Published December 18th, 2017
We are so blessed to live in Maine, and not just because of the warm, sunny summers and the picturesque white winters, but because Maine is home to a large number of talented crafts people and artisans like weavers, potters, soap makers, chocolatiers, woodworkers, and jewelers. In every shop in every town, you’ll see incredibly-crafted, unique Maine-made products.
Since many of our couples wish to surprise their wedding guests with welcome bags and/or favors of authentic Maine made products, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite Maine made gifts in this blog series. Of course, many of these handcrafted items would make wonderful bridesmaid or groomsmen gifts as well as gifts for parents of the wedding couple. For guests looking for a unique and meaningful gift for the lovebirds, you will find gift inspiration in this series, too.
How did the business start and who are the owners?
This year, Swans Island Company celebrates 25 years of crafting exquisite textiles here in Maine. Our company was founded in 1992 by John and Carolyn Grace, two retired lawyers seeking a return to the land. They began producing wool blankets by hand on on Swan’s Island using traditional techniques, local fleece and natural dyes, winning a Smithsonian Blue Ribbon for Craft. Our current owners, Bill Laurita and Michele Orne, purchased Swans Island Company in 2004. We’re now located on the mainland, carrying on the tradition of handcrafted heirloom blankets, throws, and apparel with our small and talented team of makers.
Describe the products you sell including how they’re made.
Everything we do at Swans Island – from hand-dyed yarns to our signature handwoven blankets – is a testament to the beauty and value of a handmade life. We craft blankets, throws, pillows, wraps, scarves, in our dyehouse and weaving studio. We also collaborate with small, family-run American mills to produce fine knit apparel. From fiber sourcing to our finishing room table, we believe in creating objects of beauty and utility in authentic and earth-friendly ways here in Maine. All are welcome to come visit our Northport studios to learn more about our processes.
Who typically enjoys your products?
Swans Island’s woven goods are modern-day heirlooms, and our customers come to us time and again to help celebrate life’s many milestones: weddings, anniversaries, welcoming new babies, and more. Our hand-monogramming service and exquisite linen packaging transform our unique handwovens into unforgettable commemorative pieces, designed to be cherished for years to come.
People who love Swans Island Company generally care deeply about how things are made, have strong ties to the Maine coast, and appreciate the traditional approach we take to ensure that everything we produce is at once luxurious and sustainable.
What’s the best way to purchase them?
Swans Island Company goods may be purchased at our Camden or Northport locations, online through our website, and by telephone.
What’s your favorite thing about Maine?
We love Maine for its dramatic natural beauty, which inspires so much of our work.
Bill Laurita, Michele Orne
Swans Island Company
231 Atlantic Highway
Northport, Maine 04849
Featured photo by Sharyn Peavey Photography