Success Stories

Margo Walsh

Throughout our history, America has been viewed as a place for second chances and a new start, and Margo Walsh’s business lives up to that idea like few others.

Margo Walsh knows that personal struggle and past mistakes can make life difficult for anyone seeking to turn their lives around. That’s why her company, MaineWorks, is about more than just business, it’s based around a mission to provide an opportunity to those who may have been abandoned or left behind because of their past.

Starting in 2011, with guidance from the Portland chapter of SCORE, MaineWorks began providing temporary workers to the construction industry. But what sets MaineWorks apart is where they find their temporary workers. Margo specifically wanted to work with people recovering from addiction and recently released non-violent offenders.

By providing gainful and supportive employment to these populations (as many as 70 workers at a time), Margo ensures that her temporary employees are... Read More

Evan Carroll and Sasha Salzberg

In June 2011, husband and wife team Evan Carroll and Sasha Salzberg started their small architecture firm, BILD Architecture, LLC. Evan was the licensed architect, and Sasha managed the marketing and financial management of the company. This teamwork has clearly paid off for BILD, as they continue to grow their portfolio of projects with the help of a $30,000 SBA Express loan. Most recently, the firm announced their newest project, a six unit condominium complex in Portland’s Munjoy Hill neighborhood.

The success of BILD’s designs can almost certainly be traced back to the focus of their projects: special attention is paid to energy efficiency, access to local infrastructure, and suiting the building to the local environment. With Portland’s growing reputation nationally as a leader in artistic scenes, the look and feel of BILD’s designs definitely complements the local culture.

Evan has also gone above and beyond to make sure BILD’s designs suit Maine’s aging... Read More

Paula and Stephen Farrar

Paula and Stephen Farrar were no strangers to wool and yarn, having previously owned their own flock of sheep. However, due to unforeseen tragedies, they found themselves unable to continue on that path, so the couple decided to launch Done Roving Yarns in 2009.

From the early days of the Farrars working in their basement, hand-painting yarn to order, Done Roving has seen growth and change that inspires those of us who may wish to start our own business at home. By creating products that match the breathtaking scenery of Maine, and providing knitting patterns for their customers along with the yarn, and by working with the local Women's Business Center, Done Roving quickly became a favorite of knitters in the Pine Tree State and beyond. To date, their yarns can be found in 41 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in one store located in Ontario.

In addition to the Farrars, Done Roving has added three part-time employees, and is poised to move into a 5,000... Read More

Heidi V. Neal with her dog Fenway

Heidi Vanorse Neal loves animals, and it’s very clear to see that’s where the inspiration for her business, Loyal Biscuit Co., comes from. Opening their doors in 2010 at their first storefront in Rockland, Loyal Biscuit, by which we mean Heidi as the only employee at the time, began offering customers a place where they could be sure their pets would be treated like a part of the family.

All the hard work that Heidi put into making the company’s focus a truly welcoming and friendly atmosphere quickly paid off. Working with David Hill of the Small Business Development Center, Heidi began planning for expansion, and in 2011 Loyal Biscuit opened a second location in Belfast and hired two employees. Then, in 2012, a third location was added in Camden, and more employees joined Loyal Biscuit. Most recently, in 2014, Heidi opened her first store outside the midcoast, in Waterville. To date, Loyal Biscuit Co. has created 11 jobs, and that number may grow as the company’s growth... Read More