Thursday, February 5, 2009

Business in Maine

After hearing the news last night, I was quite disturbed even though I am quite familiar with the reality. Maine was ranked one of the worst states in the country to start a business. Although I am born and raised a Mainer, I have to probably agree with this and it is because of our taxes. I am not one to believe everything I hear, so I have been doing some research online to see what I can find. I did find a few reports dating back a few years that basically state the same information that I heard on the news, dated news or not the accuracy is the same. You can see here:
Yesterday's news:

This is the part that bugs me from yesterday's news:
Hall admitted that Maine business owners are taxed to death. He said they have been fighting for years to lower the personal income tax each business owner must pay. That tax stands at 8. 5 percent of net sales.

Old News:

A fun [well fun to me because I am a knowledge seeker] place to poke around in for local business information:

Have a wonderful day everyone!!
If anyone is in the Dayton, Maine area this coming Saturday, I will be 'vending' at the 'Gardens of Atlantis'...stop by and say hi!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Castleberry Fairs & Festivals

Not sure how I got on their emailing list, but if someone through here signed me up...I thank you!!! I found this treasure trove in my email this morning and they have some fab shows!!!!! and alot of them!! The space is a bit pricey, but being in their 20th year, I expect the booth price could well be worth every penny!!! I have sooo many shows this year, but there are definitely 2 of Castleberry's shows I am interested in!!! For those of you willing to take a small trip to New Hampshire, go check it out!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Belfast Area Info

Hi everyone! I just heard back from the Belfast Chamber of Commerce yesterday. I am posting some info that may help for upcoming events.

May – Nov 2009
Downtown Belfast
Local grown produce, plants & flowers, jams, honey, eggs, meat, dog treats, seasonal items & crafts. All local, all the time. Look for us in our new location on Front St.,
just past the Belfast Maskers one block down from our old location. Check our website for 2009 list of performers and dates for our once a month Street Festival. May-Nov. 9 to 1pm, Free!

July 11&12
Heritage Park, Belfast Waterfront
One of Midcoast Maine's most popular arts and crafts festivals, with 80 fine artists representing a vast variety of work, from jewelry to stained glass to wooden toys. The 14th annual event takes place on Belfast's waterfront, with the harbor and Penobscot Bay as a backdrop. Continuous live music both days and a variety of delicious food add to the festive atmosphere.
Sat. 10 am–5 pm, Sun. 10 to 4. Free admission. • 338-5900

July 17-19
The Commons
3rd Annual Maine Celtic Celebration is "Home to the US National Cheese Rolling Championship” Renewing the rich Celtic history, culture and hospitality found along the coast of Maine. The 3-day celebration is planned as a “donation only” event. Enjoy vendors, great food, music and live entertainment for all ages. Belfast, ME and the surrounding area was founded and built by the Celtic people of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany. John Miller named Belfast after his hometown after he won a flip of the coin. The heritage and culture continues today. • 338-2692

Harbor Park, Rockland.
World famous “original lobster festival” now in its 62st consecutive year is one of
New England’s great summer events. • 596-0376 or 800-562-2529

August 27-Sept. 1, Labor Day Weekend
Route 172, Blue Hill, Maine
The Blue Hill Fair, “Down to Earth” Country Fair, showcases the best of Maine Agriculture, some of the finest entertainment, attractions, and exhibits. Draft Horse and Oxen Pulling, Sheep Dog Trials, Harness Racing. • 374-3701

September 25, 26 & 27!
Unity Fair Grounds
59,000 people take part in this annual celebration of rural living. Come to the Fair and see why Downeast Magazine calls Common Ground "Maine's most authentic country fair, uniting, as it does, old-time folkways with progressive ideas about living the good life on a fragile planet." Hundreds of vendors, exhibitors and demonstrators, more than 1,000 volunteers, and tens of thousands of fairgoers will gather to: share knowledge about sustainable living; eat delicious, organic, Maine-grown food; buy and sell beautiful Maine crafts and useful agricultural products; compete in various activities; dance; sing and have a great time.
(this one is very very hard to get into!! Some of you may already know that!! This is a waiting list and juried)

November 14
23 Mill Lane, Belfast, Belfast United Methodist Church
Homemade crafts and gifts, ornaments, baked goods, gift baskets, plants, jewelry, church cookbooks and much more! 9-1pm Luncheon served 11-1pm $5. • 338-5575

Downtown Belfast
Enjoy a month of Holiday tradition in the charming village of Belfast, Maine. Activities include: Belfast Arts Gallery Walk and Holiday Celebration, Pen Bay Singers, Candy Cane Capers with Entertainment, Father Christmas Storytelling, Pet Pictures with Santa, Roasting Chestnuts, Sleigh Rides, Holiday Parade, Tree Lighting, Live Nativity, Carols, BAHS Christmas Concert, Children’s’ Christmas Pageant, Free Holiday Matinees at the Colonial Theatre, Holiday Craft Show, Maskers Production, Extravaganza Holiday Show, Footbridge Wreath lighting. Stop into the Chamber of Commerce Informational Center on lower Main Street for dates and times.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Norway Art Festival Update

I just heard back from

The date of the Festival this year is: July 11th. The fees are the same and you can download the PDF on their website . It states 2008, but nothing is changing on it they said.

