Tag Archives: Maine

Tradlands Spring 2014

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Loving Tradland’s new shirts for the Spring. Their shirting is seriously one of the best I’ve found for women. These images from the lookbook are fresh, approachable, and leaves you longing for summer days in Maine.

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More & Co.

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The weekend after Thanksgiving I finally had the opportunity to stop by the shop More & Co. in Portland, ME. After months of following each other’s twitter, instagram, etc. I was very excited to put a face to a name. Also, my mother-in-law had discovered the shop over the summer and was eager to get me in as she knows my weakness for good taste and beautifully made pieces and objects. We popped into the store after grabbing some lattes on a rather drizzly day and I was able to chat with Maria, one of the four creative brains behind More & Co., which is also a creative agency. Read her delightful Q&A below to learn more about the agency, the shop, and what they have planned for the new year!

Q. More & Co. is a group of four like minded creatives living in Portland, ME. Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your three partners?

A. We are two sets of sweeties all of whom have a background in creative fields. We have all studied art and design but beyond that, we all love to travel and learn new things. I’d say that we try not to take ourselves or our work too seriously. We want to connect with the projects we do and the items we carry in our shop in a cosmic way. (Hope that doesn’t sound too crazy; it’s true!) We like to surround ourselves with beautiful, useful things and enjoy playing out in the natural landscape of Maine.

Q. What brought the four of you together to create the creative agency?

A. CDR and I started More, a small art studio on the East End in Portland, several years back. It was just the two of us with a letterpress and a few work tables. We wanted to use the space to create art and share it with people. When we left that space (bad landlord!), we worked out of our apartments for a while and brought Ryan when we accidentally got a “client.” We had been talking with Ryan for a few years about working together and this just seemed the time. Hence, More & Co., was born. Lynsey, Ryan’s sweetie, came on this year as a partner when we opened the shop. We are really just a group of besties working together and trying to have fun!

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Q. When did you open the shop and what inspired the team to dive into retail?

A. The shop opened on May 30th of this year. Our travels inspired us to open a shop. We kept seeing things we loved along the way and dreamed of a space where they could all be together. We also wanted to create our own product line that would sit next to these goods. We wanted to make a shop that we would want to shop in! :) It happened organically from there.

Q. The shop seems to be in constant rotation – there is always something new and exciting. Can you explain how you curate the goods in the store around themes?

A. We decided to go with the concepts so that it would keep things fresh for us and for those who are making things for us. The traditional shop model, while fine, was just not for us. We needed it to be connected to something bigger. If we had concepts and themes, that was our chance to do just that. Now when you walk into the space, hopefully, you feel the vibe as a whole movement and not just a space full of stuff to buy. We hope you will visit the shop just to be inspired! We hope the themes and concepts are interesting for our customers and visitors as well.

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Q. Is it challenging to be consistently developing new themes and curating around that? Or do you find it’s better for the retail experience – for you and the customer?

A. The challenge we have is keeping up! We love our concepts and won’t give those up but it is a good thing we have a full creative team in place here at More & Co. to help with photography, design, writing. It takes a group to pull this kind of thing off and we all work very hard. Perhaps too hard! ;) We are committed to bringing our customers the rotating themes in the space, though, because we ourselves love it! We want to love what we do.

Q. What do you find challenging and rewarding about running a business in Portland, ME?

A. Well, Portland is a small town. It’s always challenging to do something new in a place where most of the shops look the same. That said, we have had great feedback and support. People may think “I have to buy something” when they think of shop. We don’t want people to feel that way about More & Co. Our shop is just as much a place to just stop in and poke around as it is to shop. That’s a new concept for Portland, perhaps? Here we have art spaces and galleries and then there are shops. There is nothing in between. Everyone always wants to put you in a box. “What are you guys?” is the question we get a lot. I love that. Doing something challenging is fun!

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Q. More & Co. is on holiday from December 23 to February 14, can you give us a hint of what’s to come in 2014? And maybe what to expect when doors reopen on Valentine’s Day?

A. Well, you are the first person we are telling …. Our opening concept for 2014 is called THIS IS LOVE. It will feature some of our most loved items from the first 6 months of our life as a shop. We will be pulling together items we love and items you all love. We are so excited to open back up on Valentine’s day and share the love through the long winter season. After that, we will have a robust summer collection with several layers as well as a small autumn collection and then our holiday feature again. It’s going to be a really fun year!

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Q. Finally, what are some of your favorite gift ideas for this holiday season?

A. Right now I am in love with . . .
OLO
FLOTSAM + FORK (especially these)
HANSEL FROM BASEL (especially tights)
ALDER & CO. (especially Aurelia)
PORTLAND APOTHECARY (Forest Soap is my favorite)
JENNY PENWOOD

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Maine Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again . . . that time when you begin to panic because you haven’t gotten any presents for the folks on your list. So I figured I’d do my part and help with a few gift guides, centered around goods made in New England. First up in the New England Gift Guide, the vacationland that is the state of Maine.

