Motifs, once a Rockland store, reemerges on Camden Wharf

Tue, 08/01/2023 - 1:15pm

    CAMDEN—A favorite Rockland store has reemerged in Camden on the Lyman-Morse waterfront boardwalk this summer. Motifs, a boutique specializing in coastal-inspired wares, men’s and women’s fashion, home décor, vintage, and antiques, reopened Memorial Day weekend.

    The store is run by Paula Jalbert, who has the same exuberant style as she did when we first covered her Rockland location in a 2014 story.

    Jalbert has been in retail for 40 years having opened her first store in 1981, a card shop in Portland’s Old Port called Communiqué.

    Motifs in Portland was around for a few years before the Rockland store opened.

    “Then the pandemic hit and we had to close the Portland store for several months and when we re-opened it was clear to me it was going to be difficult to sell clothing,” she said.

    Jalbert said people were fearful to try on clothing at that time.

    “We had to steam the clothing after they tried it on and had to put it aside for 24 hours,” she said.

    At that time, she and her husband had permanently relocated to South Thomaston.

    “So, then we had to make some decisions of whether to keep staff once stores could reopen and commute down to Portland,” she said. “And we made the decision to permanently close.”

    After taking some time to herself to reassess her priorities, Jalbert decided to link up with a good friend, Brenda Garrand, owner of a the Portland marketing firm, Garrand and Company. Garrand had also moved to Rockland, and the friends decided to become business partners for the new store in Camden.

    “Brenda and I have been friends for 40 years,” said Jalbert. “We thought the Midcoast had a lot of potential and is going to be the next ‘it’ place. We both felt very strongly about positioning ourselves here. With a lot of retail stores that had left for various reasons after the pandemic, there was a great opportunity here to bring Motifs back.”

    Just like her Rockland store, Jalbert is keen on appealing to the locals in the community.

    “My intention around buying [items for the store] is a year-round commitment to the local population in terms of price points and clothing and I’ve been getting a huge response from my former customers saying they’re happy I’m back,” she said/.

    This store, based on where it is, on the east side of Camden Harbor in a modernized marina, has more of a nautical aesthetic, a place for men and women to shop for themselves, their home, and their boat. For more information visit:

    Kay Stephens can be reached at