I, for one, plan on being there! woohooo

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Festivals in Maine List

Not sure if you are all familiar with this website, but it may also hold many valuable resources for you.

This is a state by state guide, so if you click on Maine, you will get a listing of many events. I think this too needs to be updated for 2009, but it will at least provide you with ideas! It costs money to join the site, so I had to nix that idea. Relevant Google searches however will probably give you the details you need, then there is also the lost of Chambers of Commerce I have provided.

Norway Art Festival

Clicking a few various links this morning I end up going from a 'friend' in My Space to finding out about this Art Festival in Norway this summer! Well, I assume there will be one for this Summer 2009, they haven't updated their page for this year's show. Last year was their 41st annual show, so this is not a new venue.There is a contact page for those of you interested. The table/booth rates are beyond reasonable as well!

I did email the Western Maine Art Group and will edit this when/if I hear back from them.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Big Subject-Google Analytics!

I think this is just a marvy deal!! I have heard through several Yahoo groups of how to get your track off from Google Analytics and I don't know why! I think many small businesses will be all over this, and it seems those same people are worried about being tracked. I do not care whatsoever if anyone 'sees me' on their site. I think the numbers in this will show how to make a business grow and where to 'target' their website. I, for one, think this is awesome!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Things to Consider

Dave and I were talking on our way to Portland yesterday. We always take ideas and make them into yet more dreams. Everything doesn't have to be a dream though! Our license plate on our car says "DREAMRZ' and quite rightfully so! In any case, I am considering, heavily, making this blog into a full fledged website. I just have too much information for just a blog and have too many ideas rolling around in my poor brain, especially after reading the 2 comments I have received so far!

I would like the website to have information on how to start a business here in Maine and where to get the proper paperwork, which I still have to research myself, I would like to have interviews from 'up and comings' and 'brick and mortar' establishments (not chains!), I would like to make every possible resource for marketing yourself available in one stop, I would like to have upcoming venues available for the 'up and comings' and have many many more ideas.

I am also considering having 'sponsors' for a ridiculously low $30. a year! Not a month, a year!! Posting the banners and links to their websites, etc. So if anyone is interested let me know ASAP!!
My PayPal email is:

I received a comment from Matt Zito, who owns and runs ( <--also in Maine Links on the left)
This looks to be very interesting and worth checking out!!!

Thank you also for your comment!
I would like to address this in another blog entry!

Sunday-A Day of Rest?

not if you are self employed!! If you are anything like me, you eat, breath, sleep work! I have woken from dreams of designs in my head, those were not sugarplums, although I could buy sugarplums if my dream remains in my head long enough to get to some paper!

Every waking hour is devoted to my goal! I have a constant flow of inspiration, it is actually kind of annoying. I can't look at anything without seeing something else in it. This is what I refer to as my 'curse and my blessing'.

Yesterday, we had to go into Portland. We didn't have to go until late in the day. I started thinking about the 'heading' on this blog and thought a panoramic view of Portland would be cool. I started looking for one and then said wait! We are going into Portland, Dave loves taking pics, so he can take one for me and I will use it instead of finding one and hoping no one minds LOL So the panoramic image above is 'by Dave'. I asked him to take a photo of my new work for me while he was at Bug Light as well. It came out great!! I was almost done my new piece and we had to get going. I took everything with me and was finished by the time we got to Westbrook.

No rest for the weary!! I have rightfully earned these bags under my eyes! It's all for the greater good though and perserverance pays off!

Heights by great men reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight but, while their companions slept, they were toiling upward in the night.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Did you know Henry Wadworth Longfellow lived in Maine?

Saturday, January 10, 2009


At one of my shows last year, a customer came up to me and announced my business name, rather loudly, as she read it. She says "OHhhhh, you're Good Quill Hunting!!! I have seen you all over the internet." I chuckled and was very pleased, because indeed, she does see me all over the internet!! I belong to places I don't remember! I did that for a reason. I am home bound because we only have one car, which works for me 99.9% of the time. I don't need to drive all over the place to access anything really. I can go to Japan in 2 seconds right from my chair (with cable internet anyway). I can shop online, I can talk to other people online, online works in many many ways, at least for me, and has paid off already! I spend about 8 hours of my day networking, blogging, designing, getting inspiration and working on my website and graphics (which I really LOVE doing!). I then spend the other 8 hours beading until bedtime. I belong to a lot of Yahoo Beading groups and have even opened my own. I belong to forums and have also opened my own. Some would say I spread myself too thin, but how is it too thin when it is getting me recognition and/or sales?

