“Blown away” is an understatement, and “mesmerized” doesn’t seem to equate to the inspiration we feel when it comes to the incredible artwork we are so honored and excited to share in our annual Meet The Makers Guide. From the rocky shores of Maine’s Midcoast to downtown studios in Portsmouth, and everywhere in between, we can’t wait for you to meet this year’s lineup of talented artists and makers!
AMY VANDER ELS
Local jeweler and artist Amy Vander Els pairs classic aesthetics with experimental designs to create modern pieces that are playful and fresh, yet still timeless. Amy creates all of her jewelry by hand using small-scale metalsmithing techniques. She intends for her jewelry to have a unique style that is elegant in its simplicity, with just the right amount of unusual. Every piece of Amy’s work is hand cut, shaped, forged, polished and assembled to ensure a high quality design.
Amy grew up in the seacoast of New Hampshire and studied Studio Art and Art Education at the University of New Hampshire. She now designs jewelry, creates artwork, and teaches encaustic workshops out of her mill studio in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Take a peek at Amy’s online boutique!
THE WILD TEXTILE
Established in 2017 by textile artist Lizz Berry, The Wild Textile is a collection of handwoven and naturally dyed items for the home, where each product is handcrafted in Lizz’s home studio in the heart of Portland, Maine. Since an early age, Lizz has been intrigued by the balance of beauty and functionality of textiles, especially in weaving. With the help of her loom, Lizz’s naturally hand-dyed cones of yarn are transformed into hand towels, napkins, wall hangings, table runners and other items to enjoy around the home. Common color themes are inspired by the high alpine regions of New England mountains, seaside lichens, and the many mosses of Maine’s forest floors. Shop Lizz’s products here!
Roula Rallis is a self-taught fiber artist who is passionate about transforming ordinary rope into modern coastal home decor and accessories through her Greenland, New Hampshire-based business, Sewcialite! A lot of time and care go into each of Roula’s pieces. The result? Beautiful clutches, coasters, baskets, and earrings that are sure to wow the crowds! Roula weaves, paints, and hand beads each of her accessory items to create beautiful pieces with a nautical flare. And she just launched a collection of shell stationery, stickers, and photographs! View Roula’s beautiful products and shop locally online!
THE GRACEFUL RABBIT
Belinda is the founder of The Graceful Rabbit—a woman-owed company—where everything is made by hand in small batches at her Barrington, New Hampshire studio. With a background as a Master Aesthetician, Belinda has always had a love for quality skincare, elegant scents, and the importance of self-care. The greatest goal in formulating The Graceful Rabbit’s line is to create luxury products, using safe ingredients, that will leave skin smooth and soft, while heightening senses and bringing back treasured memories…
At Amphitrite Studio, Maker Katrina Kelley’s focus is on natural, value-driven design and quality manufacturing. In a world full of products made to break down, throw away, wear out, or go out of style… Katrina goes against the trends by offering goods that stand the test of time, while focusing on value, durability, and timeless appeal. Amphitrite Studio’s line of functional home goods often feature natural fiber fabrics like linens and organic cotton—long lasting fibers, designs, and colors that we can use for years to come. Her small batch clothing line focuses on natural fiber fabrics like bamboo and linen, along with simple, timeless designs to match our unique styles. The Studio also carries natural goods from other artisans and small businesses like bar soaps, face care, cleaning aids, rolling pins, and scrub brushes to name a few!
EMILY KALINA FINE ART
Emily Kalina is a Portsmouth artist who primarily draws painting inspiration from stunning local seascapes. Emily was classically trained at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and after years of selling her large scale watercolors in galleries and shows, she began to work with companies such as Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Michael Kors, Rachael Ray, and more, to design prints for apparel and accessories. As technology evolved, so did Emily’s style and approach. This new, portable, medium has allowed her to combine her product design skills with her layered and textured approach to watercolor painting, resulting in stunning, vibrant, artwork that feels so real, you might just feel as if you could step into the painting… Emily’s digital approach allows her to not only print her paintings on traditional media like canvas and paper, but the same paintings can also be enjoyed on gift items. Check out the brand new “Design Your Own Products” section of Emily’s website for a completely one-of-a-kind gift!
