PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Small companies are rising in a giant manner in Presque Isle.
Although employee shortages, excessive lease and utility hikes have plagued companies round Maine as they get well from the pandemic, a number of entrepreneurs are gaining footholds and bringing one thing new to Aroostook County.
Having extra selections nearer to house helps maintain client funding right here with out residents having to journey elsewhere in Maine. In Presque Isle, initiatives like Ignite PI’s reopening of the Northeastland Lodge and upcoming plans to reinvent Foremost Road intention to spice up enterprise and provides folks extra causes to spend cash regionally.
“Folks right here in Aroostook County, I’ve observed, are very drawn to unbiased companies which are privately owned,” Secure Haven Spa proprietor Kristin Kingsbury mentioned. “I believe they present a variety of assist and that’s most likely the explanation why we succeed.”
Kingsbury, 34, opened her enterprise only a month in the past at her grandparents’ home on 64 Griffin St. in Presque Isle. She began out providing providers for Salon 207 on North Road..
Kingsbury grew up in Presque Isle however moved away to Falmouth when she was 12. She went to varsity to check behavioral well being however didn’t find yourself ending as a result of the profession path wasn’t for her, she mentioned.
Whereas working at a skincare and make-up retailer in Freeport, she met her mentor Renate.
Renate inspired Kingsbury to grow to be an esthetician, which is a technician specializing in skincare beautification. Kingsbury all the time liked doing different folks’s make-up and has been a licensed esthetician for the previous 14 years.
The spa presents custom-made enamel whitening, spray tanning and physique remedies. Many returning shoppers need a common schedule and luxuriate in making an attempt one thing new after they come again, Kingsbury mentioned.
Thus far Secure Haven is booked till the tip of April.
Over on Foremost Road, 36-year-old Matt Nadeau’s store Cosmic sells distinctive girls’s clothes, metaphysical and religious objects and work from native crafters, like glass etchings on tall steins from SuzyQ Etching and hand-woven baskets and different objects from Lin Trombley Studio.
Cosmic started in 2018 as a seasonal store within the Aroostook Centre Mall. Nadeau additionally owned a salon known as Bella Vita on the identical time. Final yr, Nedeau closed Bella Vita to open Cosmic full-time at his new Foremost Road location.
Some clothes objects characteristic two to a few completely different materials woven collectively. Nadeau additionally designs graphic T-shirts for the shop.
“All I’ve needed to do was to have my very own place and meet folks on daily basis. All of them have completely different tales, we join, they arrive again and kind that little relationship,” Nadeau mentioned. “I really like providing new and completely different, thrilling issues.”
Prospects typically say that Presque Isle wanted a retailer like Cosmic, Nadeau mentioned. To accommodate completely different wants, he presents a web-based retailer and curbside pickup.
Farther down Foremost Road is Home of Good-looking, which opened in 2018 and caters solely to males. Proprietor Loryn Moran, 30, knew there have been no full-service salons for males and needed to fill the hole.
“I by no means thought I’d be a enterprise proprietor however I fell in love with what I did within the Previous Port and there wasn’t that [type of service] up right here,” Moran mentioned.
The salon is adorned in a country and antique-like theme, and shoppers are greeted by Moran and her canine Massey, whom she calls the “sleeping mascot.”
She presents haircuts and spa-inspired providers like shoulder, neck, and scalp massages with scorching towels, aromatherapy wraps and a selection of shampoos on the finish.
Moran received her begin in males’s hair in 2011 at The Males’s Room in Portland and needed to deliver that have to Aroostook County. The Home of Good-looking had a easy launch with substantial neighborhood assist, however Moran mentioned the toughest half for her shoppers — which Nadeau echoed — is discovering parking on Foremost Road in downtown Presque Isle.
Moran mentioned it’s enjoyable being her personal boss, however has its challenges. She managed to begin her enterprise with out making use of for loans or grants from town.
“It’s good after I see these guys who are available and get a drastic change. They get a special haircut and if they’ve facial hair they get that cleaned up,” Moran mentioned. “I’ve all the time needed folks to really feel higher about themselves and really feel snug in their very own pores and skin.”