Bare Bones Handsewn

  • Client: Renee Robitaille & Roland Gauthier
  • Business: Bare Bones Handsewn
  • Location: Lewiston
  • County: Androscoggin
  • Client Since: 2022
  • Business Advisor: Christina Ramsdell

Bare Bones Handsewn is a small team of outstandingly skilled craftspeople who are working earnestly to nurture and encourage the pride, history, and integrity of Maine’s shoe-manufacturing community. Renee Robitaille and partner Roland Gauthier love having the creative freedom to practice fine shoe-making while celebrating the skills learned from past generations of family and mentors. But like many entrepreneurs, they have found it challenging to find solutions for each small challenge that arose throughout the day. When they quickly needed to expand to cover their new wholesale orders, they reached out to the Maine SBDC for help.

Connecting with Christina Ramsdell, business advisor at Maine SBDC at Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG), provided them with financial resources, professional networks, and business support which they felt they wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. They discussed important topics such as insurance, employee requirements, business planning, and sales tax. Christina was also able to help them through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application process, which they ultimately were awarded! The funds helped them fulfill current orders and develop a website.

All of their products are made in Maine from raw materials, sourced as close to home as possible. The future of Bare Bones Handsewn is rooted in traditional Maine handsewn skills that will carry the craft forward to the next generation who believe in supporting American-made goods.