Veda Francis is a Kittery, Maine-based studio that makes high quality, all natural soap and skincare products. All Veda Francis products are thoughtfully crafted in small batches by local maker Kari, who creates beautiful soaps, lip balms, bath bombs, shower steamers, and more in her home studio. Doing her part to preserve our Earth is important to Kari, so Veda Francis packaging is eco-friendly, practices are cruelty free, and ingredients are sustainably sourced. Veda Francis products are effective, all natural, beautiful, and kind to our Earth—a little treat for us and our skin to feel good about on a daily basis!
SEA LOVE CANDLES
Stacy and the Sea Love Candles team handcrafts its premium home fragrances with lots of love at their new DIY candle bar & scent studio in Kennebunkport, Maine. Their small-batch technique ensures attention to detail and top quality in their products. In addition to providing natural and clean home fragrances, Sea Love Candles sources all materials through suppliers who provide eco-friendly alternatives to packing, production, and fulfillment.
Visit Sea Love Candles’ studio (Maine’s first custom candle experience!) in Kennebunkport to be part of a beautiful apothecary, while custom creating your own premium candles from a choice of over 60 different fragrance oils. Reservations are not required and walk-ins are welcome! You can also schedule a private candle pour party!
Janice Sears, owner of Chart Metalworks, is inspired every day by the people of Maine, the beauty of the state, and each customer who chooses to capture a special memory or location with a piece from Chart. With an assortment of custom jewelry, barware, and gifts in pewter, sterling silver and bronze, there is something for everyone. At Chart Metalworks, each piece of art is individually designed and custom made to order. Where is “your spot”, the place you hold close to your heart? Your map, chart, or graphic is printed on their special coated paper, cut by hand for precision and then carefully placed into your piece at Chart Metalworks’ Portland, Maine studio!
BXB BY JENNY BUXTON
BXB by Jenny Buxton was born in 2013 when artist Jenny began sewing plaid scarves and detailing them with upcycled belts as a unique cuff in her barn. Today, BXB by Jenny Buxton is focused on bringing upcycled style and reusing vintage finds in its carefully curated designs to hand-make a variety of accessories including jewelry, hats, apparel, and famous scarves! BXB by Jenny Buxton now employs not only Jenny, but her mom and two sisters, to create a team of 10 hard-working women who make the magic happen! We can find the BXB line in amazing artisan shops throughout New England, online, and in person at various trade shows.
SWANS ISLAND COMPANY
Swans Island Company was founded in 1992, and for nearly 30 years has been hand crafting the highest quality blankets, throws, pillows and apparel. The team hand weaves and hand dyes with natural fibers, many of them locally sourced, to create heirloom quality products that function really well and look as beautiful on the bed as they do on the body. With it’s small artisanal work force plying their trade on the coast of Maine, Swans Island continues to practice its hand craft while producing strikingly contemporary pieces. Swans Island encourages visits to it’s studio in Northport or to visit online!
Thirdlee & Co. was established in 2017 by designer Michelle Provençal, as a studio for her decorative felted ornaments. Thirdlee’s signature ornaments are recognized for their sophisticated treatment of seaside themes and attention to detail (and extreme cuteness!!). Michelle’s original designs are directly inspired by a deep connection to the tidal landscapes and coastal waterways of Southern Maine’s Biddeford Pool and Saco Bay, where her family has made memories for generations. Michelle graduated from Pratt Institute in 2001 with a degree in Industrial Design. She has worked as an in-house designer for a handful of well-known brands including Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Coach! Where does the name “Thirdlee” come from?? Find out here.
Briana and Jason are married creative partners and owners of Brainstorm—a design studio and print shop based in Dover, New Hampshire! With a fun and playful aesthetic, Briana and Jason focus on illustration, art prints, and merch that showcase a variety of topics, from science and nature to state maps and one-of-a-kind test prints! Most recently, they created the Brainstorm Puzzle Co., where they design and manufacture colorful jigsaw puzzles inspired by their favorite topics. All puzzles are USA made and each puzzle sale supports the efforts of One Tree Planted. Briana and Jason sell prints and puzzles through their online shop as well as at many retailers like Gus and Ruby Letterpress and L.L.Bean!
