On the Record: Craft Enthusiast Opens Kennebunk Store Offering Artisan Goods and Workshops

Lindsay Kamon owns Local Bottega, a new store in Kennebunk that features artisan products 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 learn more about his company.

Mainebiz: What is the inspiration to start 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 put in and on my body, and also what I brought into my family environment. I did a lot of research on the ingredients – why they were in the 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 have returned to work full time. This business is a way for me to continue to tap into my creative side, support other creators, and create a fun and laid back environment for everyone in the community.

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

LK: I love supporting local artisans and makers, my local community, and caring for the environment. I wanted to create a space focused on support and awareness for each of these areas. As such, these are the three fundamental principles of local Bottega – nurturing and supporting our community, its people and our environment.

MB:How do you balance starting a business with working full time as a systems engineer?

LK: I have a full-time operations manager, who manages day-to-day operations and will be in the store during business hours. I will be more present evenings and weekends.

MB: What are you planning to sell?

LK: We start with jewelry, artwork, bath and body products, cleaning products, locally printed and written books, baby products, textiles, specialty/personalized items, home, pet products and craft kits.

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

LK: Our goal is for the local manufacturers whose products we sell in-store and online to lead workshops and hands-on classes that demonstrate their craft and promote their brand. People can come to the workshop or class in person or online. We will also have a rotating “Featured Maker” section of the store to highlight a maker or craft item theme (such as pets, holiday-specific themes, etc.). We also include technology in our platform, so you can join our events in person or online. This allows for the inclusion of people who are not physically present or those who may not be comfortable participating in person.

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

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

MB: Who determines the price of the products?

LK: Local manufacturers determine the prices. We honor their requests to use their suggested retail prices so they make a fair profit.

MB: How will you stand out from other suppliers of local products?

LK: We have been very intentional to create a space that is a vibrant resource for the community. It’s a place to call home – to relax, enjoy local artisan coffees and teas, do some casual shopping or just sit back and rummage through the craft kits we have in store. our workshop space.

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

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

MB: How do you finance your start-up costs?

LK: I am self investing and took out a business loan to cover start up costs.