The start of any business is many hours, long days, sleepless nights, no profits. They say it is like a marriage and the first five years are the most work. Well, I am 3 years in and have been teaching for 2 years and business is snowballing, slowly and at my own pace, thankfully, because I am only one person. I am actually ready to open a shop. I even have glass jewelry cases, in storage. They were free and need a little tlc, but that's a-ok with me! Creativity and necessity will make the most awesome cabinets! I have displays from my shows that I make (which I also sell, not in great abundance..yet), I have oodles of inventory and I also teach and have tables, but need chairs. I am closing the gap, slow but sure.

The benefit to this is that, although I will have networked myself into a tizzy, when all is said and done, I will have developed a well spread name for myself and will have a customer base good enough to pay rent on a shop.

I would rather create sometimes then be on here and have heard many people state the same. That's great if you want a houseful of artwork and keep it or give it to family members or friends. To sell, is to network and get your name out there. With internet access, you have the world at your fingertips and don't have to rely solely on 'word of mouth'. That is still one of the best ways to sell, but it all works hand in hand. You do not have to go to the sites you have signed up for everyday, you couldn't possibly begin to do that, time-wise, but at least set up a profile page and buy a Rolodex for passwords and user names. Pick your favorite places to maintain your visibility and go to them daily. Do not shut yourself into one corner and mainly chat with peers, because that isn't networking at its finest.

Another great form of networking is doing shows! I accidentally fell into this. A Yahoo group had posted my Daily Digest into my inbox. Someone was looking for a beading teacher. I hadn't taught before, but I had always considered being an English teacher, so figured, that would work out. I thought I had it in the bag, but she ended up blowing me off. I was working as a recep for H & R Block at the time and one day came home to an invitation by someone who had read of my interest to teach. It was with Bead Fiesta. I promptly replied and I have been teaching there for 2 years, entering my 3rd year! I have to travel, but it is so worth it! I also get a free table for teaching!! It is New England based, so usually not too bad a drive. With that experience, I have had other offers for teaching at my local shops, The Beadin' Path and Beads On The Kennebec. I was offered to be a vendor at 8 Pow Wow's next year as well. Tables are $10. , that is worth the gas money (2 1/2 hrs drive)!!

Occasionally, you also have to go out on a limb. I heard of a new Renaissance Faire here in Manchester, ME. That then prompted me to find out more, which led me to a show in Kingston, NH late last October. I had to buy a 10' x 10", but it was worth it because now I have it for the Pow Wow's and another Ren Faire I have been asked to do this year.

One of my favorite sayings is: YOU JUST NEVER KNOW!

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Henry David Thoreau

If you have any valuable input here, please leave a comment. I encourage comments, so we can all learn do's and don'ts from others.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce

The Bar Harbor Chamber hosts 2 Art shows a year, one in June and one in September, painting and photography only.

The Maine Crafts Guild holds their annual Directions show at the high school in August.

There is also a fine arts show in August in its second year. Contact me for contact info.
Subject: Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce

There was a disclosure notice on their reply, so for confidentiality purposes, I am adding only pertinent information.

This organization has a great community calendar on its site. Many of their events are focused around the arts.

Downtown Arts Fest-

A local gallery to check out:
Blue Marble Art Gallery

"Taste of Greater Waterville"
This year's Taste will be held on August 5th. Although the event doesn't primarily focus on the arts, its a great opportunity to set up a booth to feature some of your Etsy Maine Team's work. Last year's price for a booth was only $75 for non-members and $60 for members. In the past, the event generally attracts between 5,000-15,000 people.

For info contact me and I will contact him.
Sunject: MidMaine Chamber of Commerce

Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce
We are having our annual Craft Fair the first Saturday of August (August
1st) downtown on the waterfront. As soon as I have more information on ours
I will forward it to you. In the past years set-up has been at 6:00 AM and
the fair runs from 8:00AM-4:00 PM. The Airport Mall has craft fairs the
first Saturday of each month starting in the fall.

Email me for contact information:
Subject: Bangor Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, January 8, 2009


A small handful of you know that I was considering this idea. I needed a place to consolidate my thoughts, questions and ideas on being an entrepreneur in Maine. I also want to share with you things I have learned along the way. I am not even close to where I want to be, but I am for sure headed in the right direction and working my way to the goal/dream I have held for 15+ years now. I hope you will follow me and share your thoughts in comments as I work through day to day life living and working towards the ultimate in American dreams.