LA MARÉE ART
After college, artist Meghan of La Marée Art moved to France. While devouring croissants and embracing the abundant vineyards, she decided to pursue her Masters in Art Therapy on the French Riviera. After a few wonderful years, Meghan decided to return to her home state of Maine, where she started playing with resin and found a groove. Meghan was working and creating full-time, and La Marée (French for “the tide”) Art was officially born. Today, Meghan creates a wide variety of functional, ocean-inspired art, where each piece is handcrafted at her studio/woodshop in Yarmouth, Maine. Most of La Marée’s pieces have 2-4 layers of resin and sometimes take up to one month to create! Each of Meghan’s pieces are made with love and are always entirely one of a kind. Two and a half years into starting La Marée Art, Meghan sells her products on her online boutique, as well as at retailers up and down the coast of New England!
FARM + SEA
Farm+Sea is a Seacoast-based business on a mission is to make beautifully-fragranced goods to elevate everyday living. Through its line of handcrafted room sprays reed diffusers, roll-on perfumes, body lotions, coconut and soy wax candles, and more, Farm + Sea aims to keep spaces feeling fresh while adding beautiful sprinkles of joy to daily moments. All of Farm+Sea’s products are made by hand with phthalate-free fragrance and essential oils. Browse Farm+Sea’s online boutique, and smell scents in person at a variety of local retailers like Farm + Table!
Incandescent Co. is a brand new Seacoast-based candle company, founded in January 2021, that makes all natural, phthalate free candles, wax melts, and linen sprays by hand! Avery draws a lot of inspiration from her travel experiences and loves to create unique scents that will take us away… With a passion for sustainability and clean living, founder and candle maker, Avery, is dedicated to offering beautiful, refreshing products for everyone to enjoy. Shop Incandescent Co.’s products online and at local retailers like Erin Claire in Dover. And if you’re a candle enthusiast, join Incandescent Co.’s Candle Club!
“Crafting the scents that feel like home, made only with the materials you would want in your home.” -Avery
WILDWOOD OYSTER CO.
Becky McKinnell of Wildwood Oyster Co. is a designer, mom and entrepreneur who dreams of all things beach and summer! At Maine-based Wildwood Oyster Co., Becky designs and makes a beautiful selection of nautical-inspired gifts and accessories that combine sophistication with an easy, breezy flare. Necklaces, totes, clutches, and keychains fill Wildwood Oyster Co.’s online website. We can’t get enough!
“To me, there are two smells I love—the smell of New England salt air and the smell of leather. I want everyone who loves the ocean as much as I do to have fashionable accessories that they can wear on their daily adventures, even when they can’t be on the water.”-Becky
HILLS & TRAILS
Hills & Trails is an outdoors-inspired lifestyle shop located in Biddeford, Maine, where local artist duo Kanya and James design and create original prints and apparel! Their “outoorsy goods for outdoorsy people” approach is minimal and modern, yet still has that rustic edge that reminds the artist and customers alike of beautiful, nature-filled time in Maine. Watch this video and learn how Kanya and James started their business in 2016!
Popzup Popcorn makes popcorn slowly by hand using only pure and simple ingredients like kernels, butter, and cheese right from the farm! Try Popzup’s Hand Popped & Season Popcorn Bags (ready-to-eat popcorn in 4 addicting flavors), “Popzup Popper” (a new way microwave air-pop popcorn without chemicals), Popzup’s K-Pouches (7 convenient single batch kernel pouches of Popzup Golden Butterfly Popcorn for stovetop or hot air popping), and Popzup’s Popcorn Seasonings (9 yummy blends in convenient shaker jars for popcorn & more)!
The Popzup Factory in Dover, New Hampshire is a small, family owned and operated business dedicated gluten free and non-GMO products.