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Updated: September 5, 2022

On the Record: Craft enthusiast opens Kennebunk store featuring handcrafted goods and workshops

Lindsay Kamon standing in her store. Photo / Jim Neuger Lindsay Kamon is the founder of the Local Bottega, a new shop at 7 Agatha James Drive in Kennebunk featuring handcrafted goods made by local artisans.

Lindsay Kamon owns the Local Bottega, a new store in Kennebunk that features handcrafted goods made by local artisans and hosts craft workshops. Ahead of opening day, Mainebiz caught up with the systems engineer and craft enthusiast-turned-entrepreneur, to find out more about her business venture.

Mainebiz: What’s the inspiration for starting the Local Bottega?

Lindsay Kamon: I make my own candles and bath and body products. When I started having children, I became more aware of what I was putting into and on my body, and also what I was bringing into my home environment. I did a lot of research on ingredients — why they were in products, what function they served, and if they were safe to put on our bodies. I ended up having a small, hobby business. Fast forward a few years later when we moved to Maine: I now have three little ones and went back to work full-time. This business is a way for me to continue to tap into my creative side, support other makers and create a fun, casual environment for all community members to enjoy.

MB: Why is this a good time to open a store?

LK: I love supporting local crafters and makers, my local community and caring for the environment. I wanted to create a space that focused on supporting and creating awareness for each of those areas. As such, these are the three core tenets of the Local Bottega — to nurture and support our community, its people and our environment.

MB:How are you balancing starting a business with full-time work as a systems engineer?

LK: I have a full-time operations manager, who is managing the day-to-day operations, and will be in the shop during operating hours. I will be more present in the evenings and weekends.

MB: What do you plan to sell?

LK: We are starting with jewelry, artwork, bath and body products, cleaning goods, locally printed and authored books, baby products, textiles, specialty/customized items, home goods, pet products and craft kits.

MB: And what can you share about the workshops and classes?

LK: Our goal is to have local makers whose products we sell in the store and online lead workshops and hands-on classes that demonstrate their craft and promote their brand. Folks can come to the workshop or class either in-person or online. We will also have a rotating ‘featured maker’ section of the store to highlight a maker or a theme of crafted items (such as, pets, holiday-specific themes, etc.). We are also including technology as a part of our platform, so you can join our events in person or online. This opens it up to include people not physically here or those that may not be comfortable attending in an in-person setting.

MB: Will you also be selling your own soap and candle creations?

LK: Yes, starting with our own in-house brand of candles, and more creations to come.

MB: Who determines pricing of the products?

LK: The local makers determine pricing. We honor their requests to use their suggested retail prices so they make a fair profit.

MB: How will you set yourself apart from other purveyors of locally sourced products?

LK: We have been very intentional to create a space that’s a vibrant resource for the community. It’s a place that feels like home — to relax, enjoy some locally crafted coffees and teas, enjoy some casual shopping, or just sit down and dig into some craft kits we have in our workshop space.

MB: How long did it take you to find the space, and why buy rather than lease?

LK: I started looking for a space to rent in April 2021 and had no luck. When this perfect building became available to buy, I closed [a deal] in March 2022.

MB: How are you financing your startup costs?

LK: I am self-investing, and I took out a business loan to cover startup costs.

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