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For the beer enthusiast, head to Oxbow and fill up a couple growlers. An American Farmhouse Brewery located in Newcastle, Oxbow (operating since 2011) specializes in Belgian-style ales with a contemporary American influence. Their slogan, “loud beer in a quite place” hits the nail on the head. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of their cozy tasting room before taking those growlers to go. My favorite so far is their holiday offering, Freestyle #20.

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North by East Building Co. made these cutting boards for fellow Portland residents More & Co. In maple or walnut with smooth clean curves, they are too pretty to just chop vegetables on. Utilize it as an appetizer tray! More & Co. curates their rotation shop selection around themes and concepts. So if you find something you like, snag it! It is most likely a difficult to find item, or a special collaboration with the artisan or brand.

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What’s more festive and appreciated in New England than a flannel shirt? This red brushed flannel one from my buddy Daniel’s brand Seawall is hand cut and sewn in Portland. Cut in a contemporary fit with beautiful fine narrow-width Japanese fabric, it’s a signature shirt that will hold a solid spot in his wardrobe. Be sure to stop by the workshop/store, which also goes by the name Seawall (the back wall of the shop is the original Portland seawall), to get a first hand look.

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In my mind, one can never have too many scarves. These linen ones from South Street Linen in Portland are contemporary yet classic. I love the printed geometric shapes and color blocking. The company was founded in 2011 by three friends who wanted to try something new, and sold out of their first line of printed linen scarves in a hot minute. Since then they have committed to the re-emerging textile industry in Maine and have collaborated with fellows in the industry within their grand state.

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Nothing is more handsome than cordovan leather, especially when it’s in the form of a pair of penny loafers made by Rancourt & Co. Based in Lewiston, this family owned business has been making genuine handsewn moccasins for three generations. I’m tempted to get a pair of these for my husband so I can just stare at them all day.

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You can’t go wrong with a beautiful item for the home, like a Swans Island throw. I love this white one with indigo stripes. The white comes from the natural color of the organic merino wool, and the stripes are created with natural dyes. Swans Island was founded in the early 1990s by two lawyers from Boston who wanted to move closer to the land in Maine. Using local wool and traditional hand looms, they began their weaving operation which was met with immediate national acclaim.

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For your new wife or fiance, why not grab her some lingerie that she’ll actually wear. I love the intimates and apparel that my friend Brook makes for her line Brook There. Her line is all organic and handcrafted  in a studio that she shares with husband Daniel of Seawall. Located on in Portland, it’s an easy shop to pop into and immediately get sold on the softness and unique quality of her garments.

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For the foodie, a case of Nervous Nellie’s James should do the trick. Their place of operation is a one-time summer cottage on Deer Isle and they have been pouring, capping, and labeling each jar for 25 years. In the late spring to mid fall you can visit the cottage and grab a bite and some coffee at the cafe, then peruse co-founder Peter’s sculptures native pain and metal artifacts. My favorite flavors are the Wild Maine Blueberry Preserves, Blue Razz Conserve, and Rhubarb Ginger Chutney.

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Scott Kelley

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A favorite Maine artist, Scott Kelley, will be at good on Charles St Thursday, Sept 19th for a cocktail reception and a viewing of his whale paintings and scrimshaw drawings on vintage ivory. Kelley had his first solo exhibition at the age of 18 with The American Realist Gallery in New York. Since then he’s had over 20 and two of his portraits are part of the Portland Museum of Art’s permanent collection. Although born in the state of New York, Kelley now resides on Peaks Island, Maine. The state has provided much inspiration for his subject matter. His work concentrates on the birds, rocks, and creatures of the sea that surrounds him. Frequent visits to Monhegan Island, a favorite haunt since his teens, has led to beautiful sepia ink drawings of Pulpit Rock. He also has a stunning series of pot warp, wrapped and coiled, yet out of their context of a dock or fish house. I’m very sad to be missing the viewing of his whale paintings and scrimshaw drawings (personal favorites) at good this coming week, but I will be on my honeymoon! If you can make it I hope you go, and keep an eye on good for their monthly “Third Thursdays” special events series.

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PDG x Rancourt

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Always good news when friends and great brands collaborate. Maine superstars Portland Dry Goods and Rancourt have collaborated on an assortment of footwear and belts that will be solely carried at PDG. Rancourt, a family owned business, has been making shoes in Lewiston, Maine for generations. And PDG is a standout among the shops of Portland (and the rest of the state for that matter) for the brands they carry and concentration on USA made products. Shoes are made of high quality Horween leather in classic silhouettes with individual details. The belts are handcut from a variety of premium leathers. This is a collaboration not to be missed.

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