With this weekend blog, Online Conversion & Beyond opens a new category. . . Downeast Small Business. Although our main office is here in Charlestown, MA, "City Square North" is located about 75 minutes up I-95 in beautiful York, Maine. And it's from York that we'll be reporting in the months to come.
People live here in Maine because they want to. It's a great place to experience rugged coastline, sparkling water, clear air and a warm, small town environment. York converts into a family-oriented resort town for the summer season, but that's no big deal, since summer here is, in the local language, "wicked short."
However idyllic life may appear here in Maine, people still have to make a living. But the ways people make ends meet here are often very inventive . . . and this facet of business life in Maine is the focus of Downeast Small Business.
Our first business profile will be Painted Treasures, located at 264 US Route 1 in York, Maine, just north of the malls at Kittery. The owner, Phyllis Giordano, opened her shop just after Labor Day, 2004, and has begun to fill her showroom with unique, unusual and one-of-a-kind painted furniture, glassware and textiles created by Southern Maine artists.
Most days you'll find Phyllis in the workshop just off the showroom deep in the midst of "conversion," which in this case involves the transformation of furniture and other articles into works of art. Once people discovered what she can do with ordinary looking wooden chairs, tables and the like, cars started filling the parking lot. And the work goes well beyond furniture. One of the more unusual transformations that I've seen in the shop are beautiful, hand-painted walking sticks which she did as custom commissions.
Early in February, I'm going to be interviewing Phyllis about her work, and what it takes to make a business go in Southern Maine. I'm sure that you'll want to hear what she has to say.