“I own a beauty supply store and because of COVID, the industry was shut down for six weeks in the spring. For that six weeks nobody had an income. I didn’t have any income so I was trying to figure out how to supplement and keep paying the bills. I came up with the idea to make our own soaps called Majestical Soaps, thinking that could compliment what I was already selling to salons. I started with soap-making in the Summertime and was doing craft fairs in August trying to build a brand. Every weekend I was out there doing craft fairs in different parts of the state, getting to know all these different crafters.
They make these crafts all year long and they were all worried about November and December with a lot of events being canceled because they can’t host them outside in the Winter.
I already had the storefront for beauty supply but I couldn’t get a lot of the supply I needed to sell. I still can’t. As a business owner, you’ve got to come up with different ways to stay afloat right now. You can either just sit back and let it all happen or you can be aggressive and try to think of something new. I decided I had enough space here to open it up to the crafting community that I was with every weekend. So, I moved the beauty supplies to the back education room because nobody can do continuing education right now due to COVID. Everything is set up back there for the stylists and then I opened the whole main floor (2,000 square feet) up for the crafters.
So now I have a temporary shop called the Majestic Craft Store. It opened up November 2nd and it’s running through December 24th. I have 83 local crafters set up in here, each with their own section. They come from all over. I have some from Bar Harbor, Kittery, Machiasport, basically all over the state. Some crafters are in and out every week while others signed up for all eight weeks.
So, if anybody visits the store and they see something that they really like, they should probably pick it up that day because it might not be here the next time. The beauty supply store was open just five days a week but with the crafters, I open it up seven days a week. I’m here 9-3 every day. Crafters set up their space just like they would at a craft fair, decorating their section however they want. Seeing the store now completely full gives me such a warm feeling. It’s a positive space and everybody who has come through the door has just been in awe. So many have thanked me for providing a safe space to do this in. It’s not about making money right now, it’s about helping people and giving them a space to share what they do. The only challenge that I have faced is not having enough space for everybody who wants to be here. Since opening, I’ve had 117 private messages from people who want to set up. If I had more room I could maybe get in everyone. Because of that, I’m considering the possibility of extending it past December and into spring.”
When shopping this holiday season, make sure to #ThinkGardinerFirst and think Majestic Craft Store first. Located at 26 Winter Street in Gardiner, Jamie hosts 83 different crafters in his storefront. You can get in touch through Facebook (@majesticcraftstore) or or by phone (1-877-454-5991).