, bison, deer, elk and Atlantic salmon. If you are a vegetarian, vegan or gluten free - there are local and wild selections for you too. “Our vegetarian option for last week was wild mushroom risotto,” explained Rocco. “It was a popular item and we almost couldn’t keep up with the demand, but we did succeed in order to satisfy our frequent vegetarian customers.” The fresh and wild menu options change during the spring and summer months to keep foods fresh and in-season.

There are many customers who love the authentic food options and personal service Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg provide - and they just can’t get enough. Local resident, Scott Bartlett is one of those individuals. “I have known the Severino’s for the past three years or so,” Bartlett said. “Not only do I love the food they offer but I love the family atmosphere. They truly make you feel like you are at home. Both Paul and Rocco will come out to talk to you to see if you are enjoying your meal. The food is the truly the best Italian food options north of Boston’s north shore.”

In addition to the food - there are the amazing drinks, too. Sportsman’s Kitchen and Keg serves a variety of unique mixed drinks, wine, and beer “We have 12 rotating tap lines as well that consist of local and seasonal varieties,” Rocco said. “The most recent specialty drink options include a fall sangria, a cranberry vodka infusion and a meatball bloody mary.” Their fall and winter happy hour every Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. will make this your new favorite meeting place with friends. They are offering $1.00 off all craft draft beers, $5 Jim beam and $7 Tito’s cocktails as well as long neck bottles for a mere $2.75 all day.

In the summer you can pull up from the lake at their 100’ dock and dine on their outdoor patio. But for now, come warm up in their cozy atmosphere and enjoy a fresh, satisfying meal at 46 Sebago Road, Route 114 in Sebago. Currently, they are open Wednesday through Sunday and closed on Monday and Tuesdays from Labor Day to Memorial Day. During the summer months, from Memorial Day to Labor Day – they are open seven days a week. They welcome you to call now to schedule your holiday party or reserve a cabin for your out of town holiday guests at the abutting Sebago West Shore Cottages.  For more information, call Paul or Rocco at 207-787-5209 or check out their websites at and

Friday, November 1, 2019

Business Spotlight: Maine physician has started a new online medical service in Maine designed to help prevent new
cases of Lyme disease by increasing patient access to early evaluation and treatment of tick bites. Dr. Catherine Lockwood has founded, a first of its kind online service where anyone in Maine can use a secure online connection and have a video consult with a physician to have their tick bite assessed for the risk of Lyme disease and be treated with preventative antibiotics when needed.

Some cases of Lyme disease can be prevented when early medical care identifies which tick bites are worrisome so preventative treatment can be started as soon as possible - but timing is key. The goal of is to decrease the barriers between people getting bites and getting care. The site's online services are available seven days a week during tick season which typically is March through November. Appointment times vary each day but are offered as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 9 p.m.

Online medical services make getting care easier by avoiding waiting rooms, avoiding waiting for return calls or delays in appointments and avoiding costly emergency room visits when people have nowhere else to receive care.

Dr. Catherine Lockwood
After having been a primary care provider and an urgent care physician locally, Dr. Lockwood now works to help people identify whether they should be concerned or not from a tick bite.  Lockwood said the idea for her online business grew out of her experience as an urgent care doctor in the lakes region. “During peak tick season, sometimes 20% or more of our visits would be related to tick bites,” she said. “People would often wait several hours and they or their insurance companies would be charged hundreds of dollars for the visit.  I was most concerned by the many people I imagined who didn't have hours to wait or hundreds to spend who rolled the dice, didn't have their bites checked and instead waited to see if they became sick. I just thought there really should be another option to help manage this need. So, was born.”

Dr. Lockwood grew up in Connecticut and was trained in medical school at the University of Connecticut with a residency at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. “I married a native Mainer and we have settled here in Freeport for the past 13 years,” she stated. “As a teenager, I was drawn to science, writing and caring for people without thinking about where that would lead. It was simply what I enjoyed. After high school and college, studying science and writing, being a hospital volunteer and nurse's aide, I reached a point where I needed to make a career choice. Stumped, my father trying to help asked if I wanted to be a doctor. I said, ‘Doesn't everyone?’. ‘No,’ he said. ‘So, if you want to be one, it means something.’  Now, nearly 30 years later I still agree with him.”

Lockwood hadn’t been on the road to becoming a doctor very long when she first encountered Lyme disease. “I have been seeing cases of Lyme from early in my medical training as a medical student in Connecticut where Lyme disease was first identified,” Dr. Lockwood began. “I can remember as a medical student working with the Pediatric Rheumatology department and seeing dozens of kids sent there with swollen, painful joints, their doctors concerned they had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

Instead, they had Lyme disease and most parents would then ask what that was. This was 25 years ago. I don't think you could live in Connecticut or Maine now and not have some personal experience with Lyme disease. My mother and son and husband have all had early Lyme disease, were treated and fully recovered. Watching for ticks and signs of Lyme are a part of our daily lives at this point.”

Maine is the number one state in the country for Lyme disease with cases here being 10
times the national average for this potentially disabling illness including some of our more isolated island communities that experience cases at a rate 100 times greater than the national average.  Now, using this new service from home or work or even from a remote island accessible only by ferry, Maine residents and visitors can use a secure online connection to show a Maine physician the tick that bit them, the bite site, any rash that has developed and get direct medical advice and treatment tailored to their specific situation including medications if needed.

The site seeks to keep costs for patients affordable with a new patient video visit priced
at $29 and a returning patient visit priced at $15.

For further inquiries you can contact Catherine Lockwood MD at