Sometimes, you simply can not find the perfect gift for someone. You might have the idea, but you just can’t find it. In these cases making it yourself can be the only real answer. But then, what do you do when people love your gift so much, that they tell others and then those people want one and you gift giving starts to turns into a real business? OBP members Maine Flag Company (MFC) did just that. This month MFC shares with us a bit about their journey on the way to success.
Bethany from MFC is a Maine local so she knows a thing about our state. She grew up in Auburn and is a graduate from Portland High School and has been living here on and off ever since. Bethany and her husband Chris started MFC about five years ago. When Chris wanted to give Maine state’s other flag (Maine Merchant and Marine Flag) as a gift, but couldn’t find it produced anywhere locally. Therefore, they felt that they simply needed to make it themselves. Luckily, Bethany who had been inspired by her mom had a maker’s spirit. Having sewn many projects in the past, (She made all her own prom dresses!) she was able to jump right in, starting out making that flag, burgees for yacht clubs and custom flags.
Before they knew it they were overwhelmed with interest for the original Maine flag and while they were excited to spread the word of its existence and history, they were plagued by a huge business problem. It was costly to outsource the parts for the flags and they needed a machine that could cut out larger shapes than they had been doing previously. OBP was the perfect solution. So, they simply signed up to be members. “It was a very easy to do!”
“We just signed up…it was a very easy to do!”
Now they can cut all of the shapes for the flags with the OBP laser. This is a perfect solution because it melts/seals the edges, helps with fraying, and keeps their overhead low. Beyond this, they get to be inspired by all the other cools projects OBP members are working on. Right now, MFC is a part time project for Chris and Bethany along with lots of other irons in the fire. (including a baby!) However, when work is done Bethany believes there is nothing that beats a fine afternoon sail on Casco Bay, or maybe getting ready for Halloween, a favorite holiday with lots of opportunity for fun and creativity.
When asked what OBP can do to help MFC continue to succeed. They said that they wanted us to just…”Keep on keepin’ on!…”
Well, of course we will… and you too.
If you want to learn more about MFC, check them out here!
See you all around the shop…
Your Friends @ OBP