Success Stories

Client Success Stories

Sarah Brandon Art – Steuben

Sarah Brandon hand lettering the name Smoke on the back of a boatSarah Brandon moved to Maine over 30 years ago, inspired by Maine’s beauty and strong art community. She knew this was the perfect location to fulfill her artist aspirations. Sarah specializes in the traditional hand lettering for custom boats and small signs. She also creates watercolor paintings, unique durable floor cloths, cards, and many other art offerings all inspired by Maine’s nature. Read More

Shore Path Cottage – Bar Harbor

Shore Path Cottage porch view with tables and water in the distanceShore Path Cottage is located on the coastline in Bar Harbor overlooking Frenchman’s bay and less than two miles from Acadia National Park. They offer one the most comfortable and scenic B&B’s in the State of Maine. Roberta Chester has maintained the history of the 1880 building while incorporating innovations and modernization for her guests. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shore Path Cottage suffered immensely, having to close its doors due to safety concerns and guidelines. Roberta had to identify ways to sustain the losses from 2020, and that’s when she contacted the Maine Small Business Development Center. Read More

Expose Design LLC – Portland

Victor Rio, founder of Expose Design LLC loading a car with marketing materialsSince 2008, Victor Rios and his business Expose Design LLC has provided small businesses with customized marketing solutions that help them grow. Expose Design offers all things marketing including graphic design, logo creation, print work, embroidery, screen-printing, and promotional content creation. Like most small businesses, Expose Design took a financial hit during the pandemic. This in combination with some previous high-interest debt had Victor concerned about his future. He was referred to the Maine Small Business Development Centers for assistance understanding funding options to help in the recovery process.Read More

Better Living Center – Farmington

Better Living Center Logo - Purple tree with large canopy and roots overlaid with initials BLC and words Eat Well Live BetterWayne Drake had a unique opportunity, to purchase and take over the business where he began his professional career. When Wayne was a teenager, he worked at Better Living Center, an organic, whole food store located in Farmington Maine. He not only assisted with customer service duties but helped with bookkeeping, payroll, and ordering supplies. This experience sparked Wayne’s interest in pursuing a banking and law enforcement career. Years passed but Wayne never forgot the values he gained at Better Living Center. When the previous owners were ready to sell, Wayne jumped at the opportunity.

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Live Life Family Practice – South Paris

Courtney - Live Life Family Practice - South Paris - Maine SBDCAfter years of practicing in a large medical facility, Cortney struggled with the all-encompassing role the insurance industry played in providing care. To remove this from the equation and provide more direct care in addressing her patients’ needs, she launched her own private practice based on a Direct Primary Care Model, in which a subscription-based payment model provides all of the basic care needs for an individual or family.

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Circle Two Disc Golf – Bradford

Circle Two Disc Golf Logo

Disc golf has been rapidly growing in popularity as both a recreational activity and a professional competitive sport. Andrew Kahl is an active member of Maine’s disc golf community and wanted to create his own course on his family’s land. He reached out to the Maine SBDC at CEI for assistance understanding what is involved in starting his own business.

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Trailside Gardens – Abbot


Display of Trailside Gardens flowers within a canopy

Trailside Gardens evolved from a lifelong interest in the natural world surrounding us, particularly plants and landscape design. For eight years, Trailside Gardens in Abbot has offered an impressive selection of healthy plant material. As a small nursery selling plants, business owner Pauline Eldredge was facing supply issues and decided she was ready and needed to expand her business. She was ready to increase her inventory and to purchase her own greenhouse where she would grow her own products. She had the vision and the skills, she just needed funding to support this growth. Read More

Wandering Goat – Union

Wandering Goat - Logo

Since 2013, Tanya Rudy and her mother Cheryl have been making handcrafted soaps from their family farm in Midcoast Maine. This mother-daughter team located in Union makes their soaps in small batches and uses only the finest quality ingredients. They combine fresh goat’s milk from their own herd with organic oils to create naturally scented and colored products.Read More

Unmatched Apparel – Lewiston

Unmatched Apparel - Lewiston - Maine SBDC

Unmatched Apparel

Alexis and business partner Tawni have a shared passion for using creative tailoring skills to upcycle thrift-based clothing into unique and expressive apparel. While originally only doing so for themselves and friends, and an appreciation for their environmental movement, a vibrant brand quickly grew. They name their unique business Unmatched Apparel. As the two experienced greater demand for their products, Unmatched Apparel’s presence on social media started to gain a lot of traction. While launching an online platform for promotion and utilizing E-Commerce, they wanted to make sure they fulfilled the correct steps to become an official business. The two reached out to the Maine Small Business Development Centers for assistance. 

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Sew Rugged – Sedgwick

Sew Rugged - Logo When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Liz Meadows was forced to close the doors of her 17-year-old successful massage therapy business. She could not, in good conscience, put her clients or herself at risk of exposure to the deadly virus. An entrepreneur at heart, Liz took it as an opportunity saying, “there is nothing like the end of one career to kick-start another.”

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