As you know by now, I love sharing about companies and products we love on the blog and our Instagram - and most especially those made right here in New England! I decided to start a little series to showcase some of these great New England Makers and I'm excited to share the wonderful Kylie Watts from Watts in Maine for the first interview!
Watts in Maine is known most for their Perfect Catch Cuff, made from brass lobster gauges. Recently they've expanded and also offer Maine and nautical inspired earrings and necklaces as well as recycled lobster tag accessories which benefit local lobstermen and their families.
Tell me a little about yourself and your business.
Kylie Watts: I currently work full time as an Office Manager at a pediatric dental office and do what I can after work and on the weekends with my Watts In Maine business. My husband was born and raised on Vinalhaven Island in Maine, which serves as a huge place of inspiration for my pieces. The idea of turning the lobster gauge into a bracelet actually came from our many visits to VH.
I am also a born and raised Mainer! I have a love for fashion, accessories, and jewelry.
How did you start Watts in Maine? Had you been making lobster cuff bracelets for a while or was this a new leap for you?
KW: In the fall of 2014, I told my husband I wanted him to make a brass lobster measure into a bracelet. I had mentioned it before, but we didn't follow through on it. We bought a couple and started forming them and refining the process over a few weeks. By November we had secured our first store, k colette, in Portland's Old Port. I was flirting with another nautical idea before that, but it never made it out of its initial stages.
What does a typical day look like for you?
KW: I work from 7:15am-5:30pm at the dental office. On my lunch break and after work I read and return business emails. My evenings are spent printing invoices, preparing orders, updating social media, and trying to fit in normal daily living tasks.
What is your favorite part about owning your own company?
KW: I love having the freedom to do and create what I want. It's so exciting! I also love connecting with other local small businesses. It's nice to build relationships with others who are going through similar situations/struggles.
And least favorite part?
KW: The financial part! Keeping track of the business side-ew. :)
What has been the most exciting moment for Watts in Maine since you started?
KW: I was really excited to be included in DownEast Magazine's "40 Maine Made Gifts". I couldn't wait to go to the bookstore to snag it and see it in person.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
KW: Spend time building your social media following, find a mentor or someone who can show you the ropes, and build your business at your own pace.
What is your long-term goal? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
KW: My long term goal is to be able to focus on my business full time and only have one job. I'm hoping to expand upon what Watts In Maine offers and could be doing that in the very near future! Stay Tuned :)
I'm not sure if I want a store front down the road, or where I see the business going. To be honest, I take it one day at a time.
All photos courtesy of Watts in Maine.