I will begin this blog post by cutting straight to the chase, just in case you don't have time to read through this entire post. I am going to host my first outdoor pop-up shop on July 19th, 2020! It is going to be in my yard and YOU are invited! It will begin at noon and only last until 3:00pm at 1017 Olive Street in Veazie, Maine. July 19th falls on a Sunday. I hope you can make it! But if not, depending on how things go for this first one, I plan on hosting another one in September with a bit of a fall-ish feel. Anyway, you are invited and you can even bring a friend. Please click HERE to access the Facebook invite to RSVP OR simply reply to this message or leave a comment at the end of this blog post to let me know you are coming. However, EVERYONE WHO ATTENDS MY POP UP SHOP IS REQUIRED TO WEAR A FACE COVERING and we must try as much as possible to stay 6 ft away from each other under my 12’ x 12’ canopy. That might mean that only a couple of people at a time will be able to shop. I will have cold seltzer water for you to drink while you are waiting! If you cannot wear a face covering due to a health related issue, then you can shop right on this very website at my online boutique. Everything at my pop up shop will be available online as well, that is, until it sells out. Please feel free to continue reading this blog post if you would like to know more about why I am hosting this pop up shop in my yard, and other things that I have stirring around in my head that I wanted to inform you about.
It has been so long since I filled you in on everything going on at The Maine Square! I have been terrible at posting on social media lately. To be honest I am struggling a little bit with "doing it all." The mask making has been taking over The Maine Square. I am so grateful for all of the mask orders I have received over the past few months. Masks continue to be my most popular item. When this Covid-19 pandemic hit us back in March, I didn't know what was going to happen to The Maine Square. I knew for certain people would not be shopping for unnecessary items, such as bow ties and pocket squares, which are the foundation of The Maine Square. Right before Covid hit, I had purchased some new inventory. I had been trying to reinvent my brand. Since a lot of my customers are women, I began making preppy cosmetic bags with lobsters, and anchors on them. I had also ordered some new items made by my fellow makers to offer on the site. Sales were slow, but I think a lot of that was due to Google robots not showing my site in search results because I didn't really know what I was doing! Since I had some time on my hands during the state of Maine "stay at home" order, I did some research on Google website compatibility. I also listened to a lot of podcasts and watched Youtube videos on the subject. I think my site is more Google friendly now. Plus I have received a few reviews which rank high with Google! Trust me, it's a whole thing. And it's a work in progress every single day. And guess what? I absolutely love it!
April was when the idea for masking masks hit me. To tell you the honest truth, I didn't want to make them at first. I was sort of in denial about Covid and I didn't want it to be happening. I thought if I pretended that life was normal, that it would be. I know, that is a stupid thought. But maybe you can relate. We have never experienced anything like this in our lifetime! Life has always been fun and safe feeling for me for the most part. Yes, I have had my fair share of worries and hardships, but now we have the same worries and hardships from time to time but with Covid and mask wearing in the mix, it can really get to you if you let it. We must be strong. We must just go with it, for now. It will pass. But for now, you need a mask. And that is why I decided to begin making them. I would have felt guilty for not making them since I had a sewing machine and plenty of fabric. I have to say that elastic was not easy to come by in April. I scrounged up what I could but everyone was out of stock! Finally I found Fabric Warehouse online, which is a sewing supply store right here in Auburn, Maine! I ordered plenty of elastic and still currently have plenty to make masks with. Thank goodness for Fabric Warehouse!
Because customers had ordered so many masks from me, I have been able to purchase more inventory for my online boutique, which is why I have decided to host a pop up shop! Thank you so much you guys! I have always wanted to host a pop up shop, but I always thought that it would break my budget. I would have to pay to host my shop in a specific location and that just wouldn't work for me right now. Plus with Covid-19 on the loose still, I don't think that people would be very excited to be inside a building in close quarters with other customers shopping at a tiny pop up boutique. So, I had a brilliant idea. Why couldn't I host a pop up shop in my own yard? Would that be tacky? Maybe. But, you have to start somewhere! It will be spacious enough since it's outside and I can (and will) require people to wear a mask if they would like to attend. Would my town allow me to do something like this? There was only one way to find out. Go down to the Veazie town office and ask! So I did. And they gave me a permit! It was very inexpensive. Why didn't I think of this before?!
Some of the brands you will be able to see and purchase at my pop up shop are:
- The Maine Square
- Erin Flett
- Sea Ropes Maine
- Gracie Designs
- Seawicks Candle Co.
- Borestone Soap Co.
- Mermaids & Madeleines
- The Acadian
- Peachy Pendants
- Salty Girl Designs by The Beaded Wire
- Wicked Ginger Artisan Soap
- Mr. Bandana
- .....and more!
ALL of these brands are small batch companies. Meaning that everything they create, they create in small batches. Nothing is mass produced. Everything is locally owned and run by real people who work hard every day and produce everything themselves, or they have a small staff who works for a fair and decent wage in a comfortable work environment. Every one of the brands that I carry has a person behind the brand who has a passion and has worked extremely hard to bring their passion to life for all to enjoy! I am very thankful for these people. They keep us inspired even in a world filled with uncertainty. They bring us up, when we are down. And I am so passionate about showing you all the good that is happening in this world!
If you read this blog post to the end, I thank you! I hope to see you at my pop up shop. And if you are not comfortable joining me in person this time, you can always shop all of these brands right here at TheMaineSquare.com.
xoxo Laura Lynn Michaud
P.S. If you attend my pop up shop in person on July 19th from 12pm-3pm, just mention the code word: SHOPLOCAL and you will receive 10% off your purchase!