What an amazing, difficult, wonderful, exhausting journey!
Over the last 6 months I've been working hard, here in my hometown of Gorham Maine to open a retail shop. My second business is Maine Micro Artisans! This idea was born out of my love for making and my desire to build something lasting and stable for my children here in the place we love.
I am mom to three wonderful children. My middle child, Tyler, struggles with autism. He's an amazing human. He's full of creativity, imagination and a unique point of view. Both of my other children are awesomely creative. I not only wanted a place in my town to sell my soap, but I want a place for Tyler. He's 14 now. The older he gets the more keenly aware I am that 'after high school' is coming up quickly. My oldest kiddo has already had their first job here. That was a really amazing expereince to give my child.
I'm so thankful and grateful to all of those who have supported me. There were so many times along this soap journey that I wanted to quit. Twice that I did. I stepped away, rested, gathered myself and came back. I love being a maker. From the very first time I made soap I had this feeling that it was what I was meant to do. Now that soapmaking has led to a path where I can give opportunity to other makers this all makes sense to me now. There has been so many times in my life where I felt like I could do great things if someone just believed in me. So many times opportunity slipped away because I didn't have the support that I needed.
Then I met my husband. He supported me on my path to finding soap. Then you all supporting me on my path to becoming not just a maker, but a business owner. Now it's my turn to give back that support that's gathered behind me. Now I will do great things...we will do great things. Never underestimate the power of believing in someone. You wonderful people give me strength and give me courage.
For these last 6 months I've been focused on opening Maine Micro Artisans. It's a 1,200 square foot, little shop in the heart of the downtown in my hometown. It's been an intense journey. It's been 16 hour days for 5 months straight. Some days I am really digging deep. You all helped me realize how deep I can dig. I have 101 artisans represented in my space now. All handmakers or small batch makers, like myself.
The artisans are amazing people. They are not only creative, but they share my vision and mission for Maine Micro. They support each other and I already see collaborations happening amongst them. You may have even visited the partner page and seen some of these talented folks. I feel honored and proud to be trusted with their work and to represent them. It's something I take very seriously.
I can't wait to share their talents with you. As I have been building over here, you all have never been far from my mind. I have had to grow a lot emotionally over the last 6 months. I've had to grow a thicker skin, learn to stand more firm, to assert myself and to lead. I could not have had the strength to do that if you all hadn't given the opportunity to continually grow in smaller degrees over the last couple of years.
Now that the shop is up and running, help is hired on and most of the kinks have been ironed out, I am glad to be back here balancing Bar and MMA. I have so much in store for 2023. So much to create and so much to share.