Shop local series highlights three unique Maine-made goods

A six-pack of beer soap, hand-picked Maine elixers and cards to benefit Hope Elephants

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 1:30pm

    For the holidays, we’re launching a new series to shine the spotlight on local craftspeople who make things by hand. It’s important to shop local and to support the innovators and entrepreneurs who keep the creative economy alive in the Midcoast. So each week, until Dec. 25, we will bring you this series until you can’t take it anymore. Ready. Set. Go.

    A Sixer of Home Brewed Soaps

    The backstory

    Home Brewed Soaps was born out of a love for making soap and a love for beer! Good Beer! Melanie Landi, who lives and works out of Rockland, said, "My boyfriend Sam makes beer and I make soap so it only made sense for me to start making my soaps with his home brewed beer." Beer Soap is made with their own crafted Home Brew ranging from stouts to ales. Included in the six-pack are: Sexy for Him made with ale, Clove & Ale, Creamy Stout, Oatmeal Stout, and True Grit Hand Scrub & Earth. Having made both beer soap and non-beer soap, said Landi,  "I believe that beer adds extra creaminess to our soaps. Our beer soaps will each have different degrees of creaminess dependent upon the beer that we use, the amounts and types of hops, grains, malts, fruits and or nuts used when brewing our beer. If the soaps are left unscented there will be a faint light scent of the beer ingredients that will come through."

    Where to find it/price range:

    Online, at Home Brewed Soaps, $33

    In their words: "Do not worry, you will not smell like you just bathed in a bottle of beer; you will just feel the added benefits and your skin will thank you!"


    Wild Rose and Raw Honey Elixer

    The back story

    Kathy Langelier is behind Herbal Revolution, based in the Midcoast, where she wild gather herbs in a sustainable way from the salty coast, vast fields and forests. She also organically raises herbs in her garden while using other local organically-raised herbs that when needed. Herbal Revolution products are made in small batches to ensure the integrity and quality of the herbs that are being used. Every step in the process is taken with great care and respect. I love that she makes a living off the land and especially dig the 1990s vibe on her product labels.

    Her Wild Rose and Raw Honey elixir is made with hand-picked wild rosa rugosa petals off the coast of Maine. This sacred flower is wonderfully nourishing for the nervous system, gently opens the heart and uplifts the spirit. Roses are rich in bioflavonoiods, which are needed for the absorption of Vitamin C, helping to maintain healthy capillaries and blood vessels and is a natural antibiotic.

    The raw honey is also locally sourced in Maine. Raw honey is a live food that is full of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, The entire B complex, Vitamins D, E and K, along with amino acids, niacin and folic acid. Unheated honey is antibiotic, antiviral anti-inflammatory, immune stimulating, cell regenerating and so much more. You are bound to fall in love with this elixir. It can be taken in water, tea or just a dropper full right into the mouth.

    Where to find it/price range:

    Online, through her Etsy account at $12 per bottle

    In her words: "I go to these pristine, beautiful islands on gorgeous days to hand pick these rose petals on the ocean.  I can't wait to go rose harvesting each year; it's really nourishing, just like the product itself."


    Hope Elephant cards

    The back story:

    Lindsay Pinchbeck is the director of Sweet Tree Arts, which is growing into a new community arts center in Hope opening in February. Her background is a printmaker and arts teacher, and she started making cards as a way to raise some money to offer art programming to kids at local libraries and events. All of her cards are made in Maine using wind power, soy based inks and recycled card stock, and biodegradable sleeves. A percentage of profits of card sales goes towards arts education and outreach. The card line is growing too and was developed to support artists and arts education. 

    The wild animal card is a block print card featuring the Hope Elephants. Fifteen percent of all sales will go to the Hope Elephants education project, which Sweet Tree Arts also supports. 

    Where to find it/price range:

    Cards can be found on their website for $3.50 apiece.

    In her words: “The goal of the card line is for artists to spread their work through our cards and to give back to arts education at the center, giving back to community and supporting art on many levels. By buying cards from Sweet Tree Arts, you are supporting local artists and investing in artists of the future.... please buy locally."


    Kay Stephens can be reached at