For the past few months, we've been working with neighboring businesses to bring our friends and readers some fun giveaways. We first teamed up with Sea Bags in Portland to create a limited edition Islandport Bucket Bag, featuring our logo. The bags were sold at our mall kiosks during the holidays and were also a part of a popular giveaway featuring The Havener Sisters and Abbott's Reach by Ardeana Hamlin.
With the success of our collaboration with Sea Bags, we decided to reach out to more local makers. Enter Katie Chalmers of Betty Louise Studio in Yarmouth. Her colorful crocheted hats seemed like the ideal accompaniment to Elizabeth Atkinson's novel, The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball. We sent Katie an image of the cover, and she designed an adorable hat for our Instagram giveaway!
The Betty Louise Studio hat got us thinking about Valentine's Day and how much fun it would be to host a pop-up shop at a nearby business. Our office manager, Shannon, came across the Blind Date with a Book concept, where each title is gift wrapped and tagged with a few clues about its ideal reader. Once we had an idea in mind, we approached Maple's in Yarmouth. The bakery and gelato shop has provided our staff with delicious pastries and coffee for events, and we thought the space would be the ideal neighborhood spot to host the pop-up shop. The result was a beautifully designed stand featuring a variety of our titles — cookbooks, mysteries, fiction and memoirs. The response to the pop-up shop was a positive one, and we're planning on another for Mother's Day soon!
Our most recent collaboration was with Ellen Okalita in Gray. Ellen is the talented owner behind Tree + Vine — an Etsy shop that sells handmade felt masks and wings for children. With National Bat Day approaching, we thought a giveaway featuring A Little Brown Bat Story and one of Ellen's masks would be embraced by our readers. Ellen did an incredible job creating a mask that looks just like the little brown bat in the story. We liked the mask so much, we're hoping someday we can have her make some wings to match!