Maine Micro Artisans gives artisans of all kinds the opportunity to showcase their products.
GORHAM, Maine – Maine is home to a wide array of talented artisans – skilled artisans who create jewelry, glassware, pottery, woodcarvings and other products.
But there are few places in some rural areas where artisans can sell their products.
Mary Plummer, an artisan, recently opened a gift shop called Maine Micro Artisans in Gorham, giving people of all abilities a chance to showcase their wares to new customers.
For several years, she has been selling her handmade soap and other body products online. But she saw a need in her community for a store where local artisans could showcase their work.
“You have to go down to the Old Port, or Freeport, or even Downeast,” Plummer said.
The mother-of-three says her 14-year-old son, Tyler, who is on the autism spectrum, is her inspiration. A budding artist, the teenager creates comics and graphic art.
“He will be entering the workforce soon and I want him to have a place to not only embrace his creativity as an artist, but to give him meaningful employment,” Plummer explained.
She says there are very few opportunities for people with special needs to display their creations and show the public that they are so much more than their disability.
The shop currently has 74 artisans offering everything from chocolates, jewelry, clothing, knitted and crocheted items, art and carpentry. There is also merchandise created by parents of children with special needs for sale.
Dentist Flo Edwards has created a special line of toothpaste called Dr. Flo’s Tooth Polish. It contains natural ingredients in reusable containers. Edwards says the fact that Maine Micro Artisans promotes inclusion is a big draw.
“I believe in letting everyone have a chance to shine and you can see they have some amazing stuff here,” Edwards said.
Plummer’s son is working on a line of comics that will be on sale at Maine Micro Artisans. He can also help customers and on the store’s website, creating an opportunity for his son to succeed regardless of his ability.
“He has a place and he can be seen as Tyler first and autism second,” Plummer added.
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